Daf Yomi Kesubos 44
Joseph is in Egypt, having been sold into slavery by his brothers. His family is far, far away, and nobody would ever know or care how he leads his life as an Egyptian slave. His master Potiphar’s wife keeps coming on to him and he is finally ready to succumb to temptation when he suddenly pictures a vision of his father’s face. He says to himself, ‘Personally I would have no qualms going ahead with this act of infidelity, but how could I do it to my father?’
Sheila taught in a Beraisa: If witnesses testified about a married maiden that she was unfaithful during the betrothal period while she was still living in her parents’ home, she is executed at the entrance of her parents’ home, as if to say, ‘See the offspring you have raised.’
Everything we do in life, for better or for worse, reflects on our forebears. Your parents raised you with certain values and acting inappropriately is not only shameful to you, but embarrassing to them as well. Even if you weren’t fortunate to have a wholesome upbringing, you have grandparents and great-grandparents who are rooting for you in the World of Truth, for fear that they themselves may be shamed by your actions.
When temptation knocks, it’s often hard to resist. You think, ‘Nobody really cares if I sin.’ When that happens, do what Joseph did. Picture your parents. Picture your grandparents. And ask yourself, ‘Am I making them proud or am I dishonouring them?’ It may not matter much to you, but in Heaven, fingers are being pointed at them, saying ‘See the offspring you have raised.’
And on the flipside, know that your forebears are working hard for you to become the best you can be. In the World of Truth, they can see your full potential. They’re sitting in the bleachers, as passionate as parents at a little league game, cheering you on and betting you’ll win the game! When it seems you can’t get through it alone, look up into those bleachers at all your fans screaming your name and draw strength from everyone who is believing in you! It may be your parents you see, it may be your grandparents. If that doesn’t do it for you, know that you are a child of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah and they are rooting for you!
You’re never alone in life. You have a whole team of fans and cheerleaders behind you that goes back dozens of generations. When life’s got you down, may you draw strength from your fans who are smiling down from the Heavenly bleachers, knowing that you are going to have an awesome life and accomplish great things!