10 Dec 2014 Kiddush Hashem
In this week’s Parsha, Parshas Vayeishev, we journey with Yosef from the comfort of his home in the land of Canaan, to the dangers surrounding him in the land of Egypt. Upon arrival in Egypt, Yosef is bought by Potiphar, the chief executioner. “You can imagine,” notes R’ Soloveitchik, “what kind of ‘ethical personality’ this fellow was!”
And yet, this young Hebrew, a stranger in a strange land, separated from his home and his family, from safety and security, finds favor in the eyes of Potiphar. So much so that Potiphar appoints Yosef over his household (Gen.39:1-4).
Potiphar likes Yosef because Yosef was successful in all that he did, and power values success. And why was Yosef so successful? Because Hashem was with him (39:3). Rashi notes that the Name of Heaven was fluent in his mouth (ibid).
Can we imagine the faith of this young boy, orphaned of him mother, hated by his brothers, taken from his father, sold to traveling nomads and transported to Egypt, where he was bought by the brutal Potiphar? Another person may have said – I don’t know where G-d is, but I’m pretty sure He’s not here with me!
Not Yosef, however! Yosef was successful, because Hashem was with him. And Yosef knew that, and spoke of it often. R’ SR Hirsch (Gen.39:2-4) writes that, “If G-d was with Yosef, it must have been because Yosef was with G-d. When man’s purposes coincide with G-d’s purposes, G-d helps man attain these purposes.”
Yosef ha’Tzadik, Yosef the righteous, teaches us that no matter where we are, or who we are dealing with, or what has happened to us, it is always possible to make a kiddush Hashem – to sanctify the Name of Hashem – through our every day actions. We must be sure that the Name of Heaven is always fluent in our mouths; for if we are with Gd, He will surely be with us! Amen v’amen.
Wishing you a good Shabos.