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When G-d Needs You

When G-d Needs You

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Dear Readers,

Do you ever feel alone, even though you are surrounded by other people? You may have different values from those around you. You may feel like an outsider.

And that’s just when you may be presented with a challenge: an opportunity to get recognition, a means to get ahead in life, a prospect that will make your life so much easier.

The catch? Taking that path will not be true to who you are.

A part of you insists, who cares? Why make your situation so difficult? It’s not as if your life has ever been a bed of roses. You’ve been inundated with adversities. Here’s your big break!

And who will know? Why stubbornly remain so forlorn because of your unrealistic ideals?

Joseph is presented with this question. He had experienced a harsh life; he was reviled by his brothers, sold into slavery, a stranger in a strange land. Finally, just as fate was beginning to smile—and he had secured an important position—the wife of his master, Potiphar, took a liking to him.

It came to pass, after these things, that his master’s wife laid her eyes upon Joseph. She said: “Lie with me.” (Gen. 39:7)

The Talmud comments: “Each day, Potiphar’s wife would attempt to seduce him. Cloth she wore for him in the morning she would not wear for him in the evening . . . She said, ‘Surrender yourself to me.’ He answered, ‘No.’ She threatened him, ‘I shall confine you in prison . . . I shall subdue your proud stature . . . I will blind your eyes.’ ”

Joseph refused. And he said to his master’s wife: “ . . . How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against G‑d?” (Gen. 39:8–9)

Finally, after all her unceasing efforts, one day Joseph was about to relent.

“He entered the house do to his work, and none of the household staff was inside.” (Gen. 39:11)

The Talmud (Sotah 36b) fills us in on what happened: “At that moment his father’s image appeared to him through the window, and said: ‘Joseph, your brothers will have their names inscribed upon the stones of the ephod . . . Is it your wish to have your name expunged from amongst theirs and to be called an associate of harlots?’ ”

Since the Torah had not yet been given, it is questionable whether Joseph had to risk his life to refrain from this sin. Nevertheless, when he saw the vision of his father, from whom he had been separated for decades, he regained the strength to desist. Why?

Jacob’s face resembled the beauty of Adam, whose sin he worked to rectify. Adam’s sin of eating the forbidden fruit seemed insignificant, but it had cosmic ramifications for all of humankind. When Joseph saw the visage of Adam, he recognized that, while our deeds might seem trivial and our personal affairs isolated, every action can affect our moral balance, as well as the moral standing of all of creation—for now and all time.

Life often showers us with intensely lonely moments. In those times, we need to remember that everything we do has significance . . . and lasting consequences.

We need to respond to our cynical voice: Right now, G‑d needs me to be true to the visage of my Father—by being true to my inner self.

Chana Weisberg

Editor, TJW


Chana Weisberg is the editor of TheJewishWoman.org. She lectures internationally on issues relating to women, relationships, meaning, self-esteem and the Jewish soul. She is the author of five popular books.
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Jules Scher Monroe Twp, NJ December 5, 2017

Human Frailties We should always strive for perfection, and do the best we can for ourselves and all of mankind. We should have high expectations of ourselves with lofty values. However, we should also realize that we are not Jacob, and as humans living in the real world, we will have to make decisions that may go against our belief system. Sometimes you have to go with the flow to be able to survive in order to do good at a later date. Whatever “bad” thing you did could be rectified at a later date. As long as you are not harming anyone by doing something contrary to your beliefs, it could be said that in that instance in which you did not have much to say, the means did justify the end.
We should always attempt to avoid temptation, and succumbing to our feelings. Every decision should be thought through, considering all possible repercussions, before acting upon it.
But should we fail in our pursuit of perfection, we should accept the fact that we are human, and are forgiven for our shortcomings. Reply

JDV December 5, 2017

Life is not meant to be a piece of cake.,That would only cause a stomach ache. Reply

Often we need a break from our daily routine. A pause from life to help us appreciate life.

A little pat on the back to let us know when we're on track. A word of encouragement to help us through those bleak moments and difficult days.

Sometimes, we just yearn for some friendship and camaraderie, someone to share our heart with. And sometimes we need a little direction from someone who's been there.

So, take a short pause from the busyness of your day and join Chana Weisberg for a cup of coffee.

Chana Weisberg is the author of Tending the Garden: The Unique Gifts of the Jewish Woman and four other books. Weisberg is a noted educator and columnist and lectures worldwide on issues relating to women, faith, relationships and the Jewish soul.
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