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  • Rav Moshe Weiss

Nahar U'Pashtei Parshas Vayeishev

Money?

Hidden amongst the pesukim of Parshas Vayeishev is a most astounding lesson. We know how Yosef was deemed a rodeif by the majority of his brothers and ended up being sold and brought down to Mitzrayim. Perhaps Yehudah thought to sell him better than leave him inside the pit as Reuven had wanted because he feared for the future, as the wrath of the brothers had not dissipated. Whatever the case, Hashem ordained that Yosef arrive in Mitzrayim ahead of us. He became a slave to Potiphar and was wondrously successful at whatever he endeavored. So great was he at running the estate and growing its assets that Potiphar placed Yosef in charge of everything. Now, the pasuk tells us what I think is a most unusual reality. And Yosef found grace in his eyes, and he served him; and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand, and further: He left all that he had in the hand of Yosef and he did not concern himself — given his presence — with anything! The Torah tells us that Potiphar was so confident in how Yosef took care of his money that he left everything up to Yosef! Potiphar had finally become extraordinarily affluent; therefore, he gave everything over to others! We find this phenomenon prevalent today where wealthy people hand their estates to money managers who make investments and decisions for them. It is the manager alone who makes the determinations where and how to invest the owner’s fortune; the owner himself knowing very little about where his money is. The wealthy man is content to receive a monthly check and an occasional report which he probably doesn’t really grasp; he is fine having no real say in what his hard-earned money is doing! On a smaller level the same applies to any manager of a large business. Although the business owner is in “charge,” he often has no idea how to run the business or how to motivate his employees to profit the most. The manager is the one on the floor who essentially runs the operation and grows the profits. And people love to be in this position of “owner.” They love that they have reached a plateau in their quest for wealth that they can have others do the “dirty work.” But what jumps out at me is that the eternal lust for money that society has fallen prey to has again shown its colors! A person runs after money, makes unheard of sacrifices for money, lies and cheats and steals for money, all the while hoping to get to a place where he can let someone else be in charge of his money! If money and its responsibilities were a good and enjoyable thing for a person, why do the rich seek to live free from its clutches?! How can it be that a person works all his life to be in charge, and then he hurriedly hands it off to someone else! Rather, have some bitachon. Hashem will send a person exactly the amount of money that is right for him, not a penny more and not a penny less. This endless pursuit of wealth brings only hardship and pains. A gut Shabbos! A Project of the YSI Alumni Association Written by R’ Moshe Weiss


Vayeishev 5782
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