Viewing Life with 20/20 Hindsight – Parshas Vayigash

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When we have the time and ability to reflect on our life experiences we tend to see things from a broad perspective. We no longer look at each event as it happened per se, but rather, with a  wider view of how it shaped our life in the long run. Looking back, we acknowledge that things  that seemed negative when they occurred, such as the loss of a job, may have spurred us on to greater success over time, which we might otherwise never have experienced.

Joseph  takes this view in this week’s portion. After he introduces himself to his brothers, he notices their reluctance to talk to him. After all, they are  embarrassed that they sold him to slavery twenty-two years earlier. Yet he tells them explicitly that he holds no grudge against them. “You weren’t the one who sent me here; it was G-d,” he tells them.

True, Joseph endured many hardships along the way; however,  having become ruler in Egypt, he’s done well for himself. In this capacity he can also provide for his extended  family during the seven years of hunger. In the end, everything has turned out for the best for everyone.

Moments of reflection afford  us the ability to realize how  great a role G-d plays day-to-day affairs. What  might be considered a hard stretch in life may  lead to the best  outcome in the long run. But  it’s impossible to know that when things look bleak; only hindsight is 20/20. However,  when we understand that G-d, in His  infinite wisdom, knows what the ultimate good is,  we can be assured that even a black cloud is  endowed with a silver lining.

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Rabbi Moshe Rockove joined Torah Links in 1999, and authored “The Torah Link” for close to 10 years . He has lectured at Staten Island and Cherry Hill for Torah Links on the weekly Torah portion and Jewish History. He received his ordination from Beth Medrash Govoha of Lakewood in 2000 and practices as a Rabbi there. He also writes for the Yated Ne’eman, an Orthodox weekly. He lives with his wife and children in Lakewood, New Jersey.

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