Torah: Vayeshev – On the Limits of Grief & Mourning

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On the Limits of Grief and Mourning

We read that upon hearing of his son, Joseph’s, death, Jacob tore his clothes, put on sackcloth, and refused to be comforted. He said, “I will go down to the grave mourning for my son.” (Gen. 37: 34-35)

There are laws in Judaism about the limits of grief – aninut, avelut, shiva, sheloshim, shanah, etc. There is no such thing as a bereavement for which grief is endless. And yet, Jacob refuses to be comforted. Can we, in fact, ever mourn too much? Grieve too much?


Please note: These trope links connect to the beginning of the whole Torah portion / Haftarah. Find a specific reading with the drop-down box at the top, right of the page, and/or by using chapter and verse.

Torah: Genesis 37:1 – 40:23 – Click here.

Haftarah: Amos 2:6 – 3:8 – Click here.

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Another good Torah “helper” is Pocket Torah, available in the Apple App store. Pocket Torah Trope teaches “Trope Phrases,” and Pocket Torah teaches portions.

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