102. וַיִּמְצָאֵהוּ אִישׁ וְהִנֵּה תֹעֶה בַּשָּׂדֶה וַיִּשְׁאָלֵהוּ הָאִישׁ לֵאמֹר מַה תְּבַקֵּשׁ. מַה כָּתוּב לְמַעְלָה? וַיֹּאמֶר יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶל יוֹסֵף הֲלוֹא אַחֶיךָ רֹעִים בִּשְׁכֶם לְכָה וְאֶשְׁלָחֲךָ אֲלֵיהֶם. וְכִי יַעֲקֹב הַשָּׁלֵם, שֶׁהָיָה אוֹהֵב אֶת יוֹסֵף מִכָּל בָּנָיו וְהָיָה יוֹדֵעַ שֶׁכָּל אֶחָיו הָיוּ שׂוֹנְאִים אוֹתוֹ, לָמָּה שָׁלַח אוֹתוֹ אֲלֵיהֶם? אֶלָּא הוּא לֹא חָשַׁד עֲלֵיהֶם, שֶׁהָיָה יוֹדֵעַ שֶׁכֻּלָּם הָיוּ צַדִּיקִים וְלֹא חָשַׁד אוֹתָם, אֶלָּא הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא גָּרַם אֶת כָּל זֶה כְּדֵי לְקַיֵּם אֶת הַגְּזֵרָה שֶׁגָּזַר בֵּין הַבְּתָרִים.
“שֶׁשָּׁם עָלוּ שְׁבָטִים שִׁבְטֵי יָהּ עֵדוּת לְיִשְׂרָאֵל לְהֹדוֹת לְשֵׁם יְהוָה.”
“Where the tribes go up, The tribes of YHVH, To the Testimony of Israel, To give thanks to the name of YHVH.”
The twelve tribes represent ‘the Testimony of Israel’ that is the connection from the upper levels that sustains the lower world.
‘To give thanks to the name of YHVH’ is to have the vessel that appreciates all revelations of the Holy One Blessed be He.
“וַיֹּאמֶר יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶל יוֹסֵף הֲלוֹא אַחֶיךָ רֹעִים בִּשְׁכֶם לְכָה וְאֶשְׁלָחֲךָ אֲלֵיהֶם וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ הִנֵּנִי.”
“And Israel said to Joseph, “Are not your brothers feeding the flock in Shechem? Come, I will send you to them.” So he said to him, “Here I am.”
The Zohar asks why did Jacob send Joseph to his brothers when he knew that they hate him, and answers that Jacob did not suspect them because he knew that all his children are righteous.
The Holy One Blessed be He turned the events to fulfill the decree he made during the covenant with Abraham (Genesis 15:13) “וַיֹּאמֶר לְאַבְרָם יָדֹעַ תֵּדַע כִּי גֵר יִהְיֶה זַרְעֲךָ בְּאֶרֶץ לֹא לָהֶם וַעֲבָדוּם וְעִנּוּ אֹתָם אַרְבַּע מֵאוֹת שָׁנָה.”
“Then He said to Abram: “Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs and will serve them, and they will afflict them for four hundred years.”
“רַבּוֹת מַחֲשָׁבוֹת בְּלֶב אִישׁ וַעֲצַת יְהוָה הִיא תָקוּם.”
“Many plans are in a man’s heart, but the purpose of YHVH will prevail.”
On its surface, this statement by King Solomon is somewhat depressing because we could understand that we don’t have much freedom. Whatever we plan may not matter at all, because, in the end, everything follows Hashem’s plan.
Hashem turned the events and made the brothers sell Joseph to merchants that took him to Egypt. Joseph went through a personal process that led him to become the second to Pharaoh. His brothers joined him in Egypt, and later they became slaves until Hashem sent Moses to take them out of Egypt to the Promised Land.
I heard a lesson from Rabbi Yaakov Yosef Kohen Shlita from Israel, quoting Rabbi Zusha of Anapoly giving an explanation about one of the morning blessings;
“ברוך אתה ה’ הגומל חסדים טובים לעמו ישראל”
“Blessed are you, O YHVH, who rewards good graces (Good Chassadim) to his people Israel”
We know that Chassadim is Kindness and mercy and the question is why adding ‘טובים’ ‘Good’?
The explanation that Rabbi Zusha gives has a deep understanding and a great lesson. He says that all of God’s actions are always in the frame of Chassadim. Even the pain that is inflicted on us is still with the aspect of Chassadim because Hashem wants us to follow a process and correct ourselves. The pain that we may experience purifies our souls and earns merits. If the outcome of the process is good then the whole process is considered as Chassadim.
A father that punishes his child for the purpose of helping the child is chassadim. The ‘punishment’ is a corrective action that helps the child make decisions that are good for him.
The difficult process that we go through is a good thing. We should accept the pain and correct ourselves. Even if the process is long and hard, we keep the faith and the certainty that the process has a positive outcome that will come sooner or later. The most important thing is to never give in to darkness and never give up the Light.
When we pray for Good Chassadim, we ask Hashem to help us without a painful process.