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    They called us Joseph – Vayyiggash

    Because Joseph looked after his family in Egypt, the name Joseph is given to the Jewish people as a whole; the Psalmist says, “God leads Joseph like a flock” (Psalm 80:2). The Psalm for Thursday also calls the people Joseph (Psalm 81:6).

    Samson Raphael Hirsch explains the use of the name as a symbol of the Jewish people maintaining their morality even in foreign lands, i.e. a symbol of the place of the Jewish people in world history.

    One can add that Joseph symbolised Israel because he was the man who said “No” when tempted to sin by the wife of his employer Potiphar.

    A further example of his morality is given in the Midrash Yalkut Shimoni, which says that Joseph repaid evil with good: his brothers acted badly towards him when he was a youth, and Joseph bestowed good on them when he was in office in Egypt and had power over them.

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