A few weeks ago we discussed R' Shlomo Kluger's explanation of Yitchak's davening "l'nochach ishto" -- for Rivka's benefit, not his own. Yitzchak accepted that whatever Hashem decreed must be l'tov and therefore, if he had no children, so be it -- it must be for the best. However, he knew that Rivka did not share that same perspective, and therefore he davened for a child on her behalf. This highlights what I think is a paradox: our acceptance that "kol mah d'avid Rachmama l'tav avid," that all Hashem does is for the best, while at the same time davening and asking Hashem to change the circumstances we might find ourselves into what we think is something better.
The Berdichiver explains the double-language,
"V'atah amarta **heiteiv eitiv** eimach," used in last week's
parsha by Ya'akov in his tefilah before his encounter with Eisav as meaning
that Hashem did not just promise to do good/tov by Ya'akov, but he promised
good that would also be perceived as good. In other words, no matter
what happened in that encounter, at the end of the day Ya'akov's response
would be, "Kol d'avid Rachamana l'tav avid." But Ya'akov
wanted more than that -- he wanted it to be good in a way that was tangible
and real to him without having to resort to rationalizations and justifications
after the fact.
Maybe now we can understand just a little
bit the seemingly callous behavior of Yosef who spent his time fixing his
hair and making sure he looked his best (Rashi 39:6) while his father sat
mourning for him at home. This is the behavior of the tzadik yesod
olam?! How could Yosef feel in the mood to dress up and adorn himself
at this time? The Radomsker answers that if one truly feels that
"kol d'avid Rachamana l'tav avid," then the question is moot.
Aderaba, what are you wailing about -- whatever is happening can
only be good!
This reminds me of the gemara in Chagiga
5 that teaches that even when there is sadness in the outer chambers, in
the inner chambers closest to Hashem (whatever that means) there is always
joy (there is another girsa there too, ayen sham). I don't think
we can really relate to such a madreiga, but Yosef haTzadik and Yitzchak
Avinu lived their lives in "batei gavay," the innermost chamber
where there is always joy; on that level and from that inner perspective no matter what happens, "Rachamana
l'tav avid." It's not a justification after the fact,
but its how these tzadikim felt every moment.
So why is Yosef criticized? We've
explained the "hava amina" of Yosef's behavior, but at the end
of the day it was not the right thing to do. The Radomsker answers
that even though the tzadik knows that all is good, he still must show empathy with the world that does not feel and see things that way; he must daven
on behalf of a world that needs the good of "heiteiv eitiv,"
that which we feel and experience as good, not just that we can rationalize
as good after the fact. The tzadik's job is to bring tov down from shamayim into the reality of life as we experience it, so that we can share in it to the fullest extent.