The Divrei Torah in this section have been translated by Rav Reuven Ungar, Director of Alumni Affairs
By: Rav Yechezkel Yakovson
The brothers of Yosef descend to
In reference to this, Chazal quote the verse from Proverbs "The folly of a person subverts him from his path and he gets angry with Hashem". Namely, a person sins, making mistakes that generate complications. Rather then analyzing his own actions that caused him to reach the present dire situation that he finds himself, the individual complains to Hashem.
The brothers of Yosef exemplify this conduct. If they had not sold Yosef, they would not have had to encounter him in such an uncomfortable position. They brought this upon themselves. Yet they blame Hashem.
This is a fundamental principle. We should initially search inwards in assessing a difficult and trying time. All spheres of human existence are subject to this concept. The spiritual and material states of an individual; the personal and family relationships one maintains- all should be assessed and examined to ascertain one's responsibility in reaching their current state. This applies to financial issues and even to the physical health of a person (see the Rambam in Hilchot Deot). A person must constantly ask himself what he has contributed to his own problems and what are "decrees from Heaven".
This applies to communal issues as well. We can ill afford to ignore the fact that many of the military and diplomatic difficulties faced by the State of Israel are direct consequences of the foolishness of ourselves and of our leaders. This foolishness generates constant problems. We must finally listen and accept the words of the prophet "Return Yisrael..for you have stumbled in your sins". The sins themselves are the stumbling block- thus we must refrain from committing them!
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