Parshas Miketz 5759

Parsha Insights this week
is dedicated to our new son
Yisroel Meshullam Zusha (Adilman),
born on 16 Kislev 5759.
May he, along with all the Jewish children,
grow up in vibrant health and
to Torah, Chuppah and Ma'asim Toivim.

In G-d We Trust

“And the wine steward did not remember Yosef; he forgot about him. (It was) two years later and Pharoah had a dream that he was standing on the bank of the Nile.” (Bereishis 40:23, 41:1)

States the Midrash, ”Happy is the man who assigns Hashem as his trust. . .”(Psalms 40:5), this refers to Yosef. (Midrash Rabbah 89:3)

Yet all the commentators point out, even though we can say in general that Yosef was one who totally trusted in Hashem, nevertheless, in this one instance he failed and instead, trusted in the wine steward. Rashi says that he earned two more years in prison for this slip up. Why then does the Midrash choose this episode to laud Yosef for his great level of trust in Hashem? Furthermore, why does it say that he “did not remember” Yosef, then go on redundantly to state that he “forgot” him?

The Kopischnitzer Rebbe shlit”a gave the following explanation in the name of the Ba’al Shem Tov.

Once there was a man who was in desperate poverty. Yet his trust in Hashem was very great and he made the best of his situation, never slacking, due to his circumstances, in his Torah study and Avodas Hashem.

The town’s Tzedakah distributors always kept him on the top of their list, but he never agreed to accept any of their offers of assistance. Even when, on several occasions they tried to arrange for him to receive money in some under-the-table way or by some concealed backhanded route, he always found out and managed to avoid their help. He preferred to rely only on Hashem. He had painstakingly attained a lofty and refined level of trust in Hashem, and was determined that this should be the only effort necessary on his part.

One Erev Pesach, under the burden of the great expenses of the holiday, this “ish bitachon” suddenly felt immensely overwhelmed, and thought to himself that this time, only once, he would avail himself of the standing offer from the town’s Tzedakah coffers.

With great reserve he approached one of the town’s Tzedakah committee and outlined his needs. Recognizing that this request came from absolute dire need, and having wanted for so long to be of help, they quickly agreed to all of his requests. He was advised to return the next day so as to give them the time to prepare his Pesach needs.

The great jubilance of the Tzedakah committee at finally having the opportunity to help one of the town’s most deserving citizens, was matched only by the man’s deep despair. That evening found him in serious emotional and spiritual distress. How could he have allowed himself to weaken his ever solid trust in Hashem? Hadn’t Hashem always helped him until now? Why should this Pesach be any different? He had never in his life taken charity, why should he start now?

In his deep regret he began to pray to Hashem that the committee should forget his request for assistance. The rest of the night, he remained awake pleading with Hashem to help him and to cause the committee members to forget him and his privation.

The next morning, not a word was mentioned by anyone about him coming to receive his Pesach support.

This is Yosef. Yosef requested Pharoah’s butler to remember him to Pharoah. Perhaps he could repay the favor of Yosef’s favorable dream interpretations, and arrange his release from prison. But no sooner had he asked the butler to remember him, than he regretted his sudden lapse of trust in Hashem. So he began to pray to Hashem that He should cause the butler to forget the request. And indeed he “did not remember” Yosef. He “forgot him”; just as Yosef had requested of Hashem. It wasn’t until, “Two years later and Pharoah had a dream that he was standing on the banks of the Nile”, that Hashem was ready for Yosef to come out of prison!

Today, since the news of the military strikes on the Iraqi regime, many are glued to their radios and TV sets waiting for the next tidbit of news. But this “dveykus” should be reserved only for Hashem. The comments of non God-fearing news commentators and various expert analysts, can only cause us to decline in our level of trust in Hashem, instead inclining towards the belief that the military or this leader or that party represents our hopes.

Rather we say: “Hashem Hu HaElokim” (1 Kings 8:60). Hashem, representing kindness and mercy, is HaElokim, the one who has the ultimate ability to control the affairs of the world and it’s inhabitants. Tuning in to a book of Psalms or the Parsha of the Week is an effective tool for reinforcing and maintaining faith and trust in Hashem, and helping to strengthen us spiritually to be able deal with any circumstances that might come our way.

I pray that we will soon see the day when there will be no more who call for the destruction of our People, and we and our children will lead the way in ushering in the era of universal peace and knowledge of Hashem.

Here is one of my favorite stories about trust in Hashem that has been printed several times. The hero of the story is R’ Zusha who is one of the namesakes of our new son, n”y.


R' Zusha of Anipoli again found himself in debt with the repayment date the next morning, and the resources with which to repay nowhere in sight.

R' Zusha however, was a Tzaddik of perfect faith. Long ago he had placed himself totally in the hands of the Creater of the World, and he had no need to be concerned.

So R' Zusha, wanting to further demonstrate to his Creator how perfect his faith and trust were, sat down with a piece of paper. On it he recorded 25 different scenarios in which the money needed to pay back the debt would come his way. The rest of the evening passed, and R' Zusha gave the situation no further thought.

The morning came, and no sooner did R' Zusha finish his morning prayers, than did the required sum manifest itself. But the money came to R' Zusha, in a 26th way, according to a scenario that he didn't think to record.

"Oy yoy, oy yoy", he moaned, thoroughly disappointed with himself. "Is the Creator of the World limited to the feeble ideas of R' Zusha!?"

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