December 29, 2022 / 5 Tevet, 5783 • Parshat Vayigash
Issue 750
Dedicated in loving memory of Mrs. Miriam Friedman

Realizing Divine Providence

Now, do not be distressed or reproach yourselves for having sold me here, since it was in order to provide for your needs that G-d sent me ahead of you. 


It was Divine providence that Joseph, of all his brothers, was the one who was the first of his family to reach Egypt. Joseph was uniquely suited to prepare the way for the family: He alone possessed the spiritual fortitude to remain true to his ideals even while rising to become viceroy of the materialistic empire of Egypt. By combining spiritual integrity with materialistic acumen, he was able to provide for his family both spiritually and materially when they finally arrived. Ultimately, the setting he orchestrated for them is what enabled the family to both survive their subsequent slavery and develop into a people fit to accept G-d's mission by receiving the Torah.

We can all learn from Joseph, recognizing how Divine providence has placed us in whatever position of influence we occupy, and realizing that the purpose of this providence is "to provide for the needs"--spiritual and physical--of those whom the same Divine providence has entrusted to our care.

—from Daily Wisdom 3