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Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Do you deserve G-d's blessing?

Daf Yomi Kesubos 43

The famine is raging in the Land of Canaan.  Jacob sends ten sons down to Egypt seeking sustenance.  They appear before the viceroy, who unbeknownst to them is their brother Joseph, and are accused of espionage.  They turn to one another and conclude that the Almighty is punishing them for selling their brother into slavery.

Finally, Joseph reveals his true identity to them.  At that point, they fear the worst.  Not only are they strangers in the land, but their future is in the hands of the very individual they persecuted.
“And now, do not be afraid,” Joseph says to them, “you did not send me here, for it was G-d. . . He sent me before you to provide sustenance.”

Concerning the Hebrew servant who has concluded his six years of service whom it is time to emancipate, the Torah declares, “And it shall be, if he says to you, 'I will not go out from you;’ because he loves you and your house, because it is good for him with you.”

The Gemara taught: According to the view that one may say to his servant, ‘Work for me, but I shan’t sustain you,’ that is only with regards to a Canaanite servant, for the verse does not employ the words ‘with you.’  But, the Hebrew servant, concerning whom it is written ‘with you,’ one may not deny sustenance. And how much more so, for one’s own daughter! 

Sometimes you feel like you’re not going to make it.  The bills are piling up and there are still mouths to feed.  But your Father in Heaven will never forsake you!  It may appear that He is not present, but He is merely paving the way to provide you with abundant sustenance and prosperity! 

Sometimes you think, ‘Well that might be so if I deserved G-d’s blessing, but after all I’ve done contrary to His will, why should He bless me?’  That’s exactly what Joseph’s brothers were thinking.  They believed that G-d runs the world.  And so they figured that, having sold their own flesh and blood into slavery, they had lost their merit and were no longer entitled to the Almighty’s blessing.

But not only does G-d not hold grudges, He knows exactly how to transform your mistakes in life for the better!  As Joseph tells them, ultimately he was sent to Egypt in order to sustain the family.  In other words, while they made a terrible mistake in life, G-d used that very mistake to channel His blessing to them!

We have a dual relationship with the Almighty.  We are His servants and we are His children.  But either way, He has a duty to provide for us.  He is with you, even if the relationship is one of Master-servant; and, as the Gemara points out, how much more so, if the relationship is one of Father-child!  On Rosh Hashanah, following the shofar blasts, we proclaim, “If we are like children, have mercy upon us as a Father has mercy upon His children.  And if we are like servants, our eyes turn to You, until You are gracious to us!”

G-d wants to provide abundant blessing and prosperity for you.  Sometimes it is difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel, especially when you feel that your woes are self-inflicted.  But the Almighty loves His children greater than the love of any mortal parent to their child.  And He has incredible blessing that He is just about to shower upon you.  May you merit maintaining your faith in Him so that you may unlock the door to His storehouse of blessing at the exact moment when you need it the most!