Parasaht Vayeshev – Yosef – 2009
Yosef’s life wasn’t easy, even from a tender age. When he was a little boy he became orphaned of his mother, which is why his father had to make for him a special coat, like many of the matriarchs did for their sons ( see Samuel 1 2:19 ” and his mother made him a coat and brought it to him from year to year”- pertaining to Chana and Samuel). Yosef’s brothers confided in their mothers, while he brought to his father reports about them.
But Yosef was not helpless. The bond between Yosef and his father, Ya’akov, was so profoundly enriched with the wisest and deepest teachings, that it prepared him to be the pathfinder in the darkness that was about to set. Yosef was gifted, but no-one there wanted his gifts. The plunge into the bottom of the barrel began when he wasn’t accepted. As the story line slants downward, and episode after episode he falls deeper into the seeming abyss, when the first exile in essence begins, the potential of Mashiach Ben David was being conceived right then with the breaking story of Yehudah and Tamar.
Yosef is a master of restraint in more ways commonly known to us. He knows when to guard his tongue and say only the right thing at the right time and place. He keeps under control, holding a tight hand on faith in a hard place. Egypt was the most immoral place on earth in that generation. In this darkness, Yosef, in his kaleidoscope of supernatural abilities, transforms from one who is not accepted into ” and the man was successful.” He climbed above and beyond because he firmly knew and said, “Hashem has concocted a remedy!”
During the days of the Greeks, in the days prior to the miracle of Chanukah, when all the light of torah was blackened and the traditions and torah wisdoms passed down from father to son were forbidden by law, a group of tzaddkim arose to fight the war and restore glory to the Jewish people and the Temple. The relighting of the menorah was no less a victory than winning the military war. The vile of oil they found that lasted for eight miraculous days was found buried deep in the ground, just like Yosef, the symbol of Mother earth, of the length and breadth of the Land of Israel ( Yosef and Zion are one). Yosef, who had to fall on his face in the pit, later was the one who revealed the light and salvation as he said, “It is not me, but Hashem.”
“He raises the poor out of the dust.” (Samuel 1:8)
With Hashem’s help, and it is like a dream, we are living in incredible times. After so long an exile, we are witnessing the revival of the dry bones (see Ezekiel 36,37), the bones of Yosef. A grim, grim picture is presented to the world and Israel is not accepted. No power in the world though, can possibly stop the Divine Redemption process. The light that shines out of Zion will outshine the shiny white teeth of the media, of the dazzling smile of false politicians, and we will all know that the remedy that Hashem created when Yosef was thrown into the pit is awaiting.
Get your sunglasses on!
Shabbat Shalom, Leah Goldsmith