Israel Forever

For the week ending 31 December 2005 / 30 Kislev 5766

Fathers and Orphans

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

“Success has many fathers; failure is an orphan.”

This oft-quoted saying summarizes the tone of the current election campaign in Israel.

With relative calm on the security front, the main issue has become the socioeconomic one. One candidate is trying to take credit for bringing Israel’s economy out of its slump while his competitors are busy bashing him for widening the gap between the rich and the poor which they propose to narrow.

In all the high-powered claiming of credit and allocating failure, there is no mention of the fact that the affairs of man are determined by Heaven. How sharp this attitude is in contrast with that of Yosef!

In this week’s Torah portion we read how this righteous man responded when he was told by the dream-plagued king of Egypt that he had heard of his ability to interpret dreams. “Not me,” humbly replied this prisoner whose successful interpretation would imminently transform him into a potentate,” “but G-d will bring peace to Pharaoh with an interpretation.”

Yosef was not willing to bask in the glory of his brilliant interpretation for even a moment and therefore made his disclaimer even before hearing the dream.

Such an attitude to credit-taking is what is needed to secure and enrich Israel forever.

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