Vol 25.28 - Vayeshev 2 Spanish French Audio Video
(5746) Difference in the wording of the verses (Gen. 39:3) "the L-rd made prosper in his hand." and (Gen. 39:23) "the L-rd made
prosper." - two ways and steps in the success of Joseph. And so too with the redemption of the Alter Rebbe
1. In today’s Parsha, it tells about the time that Yosef was in a situation that is the opposite of freedom, in Egypt. This comprised two levels (one below the other). First, he was a slave in the house of Potiphar, and afterwards – through the tumult of Potiphar’s wife – he was thrown into prison (בית הסהר).
And in both situations, G-d was with Yosef and caused him to be greatly successful, so much so that in the first case, Potiphar appointed him “over his house, and all he had he gave into his hand . . So he left all that he had in Yosef's hand, and he knew nothing about what was with him etc.”
And afterwards, in the second case, the minister of the prison appointed him over “all the prisoners who were in the prison . . (so much so) that “the warden of the prison did not inspect anything [that was] in his (Yosef's) hand, for the L-rd was with him”.
We find however, that in the manner in which the Torah brought about the success of Yosef in prison, that there is a clear distinction over the manner in which his success was expressed in the house of Potiphar.
Regarding Yosef’s success in Potiphar’s house, the verse states:
“Whatever he (Yosef) did the L-rd made prosper in his hand”
Whereas regarding Yosef’s success in prison, the Torah uses the phrase:
“And whatever he did the L-rd made prosper”,
and it does not state, and omits the word “in his hand” (בְּיָדוֹ).
2. One can understand this, according to the explanation of the Tzemach Tzedek on the verse:
“The L-rd was with Yosef, and he was a successful man”
“Success is an aspect of Mazal as we call a success person a ‘Bar Mazal’, ‘Glick’ (lucky) in the vernacular”.
Mazal is not a thing that a person attains through his effort, but rather it is a gift from Above, as it states:
“The L-rd was with Yosef, and he was a successful man”.
Which is why, the aspect of “Mazal” manifests itself in a supernatural (איבערנאטירלעכער) success, which a person, with his own power, cannot attain.
However even in this “success”, there are two manners:
3. And this is the difference between the two manners of success of Yosef:
[And for this reason the verse emphasizes “And all that he did” – since the (primary) indication of “his master” that Yosef was a “successful person” was because he had success in “all that he did”. He was constantly successful in all that he did, and this persuaded (איבערצייגט) everyone that he was a “Bar Mazal”, a successful person].
“And whatever he did the L-rd made prosper”.
Whatever little Yosef did, one immediately saw that “the Hand of G-d made this”. This is not a thing which Yosef had in his power to accomplish, but rather this could come about only by G-d alone. Therefore, one did not see in this, the “hand” (and deed) of Yosef, but just – that “the L-rd made prosper”.
[And therefore, the precise wording “And all that he did” was not relevant, since the main emphasis is on the quality of the success, which is not in the realm of people (and a person) but rather “the L-rd made prosper”].
4. The reason for the difference between the two manners of Yosef’s success, is connected with the difference in Yosef’s condition:
The explanation of this is:
The receptacle (כלי) for G-dly success (which is above nature) is as it states clearly in the verse: “But to this one will I look, to one poor and of crushed spirit” – meaning: Bitul.
The less a person feels his ego and being (ישות און מציאות), the more “G-d is with him” (visibly). In his actions, he sees, even more, the power of G-d.
And in this, is manifested the difference between the condition of servant
(And especially in the house of Potiphar – the minister, and a great minister, than a general minster of Egypt)
and the condition of a prisoner (in prison).
A servant, even though “Whatever a servant acquires, his Master acquires it” – meaning that he is not a being for himself, nevertheless does not mean that he is not a being at all. There is, in actuality, a being that accomplishes (and even great things). For this is, indeed, the purpose of a servant, to work and accomplish.
Yet just as he is an acquisition of his master, so too his entire work and accomplishment (as a servant) is not a thing which belongs to him, but rather it belongs to his master.
Whereas, a “prisoner’s” aspect is
(Not to do and accomplish, but rather),
the opposite. He is (“imprisoned”) bound, fenced in (פארצאמט) and denied the possibility to work and accomplish anything, even that which he is talented and able to do. He is, at all times, and in all his aspects, not one who can move (ניט קיין מהלך) and certainly not one who can advance from one level to another etc.
[and because of this, even when one forces a prisoner to do labor etc. – the labor has no relation to him, as being the one who performed the labor.]
(like the part of the body of the servant).
5. Similarly, this is the difference regarding Yosef:
While he was in Potiphar’s house, Yosef (as he was “brought down to Egypt”) was a servant to Potiphar. In conjunction with this, it evoked that also his Avodat HaShem should be in the level of a servant (a servant of G-d). His entire being is the being of his Master. And this is the (inner) reason why Yosef’s success first came to be revealed in the fifth reading and later in our Parsha, for, due to the Bitul to G-d which his servitude brought him to – it evoked within him that: “The L-rd was with Yosef, and he was a successful man. . and all that he did the L-rd made prosper in his hand”.
However, since in this manner, even after the Bitul, there is still, the existence of a “hand” of the servant – therefore even the G-dly success is (just) in a manner of “the L-rd made prosper in his hand” (as aforementioned). The G-dly success is enclothed in (and therefore measured according) to his “hand” and deed.
When, however, Yosef was thrown into prison, which revealed within him a complete Bitul to G-d, he became like one who is null and void mamosh (כאין ואפס ממש). Therefore, even the G-dly success came in a manner of “whatever he did the L-rd made prosper” – a success which is not in the realm of a “person”, but rather, one sees, at the outset, that this is through the Hand of G-d (as aforementioned).
And even though that also this success is connected with the hand (and deed) of Yosef, as the verse emphasizes that “whatever he did the L-rd made prosper”,
[And similarly, one emphasizes that there exists “his hand” - nevertheless “The warden of the prison did not inspect anything that was in his (Yosef's) hand”].
Since however, Yosef stood in a state of complete (פולשטענדיקן) Bitul to G-d, which does not allow any place, at all, to feel one’s individual being (like a prisoner in prison) – even his “hand” (and deed) are insignificant (nit tofeis makom).
Therefore, the G-dly success in his deed, was not contracted and limited according to the boundaries of the “hand” of a created being, but rather it is a G-dly aspect that is completely above nature, so much so that one does not discern the “hand” and deed of Yosef, but rather just that “the L-rd made prosper”.
6. According to the above, one could resolve another puzzlement in Rashi with regard to the flow of the aforementioned verses:
In the verse “And his master (Potiphar) saw that the L-rd was with him, and whatever he (Yosef) did the L-rd made prosper in his hand”, Rashi explains:
“the L-rd was with him: The name of Heaven was frequently in his mouth”.
Why must Rashi, at all, address this?
And moreover. Why must he forewarn that the words “the L-rd was with him” means
(not like the simple understanding as it appears, that G-d is with him, but rather)
that “The name of Heaven was frequently in his mouth”?
In the previous verse: “The L-rd was with Yosef, and he was a successful man”, Rashi does not comment at all. In other words, he learns the words, like the simple understanding
(and not that “The name of Heaven was frequently in his mouth”).
Similarly, in the later verse:
”The warden of the prison did not inspect anything in his hand, for the L-rd was with him etc.”
Rashi explains that the meaning of: “the L-rd was with him” is “Because the L-rd was with him” (בשביל שה' אתו). From this it is understood that even here, Rashi learns that the words “the L-rd was with him” are meant literally, namely that G-d is with him and therefore he has success.
So, from where does Rashi learn that the explanation of “the L-rd was with him” in the verse: “And his master (Potiphar) saw” means (according to the simple understanding of the verse) that “The name of Heaven was frequently in his mouth?
The explanation of this is:
It states here: “And his master saw that the L-rd was with him”, namely that Potiphar saw that “G-d is with him”.
The question arises:
Granted, he (Potiphar) saw the supernatural success of Yosef. Yet from where did Potiphar know to relate Yosef’s success to G-d? Especially at that time, where Potiphar (like all the Egyptians) worshipped idols and did not know about the existence of G-d?!
Therefore, Rashi must explain that “The name of Heaven was frequently in his mouth”:
Yosef constantly, in everything and in every situation, mentioned G-d as the ruler of the world.
[Similar to what we previously learned that Yaakov said to Yitzchak “Because the L-rd, your G-d, brought it about for me.” And as Rashi explains there that Yitzchak said “(It is unusual for Esav to have) the name of Heaven frequently in his mouth”].
Therefore, Potiphar knew that Yosef’s success was because “G-d is with him” (like he always heard from Yosef).
However in the verse “The L-rd was with Yosef, and he was a successful man”. And similarly in the verse: “The warden of the prison did not inspect anything in his hand, for (Because/בשביל) the L-rd was with him etc.” - where it speaks
(not that Potiphar (or the warden of the prison) saw that “G-d is with him”, but rather)
regarding the thing itself, namely that the reason for Yosef’s success is because “G-d is with him”. There is no other foundation other than the Pshat and to explain that: “The name of Heaven was frequently in his mouth”.
7. A question however remains on the verse itself:
Since, even while in prison, Yosef certainly always had “The name of Heaven frequently in his mouth”. And therefore, even the warden of the prison knew that “G-d is with him” – why does the verse not state that even the warden of the prison saw that “G-d is with him” (“The name of Heaven is frequently in his mouth”)?
According to the aforementioned, however it is understood:
Since the aspect of “The name of Heaven is frequently in his mouth” is a reason and cause
(not only that “And his master saw” – Potiphar‘s seeing that “G-d is with him” – but also)
on the essential thing (which is stated later) that “and whatever he did the L-rd made prosper”.
Since Yosef was permeated with G-dliness in a manner of “The name of Heaven frequently in his mouth”, meaning that by every deed and occurrence he mentioned the name of Heaven, therefore he was a receptacle to the Supernal success – “the L-rd made prosper in his hand”.
This however is only with regard to the first case of success which he had while in the house of Potiphar, as it states: “and he was a successful man”, “the L-rd made prosper in his hand” meaning that he was a “successful person” since his conduct was fitting for this. For in all his deeds, it was emphasized that he is constantly connected with G-dliness.
However in the higher manner of success: “whatever he did the L-rd made prosper”, the emphasis of “The name of Heaven frequently in his mouth” is not relevant. For the Bitul of “The name of Heaven frequently in his mouth” is similar to the Bitul of a servant (whose hand is like the hand of his master). There is “his mouth”. However, the aspect of “his mouth” is that through his mouth the “name of Heaven” is revealed (“The name of Heaven frequently in his mouth”).
However the innovation of this success (in prison) is in that which Yosef’s being is not felt at all (including his “mouth”), but rather his entire being is as aspect of “the L-rd made prosper”.
8. The Chag HaGeulah of the Alter Rebbe, the Baal HaTanya and the Shulchan Aruch, occurs in most years, in the week of Parshat Vayeshev.
One finds that even regarding the Alter Rebbe’s Geulah, the success was in both manners, similar to Yosef haTzaddik - that it was a “successful man” as well as “whatever he did the L-rd made prosper”.
Chassidim tell us that when the Alter Rebbe was sitting in prison, the ministers of the kingdom who questioned and interrogated him (and also the king himself), were greatly amazed by his great wisdom and they saw that he is a “G-dly man” (one who has Ruach HaKodesh (Divine inspiration) etc.) This is similar to the first case of the success of Yosef that he was a “successful man” (due to his being a “holy man” – “The name of Heaven was frequently in his mouth”).
However in the redemption itself, there was an even greater category of success, as the Alter Rebbe writes in his well-known letter that the ministers “answered and said: ‘This was from the L-rd; it is wondrous in our eyes’“.
In addition that that which they recognized that the Alter Rebbe is a “G-dly man” – his Geulah was such a great wonder which was completely not in the realm of nature. So much so that even in the eyes of the ministers of the kingdom, it was “wondrous and amazing” (היתה זאת הפלא ופלא) and they announced that “This was from the L-rd”.
The emphasis here is not that this is a success of the Alter Rebbe as a “G-dly man” (a servant of G-d) – but rather that they visibly saw in this, the “Hand of G-d” – similar to “whatever he did the L-rd made prosper”.
For while he was in prison (similar to Yosef haTzaddik), the Alter Rebbe suffered very extreme afflictions (גרויסע יסורים).
And plainly, in addition to the spiritual afflictions and the bodily afflictions of the imprisonment, he, at that time, could not engage in the spreading of Torat HaChassidut and the spreading of Torah in general.
[As has been mentioned previously, at length, that this is the precise intent in the Sicha of the Rebbe Rashab that the imprisonment was similar to the crushing of an olive (“just as the olive produces its oil only after crushing”).
At the time of the crushing, the olive does not possess any of the two virtues: Not the later virtue of the oil, which comes out afterward, and not the previous virtue when it is a fruit.
Similarly, it is in the lesson:
At the time of his imprisonment the Alter Rebbe could not spread the wellsprings of Torat HaChassidut, even not in the manner as it was before the imprisonment, and certainly not according to the aspect of “bringing forth oil”, of after the imprisonment].
This is an aspect of “smallness” (קטנות) and Bitul. Therefore through this, there was drawn down the Supernal success, in a manner that everyone said that “This was from the L-rd”.
And this success, was later drawn down to all of the Alter Rebbe’s adherents and those that follow in his footsteps, as the Rebbe Rayatz told us many times, that due to the Mesirat Nefesh of the Alter Rebbe, it was ruled in the Heavenly court that “in every aspect of Torah, fear of heaven and Middot Tovot, the hand of (all) his adherents and those that follow in his footsteps will be on the upper hand”.
m’Sichas Shabbat Parshat Vayeshev 5744, 5745
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