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Friday, December 10

The Weekly Shtikle - Vayigash

Yesterday, 5 Teves, was the 44th yahrtzeit of my wife's grandfather, Rabbi Dr. Israel Frankel, a"h. This week's shtikle is dedicated le'iluy nishmaso, Yisroel Aryeh ben Asher Yeshayahu.

The Weekly Shtikle is dedicated le'iluy nishmas my father, Reuven Pinchas ben Chaim Yaakov, a"h.


The Weekly Shtikle is dedicated le'iluy nishmas my Oma, Chaya Sara bas Zecharia Chaim, a"h.

I have always found parshas Vayigash to provide many fascinating insights into politics and governing. More specifically, there are some ideas and concepts which are subjects of modern-day discussion which may very well have been established by Yoseif himself. At the very least we do find him bringing these ideas to light, even if he didn't invent them. Yoseif institutes a rigid, flat 20% tax across the board. The flat tax has been debated in the United States but is actually in place in one way or another in 29 independent nations.

By the end of the parsha, the citizenry of Egypt have relinquished the ownership of all of their property to the state in order to be fed and stay alive. This would not be considered eminent domain as it wasn't technically forced upon them. But is this the introduction of communism? Yoseif also puts in place a system of religious or priestly exemption from taxation. This would have immediate benefit for his own family as it provided an exclusion for the tribe of Levi from the subsequent subjugation. But it is also a concept that our religious institutions benefit from today.

However, a similar thought came to me in last week's parsha, as well, one that ties in directly with current events. It would seem that Yoseif was also the pioneer of the idea of national strategic reserves. Ironically, just two weeks ago, the United States (in a decision attributed to another Joseph, lehavdil,) released some of its Strategic Petroleum Reserve in an effort to address a supply shortage. Just days later, Canada followed suit and tapped into their own strategic reserve… of maple syrup (not a joke.)

Have a good Shabbos.

Eliezer Bulka

Shtikle Blog Weekly Roundup:

Al Pi Cheshbon / Dikdukian: Can you count to 70?

Dikdukian: Pain in the Neck

Dikdukian: Just Do It!

Dikdukian: Ram'seis

Dikdukian: Dikdukei Vayigash by R' Eliyahu Levin

Daily Leaf: :כ"א Death Frequency

.כ"ב Righteous Clowns

:כ"ז Similar Raffles


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