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Over the Cliff

Friday, 28 December, 2012 - 1:00 pm

Are we going over the fiscal cliff?

Judging from the state of politics in America today, there seems to be little hope that we can prevent going over the so-called fiscal cliff. Republicans and Democrats will blame each other. But the fact remains that our government has become less efficient at legislating due to the political discord.

Americans may not agree how we should change the law to prevent the potential detrimental effects of going over the cliff, but by-and-large we agree that something should be done.

Is there any hope for American politics or should we resign ourselves to a perpetual standoff?


In this week’s Parsha of Vayechi Yaakov (Jacob) passes away. His sons become worried that Yosef (Joseph) – who had been acting favorably toward them heretofore – may have a change of heart now that Father is gone. Perhaps he will finally take revenge for the sin they had committed years earlier in selling him into slavery.

The brothers fabricate a “command” that their father had given, that Yosef should always treat them nicely.

When Yosef hears this he alleviates their fears, saying that he never would consider retribution. He explains, “Don't be afraid, for am I instead of G-d? Indeed, you intended evil against me, but G-d designed it for good, in order to bring about what is at present to keep a great populace alive.”

The Talmud comments that Yosef told them, “If ten lights could not extinguish one light, how can one light extinguish ten?” In other words, if ten brothers could not harm one (goodness resulted from their bad intentions), one will definitely not harm ten.


I don’t have a solution to the impending potential financial crisis. But, as Jews, I know that the Torah teaches us the power of true unity. We are all intrinsically one. And if we recognize that we will do a much better job at getting along. Even when the cards are stacked against it.

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