Vayigash: A Path to Follow

Asher’s sons were Imnah, Ishvah, Ishvi, and Beriah, and their sister Serah. Beriah’s children were Heber and Malchiel. — Breishit/Genesis 46:17

The name of Asher’s daughter was Serah. — Numbers/Bamidbar 26:48

The timespan between the verse in Genesis and the one in Numbers is about 400 years. There are several midrashic comments on Serah’s long life. See the portion Pinchas, for example, wherein she is midrashically credited with finding Joseph’s bones when the Israelites leave Egypt.

Find out more about Serah (or Serach), who is also linked, in Pirkei di Rabbi Eliezer, with informing Jacob that Joseph lives. See, e.g., her entry in Tree of Souls.

While following Serah into and out of Egyptian captivity, also note that Jocheved, Moses’ mother, is hidden in the genealogy at the end of this portion. Thirty-two names are listed as children of Jacob and Leah; the 33rd is Jocheved.

*See Source Materials for more information and full citations.

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Click on the “WeeklyTorah” tag for more resources on the weekly portion throughout the year, or on a portion name for parashah-specific notes. (The series began with Numbers; posts for Genesis, Exodus and Leviticus are being drafted, week-by-week.) You can also zero-in on particular types of “Opening the Book” posts by clicking Language and Translation, Something to Notice, a Path to Follow, or Great Source in the tag cloud.

The “Opening the Book” series is presented in cooperation with the independent, cross-community Jewish Study Center and with Kol Isha, an open group pursuing spirituality from a woman’s perspective at Temple Micah (Reform). “A Song Every Day” is an independent blog, however, and all views, mistakes, etc. are the author’s.
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