Noahide lecture: Keeping calm in calamity - The Joseph principle

Joseph’s life is a series of highs and lows – literally and figuratively.

Rod Bryant ,

Rod Bryant
Rod Bryant

The sages of blessed memory teach us that the Patriarch’s lives are sign post to every Jew. We will examine the life of Jacob the Patriarch who exhibited this highest level of faith and trust in G-d. His example is teaches us how we can develop calmness in calamity. All the barriers and obstacles which confront a person have only one purpose: to heighten his yearning for the holy deed which he needs to accomplish.

The way to begin serving G-d is to imagine there is no one in the entire world except for you. Pay no attention to anyone who puts obstacles in your way, whether it is your father or mother, your parents-in-law, your wife, your children or anyone else. There are certain people who can make things difficult for you through ridiculing you or offering temptations and so on. Pay not the slightest attention to any of them. It is written that `Abraham was one’ (Ezekiel 33:24). Abraham was alone! You must also be alone — as if you were the only one in the world (Likutey Moharan II, Foreword).

The story of Joseph is found in the Book of Genesis, from chapters 37 though 50. Joseph’s saga is both expansive and integral to the overall narrative of the Israelites’ descent into Egypt. His progression from dream-interpreting shepherd to minister of Egypt is one of the more layered and elaborate stories in the Torah.

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