Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Parshas Vayeishev

Hashem Peeking From Behind the Curtain

What a stirring saga! Yosef is betrayed and conspired against by his brothers and then thrown into a dark pit where he is doomed to die. At the last moment, the brothers pull him out. Broken in body and spirit, he endures the additional humiliation of being sold as a common slave to a passing trading caravan. What could possibly be more devastating? How utterly hopeless Yosef's plight appears to be!

In the midst of this hellish scene, the Torah tells us, G-d lightened Yosef's suffering by arranging for his journey down to Egypt to be in a fragrant, scented environment. The caravan of traders that had purchased him were carrying fine perfumes and spices. A pleasant fragrance wafted through the air around him as he made his way down to Egypt.

What are we to make of this information? Here Yosef is being sold into slavery with no prospects of ever being freed. Betrayed by his brothers, he is at the mercy of lawless people who could abuse and exploit him at will. At such a harrowing time, would he be likely to notice the scent around him? And if he did, what difference would it make to him in his pain and misery?

Yet, we must bear in mind that the Torah informs us about the spices in the caravan for a reason. Embedded in this dire and painful event was a secret note from Hashem to Yosef: 'Don't worry Yosef, I love you and I will spare you whatever suffering I can. Look, even here, in your miserable and wretched condition I will show you that I am peaking out from behind the curtain by sending you this little ray of positive encouragement. If only you can decipher my message of caring and love!"

Our lives are a long chain of challenges and difficulties. Although these hardships may be divinely ordained to tone up our spiritual muscles and help us grow, it is often difficult to recognize them as such.

Yet, if we are attuned, we can pinpoint moments in our lives when Hashem demonstrates that he is watching from behind the curtain. All of us can be grateful for the seemingly small but infinitely valuable daily gifts and special messages with which Hashem lets us know that He is taking care of us.

Be it with the blessings of good health, our precious children, beloved family and friends or the innumerable other gifts we enjoy, we are constantly graced with Hashem's loving beneficence.

By training our emotions to always operate in thankful mode, we can weather life's disappointments. However, if we allow ourselves to fall into the mode of "entitlement," as if we are owed life's blessings and luxuries, we will inevitably suffer a spiritual and emotional setback.

-- Rabbi Naftali Reich


Text Copyright 2013 by Rabbi Naftali Reich and Torah.org.

Rabbi Reich is on the faculty of the Ohr Somayach Tanenbaum Education Center.


 

ARTICLES ON PINCHAS AND THE THREE WEEKS:

View Complete List

17th of Tammuz: Why We Fast - Part 1
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

Tempered Blessing
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5765

G-d's Food
Shlomo Katz - 5770

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Temperament of a Kohen
Shlomo Katz - 5758

Pursue G-d
Shlomo Katz - 5766

Grandson of Aharon -- The Lover of Peace & Pursuer of Peace
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5766

> Carrying G-d's Parcels
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5762

Tumas Kohen: Impure Contact
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5766

Brit Shalom, Shabbat Shalom
Shlomo Katz - 5773

ArtScroll

Great Leaders
Rabbi Shlomo Jarcaig - 5764

Playing It Safe By Doing What The Torah Commands
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5772

Forgotten Oaths
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5764

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Kamtza and Bar-Kamtza
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5758

Forever Sensitive
Rabbi Label Lam - 5763

If The Burden Fits, Bear It
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5766

Tying Generations Together
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5771



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