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    Learning from Joseph – Vayyiggash

    Joseph, by Lawrence Alma-Tadema, 1874

    Commenting on Psalm 80:2, the Yalkut Shimoni boldly asserts that God learns from Joseph.

    What it states is that Joseph stored corn in the period of plenty so that there would be food when the famine came, and in the same way the Almighty stores up the record of our good deeds so that blessings will abound in the future world when the Mashi’ach comes.

    We wonder how anyone can suggest that God doesn’t have His own ideas – isn’t it impertinent to say that He needs to learn from human beings?

    The Yalkut Shimoni has no intention to say literally that God needs a human example to follow. It is an effective piece of ethical homiletics. Its aim is to teach that human beings need to plan for the future, which is a godly virtue which HaShem endorses as wise and essential.

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