By Rabbi Mark Melamut
Parshat Va’yeishev (Genesis 37 – 40:23)
Have you ever met someone who changed your life forever? What might life have been like, or what other direction might your life have taken if you hadn’t met this person?We begin the long narrative of Joseph and his brothers this week, literally beginning in a pit and concluding in prison.
Before the famous scene, where his brothers choose to throw him in a pit rather than take his life, Joseph meets an “ish toeh basadeh/a man wandering in the fields.” (37:15-17)
The unidentified person asks Joseph, “what are you looking for?” Joseph answers, “I’m looking for my brothers.” The person says they have left, but mentioned hearing them say they were on the way to Dothan. Next thing we know, they meet up and the “pit scene” ensues.
What if Joseph hadn’t met that person at that time? Would the story have been any different?
As we begin to celebrate the first night of Hanukkah this Saturday evening, may we keep in mind that each and every person we meet could potentially change our lives.
May the light of our friends and families, and the light of each person we meet help rekindle our connection and fan the flames of hope.
Shabbat shalom and Happy Hanukkah,