My name is Myles Baruch and I go to school at Aptos Middle School in San Francisco. Some things that I like to do are playing games with my family, playing baseball and rock climbing. I’ve been a certified scuba diver for two years. I like to scuba dive because it is a whole different world and you can see different animals that you cannot see on land.
In my parsha, Joseph is finally reunited with his family and with his brothers who sold him into slavery. Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery because they were jealous of how he was their father’s favorite. However, being sold into slavery ended up being a good thing because – in the end, he was able to keep his family alive by providing food, shelter, and water for his family during the seven years of famine. It was also a good thing because when the Jews became slaves, he was able to create a yeshivah for the Jews to live and study Torah.
Eventually, Joseph forgave his brothers because he understood that the experiences that he went through were from G-d, and those experiences helped him gain a better understanding of who he was. They were used to teach him about forgiveness and how to treat others, even those who had wronged him in the past.
Joseph’s trust in G-d, and belief in what G-d wanted him to do, allowed him to forgive his brothers. When he was finally reunited with his brothers, he cried because he had missed them and was grateful to have his family back. He was able to let the past anger go.
As a result of Joseph being sold into slavery and then subsequently placed in jail, he was able to move past his previous immaturity and anger, as well as discovering and appreciating his own personal talents.
Initially, Joseph’s dreaming had gotten him into trouble with his brothers. But, as he became wiser and experienced his own ups and downs, he learned how to better understand his gift and utilize it to accomplish things that others could not. Joseph was called upon to to interpret Pharaoh’s dreams, and as a result, became a trusted person to Pharaoh.
I imagine that everyone has a unique quality that he or she brings to the world; maybe it is an experience they had or something they are good at, or the way they can see the world. What is important to remember is that our experiences help us see the world differently – which makes all our voices unique and important.
As it says in the Midrash – “There are 70 Faces to the Torah; Turn it around and around, for everything is in it.”
To me, this means that everything can be found in Torah and that it is up to us to decode the words of the Torah in our own unique ways. That, in fact, this is what is meant by Torah study.
As Rabbi Ain and I were studying Torah together, I found that I did this naturally and when we were discussing some difficult portions of the Torah – I was able to share with the Rabbi new ways of looking at it. Ones that he hadn’t considered or even seen before in the text.
I want to thank Jacob Erez for being patient and helping me learn my Haftorah. Thank you for being a great teacher and tutor. Finally, I would also like to thank Rabbi Ain for helping me understand and explore some deeper lessons of the Torah.
May we all use bad experiences as a way to learn new things.