114. וּכְשֶׁיּוֹסֵף נִפְרַד מִמֶּנּוּ, אָז הִתְקַיֵּם בּוֹ, לֹא שָׁלַוְתִּי וְלֹא שָׁקַטְתִּי וְלֹא נָחְתִּי וַיָּבֹא רֹגֶז, שֶׁזֶּה הָיָה קָשֶׁה לְיַעֲקֹב מִכָּל מַה שֶּׁעָבַר. וּבִזְמַן שֶׁיּוֹסֵף נִפְרַד מִמֶּנּוּ מַה כָּתוּב? (בראשית לז) יוֹסֵף בֶּן שְׁבַע עֶשְׂרֵה שָׁנָה הָיָה רֹעֶה וְגוֹ’. וְכָל יְמֵי יַעֲקֹב לֹא הָיָה לוֹ צַעַר כָּזֶה, וְהָיָה בּוֹכֶה כָּל יוֹם עַל אוֹתָן שְׁבַע עֶשְׂרֵה שָׁנָה שֶׁל יוֹסֵף.
115. מַה הֵשִׁיבוּ לוֹ? (שם מו) וְיוֹסֵף יָשִׁית יָדוֹ עַל עֵינֶיךָ. הֲרֵי לְךָ שְׁבַע עֶשְׂרֵה שָׁנִים אֲחֵרוֹת בְּעִנּוּגִים וְתַפְנוּקִים וַהֲנָאוֹת וְכִסּוּפִים. זֶהוּ שֶׁכָּתוּב וַיְחִי יַעֲקֹב בְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם שְׁבַע עֶשְׂרֵה שָׁנָה וְגוֹ’. שָׁנִינוּ, שֶׁכָּל אוֹתָן שָׁנִים שְׁכִינַת כְּבוֹדוֹ שֶׁל הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא נִמְצְאָה עִמּוֹ, וְלָכֵן אֵלּוּ נִקְרְאוּ חַיִּים.
Rabbi Shimon discusses why Jacob had seventeen good years in Egypt. He said that all his life, Jacob experienced troubles and sorrow. When he saw Joseph again it was as if he saw his beloved wife, Rachel. The beauty of Joseph was like Rachel, and Jacob felt as if he had never known sorrow.
“אֵלֶּה תֹּלְדוֹת יַעֲקֹב יוֹסֵף בֶּן שְׁבַע עֶשְׂרֵה שָׁנָה”
“This is the history of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old.”
When Joseph was gone, he was 17 years old. It was very difficult for Jacob, and he was crying every day for the loss the seventeen years of Joseph. His life was as it is written “I am not at ease, nor am I quiet; I have no rest, for trouble comes.” and explained in #112.
“אָנֹכִי אֵרֵד עִמְּךָ מִצְרַיְמָה וְאָנֹכִי אַעַלְךָ גַם עָלֹה וְיוֹסֵף יָשִׁית יָדוֹ עַל עֵינֶיךָ.”
“I will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also surely bring you up again; and Joseph will put his hand on your eyes.”
Before going down to Egypt with his sons and all of his offspring God told Jacob that he will reconnect with Joseph.
Jacob lived 17 good years in Egypt with pleasure and all these years he had the Shechina with him. The Shechina is life and that is why it says ‘lived’ and not ‘settled’ or ‘reside’.
“וַיְחִי יַעֲקֹב בְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם, שְׁבַע עֶשְׂרֵה שָׁנָה”
“And Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years. ”
Jacob had a ‘happy ending’ when the Shechina returned to him after he knew and saw that Joseph is alive. The sorrow of many years passed as if it never happened.
Happy ending is when we live with the Light of the Shechina. We enjoy easier life with the certainty that the Light of the Shechina is with us. We experience difficult times when we are far from the Light.
If we keep in our minds that times of sorrow are only a temporary state of distance from the Light, we will have a happy ending. And remember that if you don’t see the happy ending, it means that it is not the end.