Gen. 40 – Mistakes

Dear family and friends, our discussion in Genesis 40 focuses’ on mistakes. No one is perfect. Some of us repeat the same mistake over and over.  What are we to do? The Torah Says, An Offense was Committed!’

Genesis 40.1-23

וַיְהִי אַחַר הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה חָטְאוּ מַשְׁקֵה מֶלֶךְ־מִצְרַיִם וְהָאֹפֶה לַאֲדֹנֵיהֶם לְמֶלֶךְ מִצְרָיִם:ס

When we examine the fifth Word of Genesis 40.1, we learn of the error. The fifth Word is חָטְאוּ Chaw Tih Voo meaning mistake. Dear ones, each of us knows how easy it is to make a mistake. It is easy to be careless. We make mistakes. What follows after one makes a mistake is very important.

And it happened after these Words, Things, Events]

that a sin was committed…

that a transgression happened…

that atonement was necessary…

that a transgression occurred…

that whatever Word you choose to place here happened.

When one is in an employment setting, one would like to think that if they made a mistake that they would be given another chance. If one is in a relationship and one makes a mistake, one would like to think that there would be some room for forgiveness that one would have another chance…

Yet, dear ones, it is not always like this. We have all heard of the straw that broke the camel’s back. What does that mean?

We are going to try and share about working through difficulties. We are going to try to examine fairness in relationships. Our story unfolds in Egypt with the Chief Cupbearer and the Chief Baker being charged with a crime against the King.

Egypt was a tough place for government officials.

Joseph was thrown in prison on false charges. He served 12 years in prison on false accusations. Some knew the allegations were false. Yet, because a dignitaries wife brought the charges, Joseph was imprisoned. Even though Joseph was a righteous man because an important person accused him, he was incarcerated in prison.

Officials looked the other way.

The Chief Cupbearer, the one who was responsible for tasting the King’s wine, failed to perform his duties responsibly. His responsibility for tasting the wine before serving it to the king. If he died from the wine, then the king would not drink it. Well, on a particular day, the king found a fly in the Royal Goblet. It is possible that the fly could have fallen into the Royal Goblet. However, a little pebble was also found. This indicated to the king that the Cupbearer had failed in his essential responsibility of tasting the wine.

The Chief Baker was also arrested because he was in the general area. It was possible that he may have been involved. It may also indicate that the baker was neglectful in his responsibilities. He may have even planted the pebble in the wine. It may be that the pebble fell out…

Three days later, on Pharaoh’s birthday, the Chief Baker was hung.

Our discussion is about making mistakes and how we react to our mistakes. When we examine the fifth Word of Genesis 40.1, we learn of the error and the degree of the error. Pharaoh considered the error very serious. The Chief Baker paid with his life. Hopefully, our failures are not nearly as serious. Many factors affect the issues we have with human behavior.


Chaw Tih Voo – mistake

ח8 ט9 א1 ו6 = 24


Dak – Oppressed

ד4 ך20 = 24

Psalms 74.21

Ooh, let not the oppressed return ashamed; let the poor and needy praise your name.

Dear ones, it is easy to make a mistake. It is easy to sin. It is also easy to beat ourselves up when we struggle to overcome mistakes. Sometimes we oppress ourselves for failing to overcome mistakes. We try, and we strive to overcome making the same mistakes. Mystically the Gematria of חָטְאוּ Chaw Tih Voo – meaning ‘to make a mistake’ and דַּךְ Dak – meaning ‘to be oppressed’ are each 24. There are many other Gematrias that are also related to these.

Exodus 15.26

And said, If you will diligently listen to the voice of The Lord your God, and will do that which is right in his sight, and will give ear to His Commandments, and keep all His Statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon you, which I have brought upon the Egyptians; for I am The Lord that heals you.

We learn that our mistakes have consequences for us and for those we love. All of humanity is related regardless of the color of our skin. Our DNA LEDs back to Noah and his wife, Na’amah. Sin impacts us in ways that we cannot imagine!

For years I have suffered from sleep deprivation. I wear a BiPAP with oxygen. Thank God for modern technology. Sleep deprivation can affect one’s judgment. Sleep deprivation can affect how one reacts to situations. Lack of sleep and clarity of thought can affect one’s choice of words. I make mistakes simply because I do not get enough sleep.

If one has medical issues, they may make mistakes. I know of several individuals that just fall asleep without warning. Think of what that may cause. G-d Forbid others to have medical emergencies that might cause mistakes… If one is on medication, that can alter one’s ability to perform. If one uses drugs or alcohol, that may have an impact on one. If one has a stressful day at work… if one has an aggravating drive home… if something is annoying…

The point is there are so many factors to what may cause any one of us to transgress. I used the Word transgress instead of mistake because we need to understand that an error may not be a transgression. Then, who decides what is a mistake or a transgression? We have laws that define these areas. Many of us transgress laws every day without realizing it. Why? Some of us are not aware that things we do may be a violation of The Torah. Our actions in one city, town, county, state, or country may not be a transgression of The Law, but in another location, it may. So…

I can safely say that each of us is going to transgress, and each of us is going to make mistakes. This brings us to several VERY IMPORTANT POINTS. Each of us should try our best to be forgiving and understanding. We should be forgiving and understanding because this is what G-d Is. We should try to emulate our Creator. We should also be forgiving and understanding because we transgress, and we make mistakes. We should practice tolerance.

When one makes a mistake, if possible, it is best to apologize for the mistake quickly. Don’t let a lot of time pass. We should also remember that even when one makes a mistake, they may not be aware of the mistake. If one is not aware of the mistake, then how can they apologize for something that they are not aware of? I might consider one thing a mistake, and you might think I am ridiculous or fanatical. If we have transgressed a Torah Commandment then we must seek to return to Torah Observance with Teshuvah ( teshuvah means simply to return, to go back to the Observances we know we need to keep, to follow HaShem’s Way).

Some of us have higher standards than others. Are our standards-based upon The Torah, or are we unnecessarily stern? Sometimes Rabbis, Pastors, Priests, and Spiritual Leaders impose obligations upon their followers. Their standards are maybe challenging to live up to daily. So let each try to be understanding at the level we place on a mistake. Let’s try to be careful not to overreact when someone around us makes a mistake. Let’s try to be forgiving when someone makes a mistake. Being kind and understanding and tolerant of others is essential. May Hashem, the Creator of the universe, Blessed is He, Help us to choose an honest course, not too drastic, and one that is fair in or dealings and relationships with others. Please remember it is so important to be forgiving.

Blessings Health, Prosperity, Kindness, and Peace,

Dr. Akiva Gamliel


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