Monday, December 12, 2011

If You Blame, Remember the Gain

by Devora Gila Berkowitz

Parshat Vayeishev

Do you blame yourself over things from the past?

You're in good company, because Reuven does, too. Seeing that his brothers want to kill Yosef, he tries saving him from harm by suggesting that the brothers put Yosef into a pit.  But when Reuven returns, he discovers Yosef missing -- now a slave on the way down to Egypt -- and rents his garments, asking, "Where can I go?" (Bereshit 37:30)

Poor Reuven. He thinks he is in control of all of his actions. He doesn't consider that his good-hearted attempt is an act of divine intervention, all in the context of G-d's overall plan. How? It's the grand plan of bringing the Children of Israel to Egypt into slavery and then redeeming them to give them the holy Torah.

If Reuven pays attention he may see that the numerical value of "Where can I go" is 120, the age at which Moses dies, and therefore a symbol of Israel's redemption from Egypt.

So where can you go in your Reuven-ic consciousness? When you fall to the temptation of blaming yourself, just imagine what tremendous salvation G-d has planned for you.

Or perhaps it's already in front of your eyes, waiting for you to notice?

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