Thursday, January 05, 2006

Yosef Reveals Himself

When Yehudah approaches Yosef at the opening of the parsha, the brothers are truly in dire straits. Yosef was lost, the brothers already acknowledged "asheimim anachnu", their guilt, Shimon had been imprisoned on their last trip to Mitzrayim and they were all suspect of being spies, they had declared whoever had stolen goods would forfeit his life only to discover the goods on Binyamin, and now they all stood to be imprisoned as slaves. The Ishbitzer in Mei HaShiloach (vol 2) writes that we learn from this parsha that in the darkest moments of galus never to give up hope. In the blink of an eye, Yosef reveals himself and the entire picture changes from complete despair to a joyful reunion. Yet, writes the Ishbitzer, in truth NOTHING had changed other than their perspective (in fact, the meforshim even ask what Yehudah added in his recapitulation of events that we did not already know). The brothers accuser had always been Yosef, they had never been in any real danger, Binyamin would never have been harmed, and this was all a grand play to bring about the resolution of the dreams. When the moment of geulah comes it will not be an outside force that relieves us from daily worries and travails, but geulah will come when we are finally able to see behind the curtain and discover that all our tzaros were just an illusion caused by our ignorance of the goings on behind the scenes. (Although this is an Ishbitzer Torah, you can't help but think of R' Nachman's adage that "asur l'hitya'eish", and that all the worry in life is just a result of our chisaron of da'as.)

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