Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
  LifeLine
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Vayigash

by Rabbi Yaakov Menken


"Hurry, and go up to my father, and say to him, 'So says your son, Yosef: "G-d has placed me as master over all Egypt; come down to me, do not delay."'" [45:9]

I'm sure that if any of us got a message like this, we would be absolutely delighted. "My son, the Prime Minister of Egypt! This is even better than him being a doctor!"

But this message, of course, was sent to Yaakov, forefather of the Jewish people. Rabbinic Sages want their sons to grow up to be Sages -- people who fear Heaven and learn Torah. Why would he be so happy to know that Yosef is now "master over all Egypt?"

In the Darchei Mussar, Rav Yaakov Naiman answers this question. He says that the important thing was not so much the news that Yosef was now the Prime Minister, as how he explained it.

When a person is appointed to a position, he or she will normally explain who appointed him or her. "I was deputized by the Chief of Police." "I was elected [by the people] to the Senate." "The president appointed me to his commission on crime." The more important the position, the more likely a person will identify the even more important people who did the appointing.

Yosef, on the other hand, says nothing about Paro, or the fact that Paro gave him the position after Yosef explained Paro's dreams so well. This is what anyone would have been expected to say -- but Yosef says instead: "G-D made me master." "G-D gave me this job." This is the voice of a person who acknowledges that everything comes from HaShem. This comes from a person who acknowledges this internally, to the point that when he is appointed to a high position, it's not that so-and-so appointed him -- G-d made this happen.

Now we understand why this was such wonderful news for Yaakov. After so many years outside Yaakov's home, after so many different trials and tribulations, Yosef remained firm in his belief in G-d and Divine Providence. He was the same tzadik, the same righteous man, that he would have been expected to be had he remained with his father and brothers all those years. Nothing had had a bad impact upon him, and he still attributed everything that happened to him to HaShem. Nothing could have delighted Yaakov more.

Yosef definitely could have attributed all of his accomplishments to his own abilities -- but he did not do so. He maintained the same pattern set when he went before Paro to explain the dreams, and said "without me, G-d will answer Paro's well-being." [41:16] Even now, when he had accomplished so much and survived so much, he lay it all at HaShem's feet.

It is natural, and almost to be expected, that when a person achieves something after tremendous effort, he or she will claim credit. When a person goes through difficult trials, it is similarly easy, even likely, that he or she will have complaints, even feelings of anger. These are the times when, if a person has true faith and trust in G-d, it will come shining through. If a person says _then_ that all is from HaShem, that is a person who means it sincerely. Let us work to reach that point!


 






ARTICLES ON TOLDOS:

View Complete List

How About Them Apples?
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5770

Why the Bicycle Riders?
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5762

G-d in the Numbers
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5764

> Don't be Deceived, Or Deceitful
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5763

The Jewish Hall of Fame
Rabbi Label Lam - 5766

Fathers and Sons
Shlomo Katz - 5768

Looking for a Chavrusah?

The Importance of Safeguards
Rabbi Yosef Kalatsky - 5763

Destiny For a Bowl of Beans
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5759

A Twin Study....
Rabbi Label Lam - 5758

ArtScroll

100% for the Sake of Heaven
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5756

Running Out Of Womb
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5773

Surprise, Surprise!
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5762

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

The Spur of the Moment
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5768

No Regrets
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5762

Never Lose Hope
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5759

His Father's Son
Shlomo Katz - 5765



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