Thursday, December 22, 2016

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Vayeshev

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.

Within the story of Yosef sitting in jail in Egypt is the interpretation of the dreams of the butler and baker. When Yosef tells the butler the meaning of his dream, the Torah recounts in Bereishis 40:13 that Yosef tells him that in three days he will be restored to his old position and that he will place Pharaoh's cup in Pharaoh's hand as was his former practice when he was the cup bearer. 

R' Frand quoted R' Akiva Eiger who asked - why does the Torah need to tell us at the end of the pasuk the mechanics of what the butler did and will do? Why not just say that he will get his old job back? What is added by telling him that he will put the cup back in Pharaoh's hand just like originally?

R' Akiva Eiger also asked on the next pasuk wherein Yosef says "Ki Im Zechartani" - which implies that this is happening so that you will remember me. Why not just say - please remember me?

R' Akiva Eiger answered his questions by stating that if Yosef had just told him that he was getting his job back, the butler would have been a nervous wreck. After all, if he was jailed simply because a fly fell in the wine, what would stop it from happening again. And the next time that the fly was in the wine, he could lose his head. 

In order to calm down the butler, Yosef tells him that he did not do anything wrong. He definitely checked the wine each time. Yosef was telling him that this happened because it is the hand of Hashem. You were put in jail because Hashem wanted this to happen, but it wont happen again. Hashem put you there so that you would meet me and be the vehicle for me to get out of jail. So relax, there wont be another fly in the cup and you will go back to doing all the things that you used to do for Pharaoh.

R' Frand next told a story about the President's Conference of Torah U'Mesorah which took place last weekend. One of the speakers was Gary Turgo (sp?) who is involved in many Jewish organizations in Detroit. He told a story of hashgacha pratis which related to Blue Cross-Blue Shield. He had attended a meeting of Blue Cross-Blue Shield where he intended to announce that he was going to resign as he had completed all that he needed to do there. And while he was at the meeting he got a text message from someone who had a loved one in the hospital in NY and needed an operation. 

The problem was that Blue Cross-Blue Shield had not approved the operation and time was of the essence. The person wanted to know of Mr. Turgo knew anyone at Blue Cross-Blue Shield who could help. Since Mr. Turgo was siting next to the head of Blue Cross-Blue Shield, he showed her his phone and within five minutes the operation was approved.

And he did not resign his post.

This was a Ki Im Zechartani situation - this is why he was on the board of Blue Cross-Blue Shield.

Mr. Turgo told another story about a call he got from someone who was questioning how Mr. Turgo could be the President of a particular bank. The man had a mortgage with the bank and had fallen behind after the death of his wife. The bank was foreclosing on the mortgage. But the man owed all of $5,000 on the mortgage and the house was worth several hundred thousand dollars. Mr. Turgo looked into it and found out that the bank had sold the mortgage to another bank which had no allegiance to the man and was foreclosing. Mr. Turgo stepped in and paid off the final $5,000.

After paying off the mortgage, Mr. Turgo never heard from the man again. But at some point later he was contacted and advised that the man had died and that in his will, the man left his house to Mr. Turgo with the direction that he should give the house to whichever charity he deemed worthy. 

And that was why he was the bank president. Another Ki Im Zechartani moment.

R' Frand remarked that the moment may not be as dramatic as what happened to Mr. Turgo, but we all have these Ki Im Zechartani moments, we just need to recognize them.

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