Vayigash: Instant Clarity!
By Rabbi Yonah Burr
אני יוסף העוד אבי חי ולא יכלו אחיו לענות אותו כי נבהלו מפניו
It is I, Yosef. Is my father still alive? And his brothers were unable to respond because they were so taken aback.
It is hard to imagine what the brothers thought throughout this whole episode.
During the period of famine, everyone journeyed to Egypt to purchase food -- without incident. Now it is the brothers' turn. But things keep happening that don't make sense. Why are they singled out to meet the ruler himself? Then, they are accused of espionage -- on what grounds? Stranger still, since when are shoppers required to bring their younger brothers? And what does that younger brother have to do with the charges against them?
These, and other questions, so bothered the brothers, they could only attribute the events to Divine punishment for their sins. Simply, no other explanation was reasonable.
We also go through periods that, to us, are incomprehensible. We wonder, why did this happen? Why me? And what good can possibly come out of this?
We know we must trust in Hashem, but in the meantime, we are totally baffled.
In the case of the brothers, all it took were two words to completely clarify everything:
It is I, Yosef!
These powerful words blazed through the darkness like lightning. In an instant, all became crystal clear. The viceroy, standing before them, was none other than their long-lost brother, Yosef. Through their minds flashed understanding as the dots connected. How he recognized us, why he singled us out, and why he treated us this way. And, moreover, we see how it was all for the good. After all, we were the ones who sold him, but he now is in a position to sustain us and prepare the way to cushion our galus in Mitzrayim.
Our Sages teach us that our final redemption will be this way as well. Every question we asked and tribulation we had to endure will suddenly be clear. Not only will we have answers, but we will realize that the question -- was never even a question.
At times, we may experience this in real-time, other times we need to wait longer. But fortunate we are to live with the knowledge that, eventually, it will all be clear, and that everything is for the good! May we merit it speedily, in our day!
Have a wonderful Shabbos!