Parsha: Vayigash (2023)

How do we stay objective? It’s easy to get carried away with self-love, we tend to naturally think we are usually in the right.

In a dramatic twist, in this week’s parsha the brothers of Yosef admit to mistakes they have done to Yosef.

They always thought they were in the right.
In the brothers eyes, Yosef seemed to be quite wrong about things.

Yosef was indeed different. He seemed strange to the brothers. They thought that Yosef had a bizarre, and perhaps dangerous world view.

While the brothers believed in being religious by being secluded. Yosef strongly believed in being involved in the outside world but still staying true to ones beliefs.

The Brothers, thus justified their actions of abandoning Yosef and throwing him into a pit, to be sold into slavery.

But boy were the brothers wrong! Now they see Yosef many years later, emerge from slavery, prison, and loneliness, to become a righteous Jew, and a viceroy for Egypt.

He was the most powerful person in the world, yet humble, committed, and deeply spiritual.

They admitted that they were wrong all these years about Yosef.

In our own lives we take positions, and opinions. How can we make sure we stand with the truth?
One of the treasures of our beautiful heritage is a book of wisdom called “Pirkei Avot” (Eithics of our Father’s). In there, it gives two pieces of advice.
עשה לך רב
וקנה לך חבר

1. Appoint for yourself a spiritual mentor.
3. Acquire for yourself a friend.
This simple and age-old wisdom is what can keep us on track and not blurred by our subjective views.

Firstly, to have objective guidance that is rooted in divine wisdom.
Secondly to have a friend that can point out our faults with love. In a way that only a friend can do.

Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Zalman and Esty