Saturday, December 13, 2014

Dvar Torah - Parshat Vayeishev

This week we are privileged to read the portion of Vayeishev. The portion discusses the history of Yosef, the beloved son of Yaakov, who was clearly his father's favorite. His brothers felt that he was slandering and delivering bad reports about them to their father Yaakov. Yosef had dreams which he revealed to his brothers alluding to the fact that he would rule over them... The brothers sold Yosef and he was resold until he ended up a slave in Egypt. In Egypt he passed the tremendous test of maintaining his holiness in an environment that was contradictory to anything holy. Later Yosef was sent to prison, where he was beloved by all inmates, some, who were very high profile. Two ministers had dreams and Yosef interpreted them accurately everything Yosef said materialized.

The Torah states (Breishis 39/2) Hashem was with Yosef and he was a man of success. The Medrash says that the attributes of Hashem are different from the attributes of humans. Human beings, when someone is successful people befriend him and are close to him, however, if Heaven forbid, the wheel turns and he loses his wealth, his friendship is in jeopardy. Hashem, however, remains with a person in all situations, as we see the Torah states that Hashem was with Yosef when he was a servant of Potiphar and the same is written when Yosef was in prison and when he became Ruler of Egypt.

According to the Baalei Hatosfos this is an outcome of Yosef being a G-d fearing individual during his difficult times. When the wife of Potiphar tried convincing him to sin, Yosef responded "how can I do such evil, and I will sin before G-d"? The same we find when Yosef was brought before pharaoh (in next week's portion), he was to be appointed as second in command and he states: I fear G-d - es hoelokim Ani yorei. When one commits himself to rely fully on Hashem, he can expect to see the assisting hand of Hashem in all circumstances and situations. It is up to us to orchestrate our relationship.

May we merit to have full commitment to Hashem and see his protecting hand at all times.

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