"And they took him and cast him into the pit."
Kislev 18, 5771/November 25, 2010
What happens when an individual, a single soul, is torn from his father? When the wrath of his brothers is kindled and his own flesh and blood are set upon him, seeking his death? When he is thrown into a pit, abandoned to fate and the deadly caprice of the scorpions and snakes who slither and scamper over his naked body? When he is brought from the pit and sold to passing Ishmaelite merchants, mercenaries, dealers in human stock, who sell him again, at a neat profit? When he is ordered to be steward of his masters house, and gains mastery of all the possessions found in his master's house, whose master's wife attempts to seduce him, and unsuccessful, accuses him of rape, and he is arrested and convicted and thrown in the pit? Does his souls wither? Do his dreams perish?
The book of Genesis is the book of the patriarchs, Avraham, Yitzchak and Ya'akov. Yet more words are dedicated to the life of Yosef than are dedicated to lives of the three patriarchs, and more details are known about the life of Yosef, his trials and tribulations, than are known about the three patriarchs. For sure, Yosef's life was pivotal to the survival of the nation of Israel. But what is Yosef's life to us today?
On his own but never alone. Yosef never suffered loneliness for he attached himself always to
Of all the patriarchs and sons of Israel who populate the book of Genesis, it is Yosef who most personifies the dilemma of modern man: man's isolation from his fellow man. Yosef, at any time could have fallen through the cracks, never to be heard from again. He could have been just another statistic, lost in the labyrinth of man's cruelty to man. But Yosef prevailed. He took upon himself what is the very heart and soul of Torah teaching: personal responsibility. In this manner it can be said that Yosef fulfilled
Yosef's soul neither withered, nor did his dreams perish. On the contrary, it was his indomitable sense of self and his fidelity to his dreams that carried him through his darkest moments. Ultimately, Yosef was the master of his own fate. We too can gain mastery over our own lives if we, like Yosef, accept upon ourselves the overriding teaching of Torah: personal responsibility for our own actions and an unbreakable bond to
Tune in to this week's Temple Talk as Rabbi Chaim Richman and Yitzchak Reuven ponder American pressures and promises: Will we be guilty of selling Yosef again? The conflict between the righteous Yosef and his holy brothers is a conflict that still effects us to this very day. Will we ever fix the sin of the sale of Yosef? It's high time for the people of Israel to stop selling themselves short, and to stand up to the task that
The Palestinian denial machine has determined, in the name of science, that the Western Wall is not Jewish. Everybody's upset, but they should have been upset long before this...
This week features the new Bat Melech video teaching with Rabbanit Rena Richman, entitled, "The Challenge of Adversity: The suffering and adversity that are a part of life and that are so difficult to comprehend, are nevertheless an expression of
This week also features the new Light to the Nations teaching by Rabbi Chaim Richman, entitled, "A Prayer for Rain: The rain that falls in the land of Israel represents and reflects our spiritual and physical well-being.
Have you ever felt utterly and completely alone? Yosef must have. He was separated from his loving father and his brothers wanted to kill him. Ultimately he was thrown in a pit filled with scorpions and snakes and then sold to some passing Ishmaelites, who in turn sold him into slavery. Yet we're never alone, and if our hearts are turned to
Blessings from the holy city of Jerusalem,
The Temple Institute
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Cast Into the Pit
Posted by David Ben-Ariel at 11:30 AM