Parshat Vayeshev – 2010

Parshat Vayeshev November 26 2010

 Leah Goldsmith

Dear readers- As I turned on my faucet to get ready for Shabbat – I really almost looked up into it to see if water would come out. Israel has been in a drought for the last 5 years. By the time we read the portions of Yosef, which is usually Chanukah time, here in Israel it is raining. Yosef and rain come together. Yosef, who brought the bounty gave only credit to Hashem, for interpreting dreams, for the foresight to save food and water before the drought, for the plenty of this world. As the Yesod, he is the pipeline that channels all of these blessings into practical use in our material world. So, as I was feeling apprehensive to say the least about my dying grass, my worry for the Kinneret that is drying up, my sorrow at the Civil Administration’s destruction of one of the only steams-pools in this area near Eilon Moreh this week, the phone rang and it was a friend of Itamar- someone like yourselves, whose name is Brian Dellaca calling from Australia to say Shabbat Shalom. I told him I was pretty shaken up knowing that all the reservoirs in the Golan are bone dry, the Kinneret is a meter under the red line, the Dead Sea is drying up, and the only underground aquifers that exist in Israel are under negotiations to be given away to a Palestinian State, and that I’m afraid to water my trees. He simply said, ” Go outside with an umbrella!”

That got me thinking again about Yosef Hatzaddik. How much have we said about Yosef already. We could go on until tomorrow. What would he do? The idea of feeling potential and mapping out a plan is what the yesod is all about. It’s about preparing the vessel. It’s also about blind faith. We don’t ever hear Yosef bellyache. I am sure he did a lot of praying too. Yosef is the person, a symbol of the process of our redemption unfolding also now in these days. If Hashem has promised, Hashem will do. It’s up to us to follow the techniques of Yoseph, conserving water, using grey water techniques, wetlands from sewage, and come up with new ideas that will bring the continued blessing to the Land. But first we have to pray:

A Prayer for Time of Drought “Answer us, Creator of the Universe, with the attribute of mercy, the One who chose His people Israel to proclaim His greatness and honor. The One who hears prayers, give rain and dew on the earth, satisfy the entire world from Your bounty, and fill our hands from your blessings and from riches, the gift of Your hand. Protect and save this year from everything bad, and from all types of destructive agents and from all types of suffering, and provide it with hope and peace as its goal. Have mercy and compassion on us and all our produce and fruits, and bless us with abundant rains, that we may merit life, satisfaction, and peace as in the good years. Remove from us plague, the sword, and famine, evil beast, captivity, and despoilment, the evil urge, and bad and harsh events. Decree for us good decrees from before You, let Your mercy be revealed over Your other attributes. Treat Your children with the attribute of mercy, and accept with compassion and desire our prayer.”

Shabbat Shalom, Leah Goldsmith

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