Dear family and friends, Our discussion is entitled ‘Taking The Higher Path.’ Our focus on comforting others comes from The 50th Chapter of Genesis. We have entered The Holy Year 5781 From Creation. As we enter the new year, perhaps we should consider elevating our lives, as we pass from last year to this next year. It’s an excellent time to concentrate on elevating our lives following Rosh HaShannah and Yom Kippur. Also, Genesis Chapter 50 offers us a beautiful opportunity to learn from Joseph about how one elevates their Spiritual experience. Various religious leaders teach that Joseph was a type of the coming Moshiach.
When we cause others EVIL… When we disrupt their lives… When we jeopardize their future… When we cause them pain, and when we cause them to suffer as Joseph’s brothers did, one would anticipate some form of retribution. Holy Scripture Speaks regarding this matter. ‘When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “Joseph will perhaps hate us, and will certainly pay us back for all the evil which we did to him.” So they contrived a planned. They sent a messenger to Joseph, saying, “Your father commanded us before he died, saying, Ask Joseph, to forgive your trespass, and their sin, for we did evil. Now, we beg you, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of your father.’ See Genesis 50.15 – 17
Paybacks are the way of the world, but they don’t have to be. Our laws require that some evildoers are punished for the evil they bring on others.
Our future is BRIGHT because there is an age coming where evil behavior will cease, and we will live peaceably with everyone. Joseph has shown us that way. The Holy Scriptures Inform us that Joseph wept when [his brothers] spoke to him. Joseph understood his brother’s intentions. Their actions were evil! They intended for Joseph to feel pain and to suffer. His brothers thought Joseph would be very angry with them. Instead, Joseph saw a more excellent plan at work in his life. He could see that God’s Plan superseded any evil that his brothers intended for him.
Joseph encourages his brothers not to fear because all that happened to him was intended only for their good. So we have Joseph’s opinion, and we have his brother’s comments. Joseph’s brother’s idea was based on the ebb and flow of the world. They knew what they have done. They knew what they intended. It’s good they felt sorrow and sadness and repentance for the evil they intended. They could not see the lofty spiritual picture. Perhaps they didn’t want to see it. Some of us might fail to see the good in all that he faced. Joseph had stated that God Meant it for good. Some of us identify with Joseph’s brothers. Suffering from evil is a difficult pill to swallow because we cannot imagine evil from a Loving God. The Holocaust was very evil. We cannot imagine how God Sees the good in the Holocaust. Millions of people were murdered, starved, raped, and beaten. How could there be any good in such horrendous actions? I honestly don’t know because I cannot see the entire picture / plan. However, I can believe it. My belief is God Intended the Holocaust to be for good even though I cannot see it. That is a discussion that must be taught by people of much greater Spiritual intellect than myself.
Next, we read Joseph’s charge to his brothers, “Do not fear!” You cannot see what I see. That part of God’s plan was not revealed to them. That’s okay! I see it and believe it. You don’t have to see it or feel it. “I will nourish you and your little ones.’ Joseph then comforted his brothers, and Joseph spoke kindly to his brothers. He didn’t express anger. He didn’t hold a grudge. He offered loving kindness instead.
In certain realms, we should not hold a grudge, and we should not seek retaliation. We should take the higher path. We should especially take a more elevated approach if we have the spiritual insights of an individual like Joseph. Yet those of us that do not have the spiritual insights should aspire to them. The age is coming when we will each learn how to take a higher path. Until that time, We can try to comfort those who have injured us and try to nourish them. Nowhere in Scripture does it say that comforting and nourishing and encouraging his brothers was easy for Joseph. So we can expect challenges in trying situations. It’s all part of the plan.
Remember what Rabbi Akiva said, “All that the Holy One Does, He Does for good!”
May we aspire this year to try to truly believe that.
Dear Ones, it has been incredibly wonderful learning together this past year. In the coming year, God dwelling, we can share time in Genesis, The First Book of The Torah. May we stay within Torah’s Guidelines. May we help others, May we bring peace and healing to our world. May this coming Sabbath and every Sabbath be a blessed Day.
Akiva George Belk