Thursday, December 17, 2015

Do not get Agitated on the Way

By HaRav Dov Begon
Rosh HaYeshiva, Machon Meir

Joseph says to his brothers, “Do not get agitated along the way” (Genesis 45:24). Rashi explains that he was worried lest they quarrel over their having sold him, saying, “The sale happened because of you... you slandered him... you made us hate him,” etc. 

When a person is facing a crisis that seems to have no foreseeable resolution, he gets flustered and agitated and tends to blame others and argue with them over his tangled predicament. Such was the situation of the brothers. Joseph, however, knew and believed that his descend to Egypt was for the sake of an eventual ascent -- “G-d has sent me ahead of you to save lives” (Genesis 45:5) -- hence he viewed the crisis as something positive. Even the complications and tribulations along the way were for the good. He said, “G-d has sent me ahead of you to insure that you survive in the land and to keep you alive through extraordinary means” (v. 7). Truthfully, those facing a crisis need patience or they are liable to stray from the path. 

The Jewish People have been traveling down a long pathway for the past two thousand years. It is true that we are almost at the end, but we have not yet reached our destination. It is natural that near the end of the path, great difficulties arise, and there will be those who lack patience and who are full of anger and accusations over the general and the particular situation. A danger exists that we will despair and stray from the path. Precisely now we have to strengthen our faith in the righteousness of our path, and we must increase our patience and forbearance. It is like a man running a marathon. It is precisely at the end of the marathon that he needs special spiritual and physical strengths in order to complete the marathon properly. It is the same in our own generation. We must strengthen ourselves and our spirits, for life long endures and our journey is a long one. Precisely because we are great, our potential for sin is great as well. This is why our suffering is so great, but the result is that our consolation will be all the greater (Rav Kook, Orot, page 55).

Looking forward to complete redemption, 
Shabbat Shalom.

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