Being In the Moment – Parshat Vayigash

I really like New Age ideas. I find them refreshing, or, if not, at least challenging to my way of thinking and believing. Either way it is good. Yet many ideas which seem to be New Age ideas I often find them to have a biblical source.

So, too, with the title of this blog – 'being in the moment'. It is a wonderful challenge to be able to put stuff aside and just be. With practice, it becomes easier. Though, I must admit, there are times where it still remains a great challenge.

I must further admit that I have trouble contemplating the intensity that Yosef must have felt when he revealed himself to his brothers. He had been for the past while taunting his brothers, framing them, accusing them and remaining hidden behind his crown. Yet, he had an emotional outburst upon revealing himself to his brothers who sold him to slavery. Where did that come from? After all, he had just recently framed them for 'stealing' his special goblet.1 According to Rabbi Soloveichik, he felt it incumbent upon him to punish them for having sold him into slavery. Yet, due to Yehuda's impassioned plea, Yosef had revealed within a part of himself that had been hidden for over twenty years. He discovered that he still felt brotherly love towards his siblings. It was this revelation which caused his tearful outburst. He allowed himself again, for the first time in over twenty years, for the first time since the cruel treatment he endured at the hands of his brothers, to feel filial love. 

And he allowed it to happen. He was 'in the moment'.

There are times which are easier to make that separation between what's going on in our lives and the demands of us to "be present". There are even times when we are successful at allowing ourselves to be present.

This injunction to live in the here and now is not a call for hedonism. It is, rather, a call to responsibility, or as Dr. Viktor Frankl called it "response-ability" and to be "conscious of “being responsible,” of our “responsibleness.” 

As healthy, functioning humans we are called upon to make those decisions of what is the right thing, right now.3 And as we realize that responsibility, it becomes easier (not necessarily easy...but easier) to make that choice and be 'in the moment'.

In memory of my aunt Malka bat Yitzchak Lipa

In memory of my brother-in-law Yitzchak Tzvi Meir ben Binyamin Shraga Faivel Chaim


* Image by John Hain from Pixabay

  1. Bereishit 45:15.
  2. Days of Remembrance (Hebrew), p.224
  3. See a previous blog at
  4. Frankl, Viktor E.. The Will to Meaning (pp. 123-124). Penguin Publishing Group

Have A Great Shabbat!laughing

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