Thursday, December 17, 2015

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Vayigash

The following is a brief summary of some of thoughts said over by R' Frand on the parsha this evening. I have attempted to reproduce these vorts to the best of my ability. Any perceived inconsistency is the result of my efforts to transcribe the shiur and should not be attributed to R' Frand. 

In Bereishis 45:1 the Torah describes Yosef's revelation to his brothers. In so doing the Torah writes that Yosef commanded that everyone should be removed from the room and that therefore "V'Lo Amad Ish Ito" no man stood with Yosef when he made himself known to his brothers.

Rabbi Frand asked why is there the seeming redundancy about not having anyone in the room? Once Yosef commanded that everyone be taken out, did the Torah really need to tell us that therefore no man stood there?

R' Frand answered by making reference to a personal story. About a year and a half ago, R' Frand had been in his office in the Yeshiva and was planning on leaving, but wound up staying a few minutes longer than he intended. When he left, R' Frand drove down to Reisterstown Road and was making a right on a green light when his car was struck by another vehicle. The damage was immense and R' Frand's car was totaled. He said that he, b'h was fine, but his car and some election signs in parking lot were severely damaged.

R' Frand later learned that the car which struck his car was being driven by a fugitive who was running from the US Marshals. The driver hit three other cars before striking R' Frand's car and then ultimately being stopped when it ran into a truck.

R' Frand said that he thought about suing the US Government, but he realized that there would be no claim if they were in hot pursuit of this dangerous person. Instead he made a claim on his policy and got a nice settlement.

R' Frand said that if he were to wonder "if I did not leave a few minutes late this would not have happened" --it would be a sign of kefirah - rejecting Hashem's control of the world. Hashem had decided that this would happen, where it happened and when it happened.

R' Frand quoted R' Shmuel Brazil who explained the pasuk in Parshas Vayigash much in the same way. Yosef could have been upset about what had happened in his life. Indeed, it all traces back to Yosef meeting the Ish in Parshas Vayeshev (Bereishis 37:15). The Torah states that a man (Ish) found Yosef wandering in the field and the man then directed Yosef to where his brothers were in Dosan. Rashi explains that this man was no less than the angel Gavriel.

R' Frand explained that Yosef could have been upset, because had the man not told Yosef where the brothers were, Yosef would not have been sold down to Egypt. However, Yosef was not upset at the chain of events which were caused by the man directing him to his brothers. The man was a manifestation of Hashem which directed Yosef to where he needed to go. Yosef recognized this and this is hinted to by the seeming redundant language of "no man stood". In so doing, Yosef is telling his brothers - "no man stood" in my mind -- this was not a negative event which caused these things in my life.

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