Sunday, December 16, 2012

Ben Telushkin, Yosef, and Me

Ben Telushkin concludes his essay this week in The Jewish Week (which I cited here) with these words:

"God’s essence can be blurred by outer garments. What must be remembered is that even when Joseph (or God’s purpose) seems to be gone, he (or He) may still be in the room, the one to whom you’re talking, unaware. "

It brought to mind these words, which I wrote about six years ago:

Yaakov awakens from his Ladder Dream and says "G-d was in this place, and I - I did not know." And then he builds an altar of sorts. There are many meanings in his words. One is that we sometimes miss G-d being in a place - and G-d is in every place.

G-d is in this place
and I, I don't understand
Can I? I wonder.

That poem and explanation is from the post entitled "5 Poems and 5 Explanations."

Telushkin's article about Yosef's  consistency also reminded me of my recent parsha piece. In particular the following two parts seemed in sync.

"Her first born son inherited this trait. He is our one ancestor that we refer to consistently with the title of tzadik. He was righteous as a child, chosen as his father to be a leader. He had tremendous piety, and also great love for his brothers. When asked what he was searching for he replied, "I seek my brothers." And that never changed. Years later he tells them that he is still that same brother that they sold - he loved them and wanted unity with them and that never changed. We know the tremendous tests he passed in relation to temptation and straying from faith. There is also a story here of a brother who never strayed from his wish to be close to his brothers."

That's mine.

Underneath Joseph’s garments and disguises is his unchanging obedience to live according with God’s will, as he explains to Pharaoh and Potiphar’s wife.

That's his.


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