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Moses appointed twelve emissaries to scout out the Holy Land and return with a report. The representative for the tribe of Ephraim was Moses’ primary disciple, Joshua. Until this time, the lad’s name was Oshua. But Moses added a letter to his name and called him Joshua.
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Home » Life Is Beautiful, Vayechi

Vayechi: Oasis in the Desert

Submitted by on January 2, 2006 – 11:15 pmNo Comment | 2,685 views

Jacob in Egypt

The very first time the Torah testifies that our patriarch Jacob fully enjoyed and appreciated life is during the period of time that he lived in Egypt.

We must assume that it is the spiritual quality of life that Jacob, the saintliest of our forefathers, came to appreciate. How then was Jacob able to appreciate spiritual life in a place of absolute moral depravity? The answer lies in the Yeshiva (Torah academy) that he established while he was in Egypt.

Even in an unseemly place of spiritual impurity Jacob developed a center of light, a source of spiritual energy that produced an aura of holiness.

The Personal Egypt

Every Jew has inherited from Jacob the ability to transcend the limitations of our personal environment, the ability to transform our personal Egypt into a personal Jerusalem, by creating an oasis in the desert – a place  of happiness and G-dliness in a world sorely lacking in this regard.

We can uncover spiritual life even when friends, neighbors and acquaintances who are spiritually corrupt, surround us. Furthermore, it is possible to positively influence those very friends to fashion for themselves a life of Torah, Yidishkeit and holiness.

In Conclusion

The environment of the human need not affect the spirit of the Jew.