The parsha continues discussing the selling of Yoseph as a slave in Egypt. Yoseph ends up working for the Pharaoh, Potifar. While he was enslaved to him, Potifar’s wife, Zulaicha, was advised by an astrologer that her descendents would come from Yoseph’s lineage. Thinking that she was the person to create this lineage, she started to seduce Yoseph (the astrology was correct; however, it was her daughter that was meant to marry Yoseph, not her).
When Yoseph refused her, seeing that it would be an adulterous act, Zulaicha told her husband that Yoseph had in fact been the instigator. Of course, the issue was settled and Potifar eventually found out the truth about Yoseph’s innocence; nonetheless, he needed to spare him and his wife the embarrassment.
While serving his ten year sentence in jail, Yoseph met Potifar’s butler and baker, who were jailed because Potifar found a pebble in his bread and a fly in his wine.
One morning, the butler and baker awoke and desperately needed their dreams interpreted. After listening to their dreams, Yoseph predicted that the butler would be saved, and the baker would be killed. When Yoseph’s predictions came true (Hashem always makes the pronouncements of a tzaddick come true) Yoseph told the butler to tell the Pharoah that he was innocent and to release him from the dungeon.
The butler was dedicated to fulfill Yoseph’s word; however, everyday, the butler would somehow forget. In actuality, Hashem had sent an angel to prevent that from happening. Hashem was upset that Yoseph put his trust in the butler to save him and not in Hashem to save. Hashem was trying to make a point to Yoseph that government officials are forgetful and disinterested in helping you, but it is Hashem who will save you.
In life, we too forget to look to Hashem to be saved. We lose sight of Hashem being the ruler of the world. We let the craziness of our lives get the best of us and forget that everything that happens has been destined by Him for us. Any harm, any luck any happiness, any sadness that befalls us is all from Hashem. People who have wronged us, who have brought us joy, etc., are all merrily agents sent to us by Him to fulfill His Divine will. We need to develop our bitachon-trust in Hashem- and realize that we do not have control of what happens to us. Rather, we must know that Hashem is in control of all that happens to us. He is the only one who can redeem us from any misfortune we endure. Similarly, He is the only one who has bestowed His kindness upon us and given us all the amazing lives we live. We must develop our bitachon and realize that all the affairs of the world are manipulated by Hashem alone, and He is the only one who can alter our fate.
Developing your bitachon exercises:
1. Internalize this: We have been sent on a journey and the only thing we can control is our thoughts, actions, and speech.
2. We do not have control over how other people treat us, but we do have control over how we treat them.
3. We don’t have control over what other people say to us, but we have control over how we react. Hashem sends us all these tests to develop our character traits—next time someone says or does something mean/disrespectful, rather than fighting evil with evil, fight it with kindness!