Joseph in America
By Nachum Mohl
The story of Joseph in the Torah is very interesting. He was sold by his brothers as a slave and ended up becoming the second to the Egyptian king. If we look at it in respect to what is happening in America it becomes even more startling.
To review the story of Joseph, remember that Joseph was the favorite son of Jacob. Jacob had altogether twelve sons, but Joseph was his favorite. Joseph had dreams that the brothers and parents would come to bow down to him and the brothers resented him.
One day when the brothers had taken the flock far way from the father, Jacob sent Joseph out to visit them. They saw him coming, cooked up a plan to get rid of him and ended up selling him into slavery.
Even though Joseph was in Egypt, G-d was with him and helped him succeed. As a slave, Joseph was very industrious and successful in all matters that his master gave him so much that his master made him to be the head and overseer of every matter in his home. Joseph was very handsome and his master's wife desired him and because he refused her, he ended up in jail.
In jail too, he was industrious and successful and was given special tasks to perform. In jail with him were the cook and wine servant of the king (Pharaoh). These two servants of the king had inexplicable dreams and Joseph interpreted them correctly for them. One was to be hanged and the other returned to his post and so it was.
After this had happened the king himself had two dreams that no one could interpret to Pharaoh's acceptance. The servant mentioned that Joseph understood how to interpret dreams and so Pharaoh called Joseph who came and successfully interpreted Pharaoh's dreams explaining that there were coming seven years of great harvests followed by seven years of great famine.
Pharaoh, convinced that Joseph indeed possessed great vision and understanding, appointed Joseph as vizier over all Egypt. During the seven years of plenty Joseph collected as much grains as possible to tide Egypt over during the seven years of famine.
Came the seven years of famine and even in the land of Canaan (Israel today) there was a famine. Jacob and his remaining sons needed grain and the only place to get it was Egypt so they like many others went there to purchase it.
Through a long scenario Joseph confronted his brothers who had sold him into slavery. When they tried to apologize for the terrible act that they had committed, Joseph told them that it was not them who caused him to be brought down to Egypt but G-d who did this so that Joseph should be able to help them out during this time of terrible famine.
But what does this all have to do with us?
from the January 2014 Edition of the Jewish Magazine
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