Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Miketz

Parshas Miketz - - Just Say No

The Torah places a great deal of emphasis on self-control. "Who is mighty? He who conquers his inclinations." as the verse states (Proverbs 15) "greater is the one who is slow to anger than a mighty warrior, and (greater is) one who rules his spirit than a conqueror of a city." (Chapters of the Fathers, Chap. 4).

The Yalkut Lekach Tov quotes Rabbi Meir Rubman in his work Zichron Meir in his relating this to Yosef in this week's parsha. He notes that we see from the aforementioned that greater strength is required to rule over oneself than that required to conquer a city. One's inclination to wrongdoing (each on one's own level) is so strong that one cannot defeat it without great strength and strategy.

With whom do we see this greatness? We find it with Yosef. When Yosef's brothers came to Egypt the Torah states "and he recognized them." Immediately afterward in the next verse the Torah repeats "and Yosef recognized his brothers." (Genesis 42:7-8) The repetition is meant to convey something extra to us. That is, that Yosef recognized them as brothers, and felt brotherly toward them, as Rashi explains.

This is proven by the statement that Yosef made when he named his son Menashe. "For G-d has made me forget all of my troubles, and even my father's house."(Genesis 41:50) How can Yosef forget his father's house, and how would he know he has forgotten his father's house? Obviously that is not the plain meaning. Rather, the meaning is that Yosef has forgiven his brothers for their having sold him.

Yosef understood that his dreams had to be fulfilled, that he rule over his brothers, and that he had to hide his identity from them. This took great control on the part of Yosef as he really wanted to reveal himself to them.

The message is that Yosef used self-control in order to do G-d's will - the right thing. Self-control is basic Judaism. We learn it from Yosef.

This point is may seem trivial, but in today's world the trend seems to be to continually add to the list of things one no longer needs to say no to. Self-control seems prudish and somewhat out-dated, but it is really revolutionary and innovative.

If I may add my own two cents, I would even say that emotional happiness is tied in with self-control, because when people give in to themselves, and they violate the convictions of their souls, it brings them sadness.

Self-control is a key to happiness and greatness. This is one of the great lessons which Yosef continues to impart to his generations, and it is ever so relevant.

Good Shabbos!


Text Copyright © 2000 Rabbi Dovid Green and Project Genesis, Inc.



 






ARTICLES ON NOACH:

View Complete List

The Perfect Storm
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5765

No Fear, No Fair
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5764

Law and Order
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5760

ArtScroll

Not Just Despite, but Because of!
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5759

Investing in the Land
Shlomo Katz - 5767

The Flood
Shlomo Katz - 5769

Looking for a Chavrusah?

The Roots of Evil
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5769

Beshegam Hu Moshe?
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5767

Stealing: Not For The Taking
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5767

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

The Shame Of Cham
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5762

Of Showers, Towers, and False Powers
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5761

The Best Policy
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5765

> The Name of HASHEM
Rabbi Label Lam - 5772

The Hidden Blessing
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5766

One for the Birds
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5756

Positive Speech Builds a Brighter World
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5762



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information