Forethoughts and Afterthoughts.
Commentary on the weekly Torah reading.
In memory of Father, Yosef Ben Zelig.
March 25th 1911 - May 2nd 2008
In memory of Mother, Nechama Bas Tzvi Hirsh.
June 9th 1925 - April 16th 2003
In memory of Uncle, Moshe Binyamin Ben Tzvi Hirsh.
December 12 1929 - February 2nd 2010
In Loving Memory of Moreinu Horav Shmuel Yaakov Weinberg, Rosh HaYeshiva Ner Yisroel
Chukas (Numbers 19-22)
Vayeshev (Genesis 37-40)
40:23 And the cup bearer did not remember Yosef (Joseph), and he forgot (about) him.
The end of this Torah reading leaves Yosef in what appears to be a totally hopeless situation. He is wrongly viewed and treated as a criminal in a foreign and friendless land, spurned by his brothers and cut off from the rest of his family.
In just a few verses later we find him appointed viceroy of Egypt, second to Pharaoh
Eventually, the brothers that sold him into slavery bow down to Yosef, who sustains them and all their families.
The contrast is startling.
Rav Bick of blessed memory comments that this is an indication of how G-D manages history.
The magnitude of a salvation is embedded in the contrast between its before and after states. A great salvation is always preceded by a situation that is greatly hopeless.
This is why Rabbi Akiva almost rejoiced when he saw a fox run into the ruins of the Temple. The magnitude of destruction that he witnessed brought him to reflect on the magnitude of the restoration, may it come speedily in our days.
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