Vayigash: What Will the New Year Bring?



Arab Spring. The economy. Occupy Wall Street. The weather. Europe. Israel.

Wherever you turn, the past year 2011 was a tumultuous one, filled with upheavals, surprises and changes, unlike any year in recent history.Volatility is the word that defines this historic year.

As the curtain comes down on 2011, we all wonder what 2012 will bring. And above all, how can we ride the waves of these turbulent times? Is there anything we can do to calm our nerves and find clarity, direction and fortitude? Or, is our only option, as many suggest, to hunker down and wait the storm out?

An excellent – but sorely overlooked – place to turn for guidance is this week’s Torah reading, where we learn about a similarly major global upheaval in what can be considered the very first “Arab Spring,” and the very first “Occupy Wall Street” movement. Though it took place thousands of years ago, the parallels are uncanny, and there is much we can learn today from Joseph’s attitude to the radical turmoil and volatility he faced back then.


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