Wednesday, December 01, 2010

The ONE to Rely On

This week's Torah portion is named, "At the Conclusion of". ("מקץ" in Hebrew)

Its content speaks of how Joseph, having been a slave, becomes the king's viceroy - the highest office in Egypt next to the king's. What's more, this positions he attains suddenly, by way of a miracle, while in captivity.

Joseph had tried to free himself, relying on his own resources, by seeking favor with the king's wine butler. This is why, our sages tell us, Joseph was punished. This is why his imprisonment had been lengthened by an additional two full years. Thus the verse, "And then, at the conclusion of two years, …."

The lesson this teaches us is - a person's salvation comes only from Hashem; And we should request only Hashem's help and only in Hashem should we put our hopes.

With our own powers, or with the support of people with better connections, we can lighten our travails, but we cannot do so if we completely rely on them and forget that without Hashem's help nothing can be accomplished.

So, how do we achieve redemption and emerge "At the Conclusion of" our troubles? Not by toil or seeking favor even with ties to royalty. Rather, we must hope Hashem will release us from punishment and only then will our problems conclude. Only then would we secure the solace we seek, although the source of which we'd not know wherefrom it comes or in what manner it will arrive.

What's true for the individual holds true for the collective body as well. A salvation "At the Conclusion of" exile will come when sin is forgiven, and not by any other means. And it will come in a most unexpected manner.

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