A friend of mine is going through a tough time. She’s facing family issues with her grown children, and her financial situation has taken a precarious slide. She’s really down; some days, she has a hard time just getting out of bed.

I keep telling my friend that she is a rock of stability for her family. She is needed and valued as a great human being. She is special, giving and generous, despite all that she has been through. I tell her that I know she will hold strong and true to herself, despite all those who have wronged her. And somehow, she will get through this and continue thriving.

In this week’s Torah portion, we are given hints on how to survive a trauma.

Joseph personifies an individual who endured the most trying circumstances. He was orphaned from his mother at a young age; he was hated by his brothers, who spared killing him but still sold him as a slave at the tender age of seventeen. He spent his formative years as a stranger in a faraway land, accused of crimes he never committed and imprisoned with no hope for any better future. It was decades before he was reconciled with his brothers and reunited with his father.

And yet, despite such adversities, Joseph remained a tzaddika righteous individual—holding strong to his beliefs and upbringing, his sensitivity and kindness. After he finally married and was appointed viceroy of Egypt, the names that he calls his sons hint at the principles he held on to.

And to Joseph were born two sons before the year of the famine set in, whom Asenath the daughter of Poti phera, the governor of On, bore to him. And Joseph named the firstborn Menasheh, for “G‑d has caused me to forget all my toil and all my father’s house.”And the second one he named Ephraim, for “G‑d has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.”1

Menasheh means “causing to forget.” Joseph acknowledged that by granting him success, G‑d caused him to forget his past hardships, which could have led him also to forget his father’s house. He called his son Menashe to remind himself never to forget his family, his heritage, and the values of his upbringing.2 Every time he called his son, he would remember that no matter where his life’s journey had taken him or would eventually take him, he must never forget the core of who he was.

Ephraim, on the other hand, comes from the Hebrew root peri, which means “fruitful.” Joseph acknowledged that G‑d made him fruitful even in a land of affliction. The cruel tribulations of our lives can help us to grow and develop. Through these challenges, we can exploit and nurture deep parts within ourselves that otherwise may have remained dormant.

Life sends all of us harsh tests and trials. Joseph teaches us the two essential keys to survive them.

1) Never forget who you are. Never forget the power and potency of your soul. Tap into its strength and don’t let your circumstances kidnap the core of your true being.

2) No matter the difficulty, realize that even afflictions can eventually bring you to greatness and growth. Find and use your experiences to dig deep into yourself to bear fruit—and to become the best person you can be.