MiKetz - ”at the end of” - Genesis 41:1-44:17

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Genesis 41:

  1. And it came to pass at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh dreamed; and, behold, he stood by the river:
  2. And, behold, there came up from the river seven cows sleek and fat; and they fed in the reed grass:
  3. And, behold, seven other cows came up after them from the river, gaunt and thin; and stood by the other cows upon the brink of the river:
  4. And the gaunt and thin cows ate the seven sleek and fat cows; And Pharaoh awoke:
  5. And he slept and dreamed the second time; and, behold, seven ears of grain came up upon one stalk, plump and good:

We start with pharaoh’s dreams, and the beginning of Yospeh’s ascension of the political ladder from prison.     The whole of Yoseph’s life thorugh out this has been one of a righteous man being brought down and tested.  From a favorable place in his father’s house, which was obvious even to those initial Yishmaelites who took him to Mitzrayim. 

When we are lowest, we tend to seek Yahweh’s face the most.  Yoseph could not be any lower than he was at this point.  He’s been thrown into a pit, stripped of his fancy coat, sold as a slave twice (3 times according to the book of Jasher), his master’s wife had attempted to seduce him constantly for a year (indications are that she was quite attractive), and he has been in prison now for 13 years.  During this time in prison he has repeatedly been lifted up in his captivity.   He has been lifted up because he has always acted righteously in all that he put his hand to.  He did all as if he were doing for YHWH, and trusted in Him to provide for all his needs.

Now he is rushed out of the prison and prepared for presentation to Pharaoh.  Why “rushed”? Since every letter of Torah is important, there must be a reason for him being “rushed”.   I found this in the course of researching other commentaries:

Sforno (classic commentary of Rabbi Ovadya Sforno of Rome and Bologna; 1470-1550) explains that all redemptions happen instantaneously. Similar to the story of the Exodus, when the just liberated Jewish nation had no time to allow their dough to rise, from whence came matzos, so too Yosef's personal liberation happened instantaneously, as one moment he was incarcerated and seconds later he was out of jail. Chofetz Chaim (Rabbi Yisrael Meir HaKohen Kagan of Radin; 1838-1933; author of basic works in Jewish law, thought and ethics and famous for his saintly qualities) takes this theme further, explaining that every event in world history, whether viewed as positive or negative, has an appointed time. When the moment destined to be historic arrives, G-d does not delay a second. Yosef's moment had arrived, and he was out "as quick as a flash."

We should expect Y’shua to arrive in a similar fashion.  When our redemption comes, it is time to move, not wait around.

A couple of years ago, my wife and I were praying with a woman from one of our local synagogues.  During the prayer, it was asked that a way be presented that I could go to Yisrael at little to no cost for myself.  Inside I kind of smirked at the idea.  Why would anyone send me to Yisrael for free.  Six months later I was presented with just such an opportunity.  I had 72hrs notice.  I had no passport.  I could get one in 24hrs if needed.  But all I could think of was my job and supporting my family.  If I did this, I would certainly lose my job.  I had just had harsh words with a man who was not supporting his family by choice, and was concerned about the impression that I would give in being a hypocrit.  I did not go.  A voice in my head told me that it would be the last time I would get a chance to go while there was a form of peace in the land.  Two days after I would have returned I was offered a new position at another company, which I immediately took.   A month or so later the Palestinian Arabs began blowing themselves up.  YHWH had already provided for my needs, and I didn’t trust in Him at the time, though I said that I did… I needed to see something, something tangible.  It was a tough lesson.  Perhaps in the future I will be more prepared, or more ready to move when He tells me to do so. 

It is said that when you repent of a sin, you will be presented with the same or similar opportunity again, to see if you have really repented or was it just words.

Ya’acov was not prepared at any of his moves from place to place, yet when the call came he went.  When we are given the command to go, we must be ready to move.  In the future, we may be called to flee from an area or to an area.  Our decision to move immediately or not may cost us our lives, or the lives of others.  Will we be will to drop everything and go? Or will we do as I did in the past and hesitate?  It is far easier to say “I will go” than it is to say “ I will wait”, but the reality is that the opposite is true in practice.

Shabbat Shalom.