Dedication: Refuah Shelema of Shlomo Yisroel Ben SarahBoth the Exile and Exodus of a Jew are strongly connected to the essence of Yosef HaTzaddik—and the essence of Yosef HaTzaddik is Jewish confidence. With confidence in who we are as a people, we will bring the Redemption sooner.
These Parshiyos we are about to enter are all about the Exile In and Exodus From Egypt. We learn that these big moments in time have a lot to do with Yosef HaTzaddik. The Exile comes because of a disconnection from Yosef HaTzaddik, and the Exodus comes because of a reconnection to Yosef HaTzaddik. Yosef HaTzaddik seems to hold the key to the Redemption.
The question is…What does this mean? What does it really mean to remember the merit of Yosef HaTzaddik? Why is it that by “forgetting Yosef HaTzaddik” one falls into Exile? And by “remembering Yosef HaTzaddik” we are redeemed from Exile?
One would think that to receive Redemption, all one needs is a Rebbe like a Moshe Rabbeinu. But while it is true that one needs a good Rebbe like a Moshe, there is a prerequisite that comes first—
Yosef HaTzaddik had this strength of character. He possessed this confidence that’s necessary for a Jew to achieve personal and collective Redemption. When he resisted the seduction of the wife of Potiphar, his strength came very much from the confidence of knowing who he is; and knowing his greatness.
So ‘forgetting Yosef HaTzaddik’ means forgetting our confidence. If confidence is lost and we’ve forgotten our identity, the process of Redemption is very far. But if we remember our confidence, remember our greatness, then we will achieve Redemption- because we will rise about the temptations of Exile.
Hashem should always bless us to help us remember who we are. May we merit the coming of the Moshiach speedily in our days, Amen.