Parshas Vayigash - Blaming Other Factors

By R' Shaya Gross, z'l
Posted on 12/16/15

[Ed. Note] Out of the respect and recognition of the impact made by longtime BJL friend and contributor, Reb Shaya Gross, z’l, we will maintain a living memoriam to Shaya through the sweet words and thoughtful insights of  his Divrei Torah. BJL readers will remember his weekly column on the Parsha and on various Torah ideas and concepts. These meaningful words will help us remember this special young man who will be sorely missed and for those who did not merit to know him, this will be the most appropriate way for them to become familiar with who he was.

The Pasuk tells us that when Yosef couldn't keep up the facade, he ordered everyone to leave the room. The next Pasuk says that when Yosef revealed himself to his brothers there was no EESH [man] there. Obviously if Yosef the Viceroy gave a command that everyone should leave the room, everyone would leave the room. Why then does the Torah have to say that there was no one there? 

Rav Shmuel Brazil suggests a novel answer with an important message.
When bad things happen, it is common for people to blame the bad event on someone or something. ‘Had we only gotten a better doctor grandpa wouldn’t have died’. ‘Had he only walked down a different street he wouldn’t have been hit by the car’….. This displays a lack of faith in Hashem. Yes we are supposed to do our hishtadlus to be as careful as we can, but ultimately when bad things happen to us we must realize it is from Hashem.

That is what the Torah is teaching us about Yosef.
What caused Yosef to be sold down to Mitzrayim? His father sent him to Shechem to visit his brothers. He arrives in Shechem and his brothers are nowhere to be found. He meets an ‘EESH’ [the angel Gavriel] who tells him where his brothers are….
Had he not met that ‘EESH’, Yosef, wouldn’t have known where his brother were, he could have returned to his father, and then seemingly everything would have been fine and dandy.
Hence now when Yosef is revealing himself to his brothers and explaining to them the story, he could have easily partly blamed that ‘EESH’ and/or them, for the immense suffering he went through the last number of years.
That suggests Rav Brazil, is what the Pasuk is referring to when it says ‘There was no EESH there when Yosef revealed himself to his brothers’. I.e. Yosef DIDN’T mention the EESH at all and didn’t blame him [or anyone else] at all for any of his suffering. He recognized that it was all part of Hashem’s master plan for him to come down to Mitzrayim!
May we all take this lesson to heart,to never blame other factors for our suffering and pain and rather let us recognize that it is all part of Hashem's master plan for us to fulfill our mission in life and grow closer to Him.