How are you?

December 8, 2017
By Beth Mordecai
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How are you?

How are you?

How many times a day do we ask this and are we asked? How do you answer? Do you say, I’m good thanks, you? Or do you actually answer the question?

In this week’s parsha, Vayeishev, we read about the sibling rivalry between Joseph and his brothers, how they sell him into slavery in Egypt and how Joseph ultimately succeeds there.

I would like to focus on one specific verse, early in the parsha. Joseph’s brothers are pasturing their sheep in the surrounding area called, Shechem. Israel becomes fearful of his sons’ safety and sends Joseph to check on them. The wording that is used here is: ‘lech-na re’eh et-shalom achecha’, which translates more literally as “go see the peace (shalom) of your brothers.”

Modern Hebrew has an expression, ‘drishat shalom’ – ‘enquiring after peace.’ Israelis wishing to send regards to a mutual friend will ask you to send a warm “drishat shalom.” It is similar to how we would say to “send them my best.” But this phrase incorporates enquiring of another’s peace, their well being, and is also hoping they are at peace.

We all have people we have been meaning to call, to check on. Take this opportunity to reach out and truly enquire after the people of your loved ones. Inquire beyond the perfunctory greeting. Ask and listen.

Then please share with me truly how you are doing. What parts of your life need more peace, more completion? Please email me at and we will find a good time to talk more.

Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Metz

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal