Monday, January 05, 2009
yosef yashis yado al einecha -- comprehending hashgacha
Undoubtedly, when Ya'akov faced the challenge of descending to Egypt knowing that this was the start of an exile that he and his children would not live to see the end of (in fact, the full oppression of slavery only began once the Shevatim died), he must have wondered how unfolding events fit into the Divine plan and for what reason his children must suffer the oppression of exile. The Meshech Chochma finds Hashem's answer in the pasuk "Anochi eired imcha Mitzrayma... v'Yosef yashis yado al einecha" (46:4). Who could have predicted that the pain of thinking Yosef lost would turn into joy as Ya'akov and his sons discovered that Yosef was a leader in Egypt providing moral backbone to a society that had been steeped in sin (recall Avraham's fear for Sarah when he had to descend to Egypt) and that he would happily reunite with them? Who could have anticipated that the dreams of Yosef were reality and the reality of Yosef's loss was just a dream? This is the answer to the human desire to set eyes on the workings of the Divine plan. "Yosef will cover your eyes" -- the lesson derived from Yosef's story is that the Divine plan exceeds the limits of human comprehension; this knowledge alone at times must be our comfort and "cover our eyes" longing for deeper insight than we can attain.