Parashat Mikeitz 5768
These days we live in a NOW society. Everyone wants instant gratification for their efforts. Fast food was one thing, but with a drive through we don’t need to leave our cars. Instant coffee sped up an already fast process of making a drink that would help us move faster. Virtually every device we carry can get us our email, news, and any form of information we need want. All of it is right at the tips of our fingers, twenty-four hours a day.
In this week’s parasha we find Joseph in jail after being framed for a crime he didn’t commit. Pharaoh had a dream, and none of hissorcerers could interpret the dream. Two years earlier the Pharaoh’s Cupbearer had been in jail with Joseph. Joseph successfully interpreted the dream of not only the Cupbearer, but also Pharaoh’s Baker. The events of the dreams came out exactly has Joseph had interpreted, exactly when he said they would. As the Cupbearer we being freed, Joseph asked the Cupbearer to remember him. It was only now, two years later, that Pharaoh, lacking an interpretation, is told of this incident.
Pharaoh likes Joseph’s interpretation, and also accepts the suggestion that Joseph makes. In accepting the suggestion, Joseph is elevated to the status of second in command in all of the land of Egypt. The only one superior to Joseph in all of Egypt was Pharaoh. It took two years, but Joseph is finally freed from prison, and is now the Viceroy of Egypt.
For all of us who live in a NOW society, everyday of those two years would be excruciating. Why is that? We lack an understanding of the bigger picture. It seems like a horrible injustice that Joseph was even in jail in the first place, after being falsely accused of a crime. Is it fair that he should have two spend two years in jail, despite being innocent?
Let’s review the events leading up to this. Joseph is thrown into a pit by this brothers and then sold into slavery. Potipher purchases him as a slave. Potipher’s wife accuses Joseph of trying to attack her, and Joseph is thrown into jail. He interprets the dreams of the Cupbearer and Baker, which leads to him the opportunity to interpret Pharaoh’s dream. Because of this, he becomes Pharaoh’s right hand man. What happens after this? The famine causes Joseph’s family (essentially the entire Jewish people) to move to Egypt. In Egypt they are made slaves. After the ten plagues, the Jews are freed and leave with all the gold, silver, and wealth of the Egyptians. This is in fulfillment of the promise that Hashem made to Abraham, “You shall surely know that your seed will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and they will enslave them and oppress them, for four hundred years. And also the nation that they will serve will I judge, and afterwards they will go forth with great wealth,” (Genesis 15:13-14).
This event was in the making for generations! Was it a bad thing that Joseph was taken to jail? If he had not been thrown into jail, would the Jewish people be freed from slavery, only to receive the Torah at Mt. Sinai? We are a NOW society, but Hashem has a big plan for all of us. We can’t see the future, and rarely understand the past. It is only Hashem, however, that can see the entire picture all at the same time. When things don’t seem to be going your way, don’t fret. Hashem has it all worked out, and it will for sure be the best thing for you.
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someone you think would not.