Midreshet Amit


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A Piece of the Puzzle

By: Yasmine Sokol and Batsheva Ohayun

In this weeks parsha, Parshat Vayeshev, Yosef was brought down to Egypt by Potifar, an officer of Pharaoh. Hashem was with Yosef and we see from the text that he was a prosperous man. Over time, Yosef gained more power and Pharaoh appointed him head of his house and left all that he had in Yosef’s hands. When Potifars wife tries seducing Yosef, and he refuses, she claims he came on to her and he gets thrown in jail. In jail, he encounters three men- sar haofim, sar hatabachim, and sar hamashkim- and interprets their dreams. Later on in the text, the Torah mentions that he was a good looking man. Wouldn’t it make more sense if that piece of information was brought to us when Yosef was first introduced?

One possible explanation for this is that this is a segway into the story of the encounter with Potifars wife. We found a meaningful way to reason with this seemingly misplaced physical description of Yosef. The more Yosef integrated into Egyptian society, the further he strayed from his roots. Because of how much focus the Egyptians places on sexual malpractices, idol workshop, and physicality, it became easy for Yosef to lose himself and the greater picture. However, when Yosef is thrown in jail after the incident with Potifars wife, he humbled himself by realizing that his talents could only be from Hashem. Selfishness allowed Yosef to stray away from his beliefs, but because of the obstacle God put in his way, Yosef found his way back.

We can learn a valuable from Yosef. When faced with an obstacle, rather than questioning why it happened to me, we should allow ourselves to trust God and to accept that He knows what’s best for us. When God challenges us, we should try to believe that it is only one piece of the puzzle. We might not ever understand why it happened but we can make the best out of the situation and grow from it. As Nili would say, “things are happening for you not to you”. Shabbat Shalom.