Saturday, December 20, 2014

Dvar Torah - Parshat Mikeitz

This week we are privileged to read the portion of Mikeitz. The portion begins with Pharaoh having dreams which disturbed him, because he could not comprehend the meaning. He offered the world to the person who will translate his dreams to his satisfaction. Pharaoh was told about Yosef's past success in this field, and he released Yosef from prison. Yosef translated the dreams and informed Pharaoh that seven years of wealth and success are on the way, to be followed by 7 hunger years. Pharaoh appointed him to be second in command. During the prosperous years, Yosef prepared Egypt for the future, and began storing food for the hunger which was to come. After seven years, the hunger began and from the entire region people came to purchase food from Egypt. Yosef knew that soon his brothers too, would come to purchase food in Egypt, and he prepared for their coming. When they arrived, Yosef, whom they did not recognize began harassing them that they were spies. The brothers were very taken aback by the rough treatment. Yosef arrested Shimon and requested that they bring Binyomin.... Ultimately, they were forced, to bring their youngest brother Binyomin with them. Yaakov was very hesitant, but had no choice. He sent Binyomin and Yosef finally seized the opportunity to get the brothers to regret what they had done to him. He arranged for his personal silver cup to be placed in Binyomin's luggage, and Binyomin was returned to Egypt ...

The Kotzker Rebbe says, that there's a tremendous lesson here. Upon hearing how the prime minister of Egypt was harassing his sons, arrested one and requested to meet the youngest brother who did not accompany them, Yaakov could have cursed him. We know that had he done so, ultimately he would have hurt him. Instead, Yaakov chose to send back a gift as the torah states. We must learn from Yaakov, how maintained his clear thought and calm behavior, even during a time of near despair. Another important lesson for us is, that whatever one does he/she does to and for him/her self.
There's a parable brought in the name of the Baal Shem Tov. A king would disguise himself as a simple person and would walk the streets and the market place to see the needs of the people, and he would distribute some funds to the beggars.
There was one beggar who always told him "whatever you do, you do for yourself." The King did not appreciate that expression . One day the king requested of his baker to bake a beautiful cake and place some poison in it. He then went to present it to this beggar . He did just that and the beggar responded as usual, thank you, whatever you do, you do for yourself. The king thought, now let's see what happens!!! The beggar was so excited with the beautiful cake that he wanted to put it away for a special occasion. Several days later the beggar is at his house and there's a knock on the door. The Kings son had just gone hunting in the forest and he had a hard time finding his . way out and now finally he got out and was very hungry. Our friend was very delighted that he can feed the king's son, and he decided to serve him the beautiful cake he received from the king. The king's security echelon checked the food and found it to be poisonous. The beggar was immediately arrested. As he was being brought before investigators, he explained what had happened, that this special cake was given to him by a wealthy man... The king who had given him the cake admitted and stated: whatever one does, he does to himself.
We are granted many opportunities to do good and the opposite. Smart people realize, whatever you do you do to yourself.
According to mystical script, it is during Chanukah that the absolute final judgement of a person is made. Let us be kind to each other, and remember whatever you do, you do for yourself.

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