Friday, 26 November 2010

P. Vayeishev - in the End Was Joseph Being Punished?

In the last Passuq [40:23] "v'lo zochar Sar Hamashkim et Yoseif" We are told that the Sar Hamashqim forgets Joseph.

Rashi says "Huzqaq l'ihyot Assur sh'tei Shanim"

Is this a punishment or perhaps something else?

Most understand this as simply a proverbial "2-minute penalty" for lack of Bitachon in Hashem - except Joseph wound up serving 2 YEARS in the penalty box! :-)

What lesson does that tell US? Not to be resourceful and to rely ONLY upon Hashem?

Remember that old Joke re: the fellow in the flood to whom Hashem sent a car, a a rowboat and finally a helicopter and he refused each ride and drowned while waiting for Hashem to rescue him? So why should Joseph be PUNISHED for lack of Bitachon! Seems a harsh "blame game" to me to assign blame to Joseph the victim, for being resourceful in own rescue!

Shloymie: Well what's the Alternative?

RRW: Let's digress to a lesson from Abarbanel in the Haggadah It states that - had HKBH NOT rescued us then "M'shubadim Hayyini l'Faroh The Abarbanel's read is - that Had HKBH not saved us from Egypt, that m'shubaddim would mean we would have been INDEBTED - not enslaved - to Par'oh had Par'oh freed us instead of Hashem! Think back, American Slaves felt indebted to Lincoln and not to G-d.

Similarly what if the Sar Hamashqim freed Joseph? He might have been indebted to him. Instead Hashem wanted Yosef indebted to HKBH alone and not to the Sar hamashqim. Thus "Huzqaq" that the sar hamashqim would forget to show Joseph that Hashem alone was his rescuer.

That is to say, Joseph might have learned the wrong lesson had he successfully used the Sar Hamashqim as his rescuer. And IMHO we also might learn the wrong lesson in seeing Joseph as being "blamed" rather than merely "taught".


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