Sustainer of Life
Have you ever been in a situation so dire that it made you question your sanity? Your beliefs? Have you then been fortunate enough to have come full circle, via experiences which explain and even undo the damage because they lead to, or were guided by, a higher purpose?
Joseph, son of Jacob and Rachel, survives precisely this kind of full circle experience in the Parshat haShavua /weekly Torah reading entitled Vayigash/And he approached. Having tested his brothers to make sure they are not the same homicidal, jealous jerks they once were, and finding that they have indeed changed, he himself experiences an epiphany. Joseph realizes that everything until that very moment had been part of God's plan to save the Israelites- his father, brothers and their families, from famine. All of it- from their throwing him into the pit, to their selling him off to slave traders, his ending up in Potiphar's house, his being falsely accused of attempted rape, and thereby, ending up imprisoned, led to his being in a position to become known as an interpreter of dreams and therefore, of use to Pharaoh, who promoted him to second in command and put him in charge of managing the food situation pre- and post-famine. If the horrible turn of events had not happened, neither would the good, redemptive events, which put him in the position to be able to save his famil- and to witness their transformation as well.
We are in the middle of tumultuous times as a country, and as a world. Who can know which event will bring about redemption?As we say in our daily prayers,
" M'chalkeil Chayim/You are the Sustainer of Life...Blessed are You, Source of Redemptive Power".
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