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Biography of Yehuda Katz | Archives | This Week's Parsha


"Yet the Minister of the Cupbearers did not remember Yosef, but he forgot him.” (40:23)

Yosef had done a tremendously good deed for the Minister of Cupbearers, namely by interpreting his dream at a time when the Minister was at a low period in his life.

The dream was fulfilled for good, and the Minister was restored to his position.

The Minister forgot Yosef, and the good that Yosef did for him as demonstrated by the verse. A question can be asked, why does the Torah have to use a double language of forgetting. This is obviously done to put a great emphasis on the forgetting. What is the Torah teaching us? I would like to propose the following original answer, Bezrat Hashem, as follows: The Minister of Cupbearers was a wicked man for he purposely tried to forget all the good that Yosef had done for him. He literally pushed the thought of Yosef out of his mind because he did not want to be beholden to Yosef for anything. He lacked gratitude or “Hakorat Hatov”. Every person is humbled before G-d for all the good given to him or her in the coarse of a lifetime from conception onward. Without gratitude to G-d, it can potentially lead a person further away from acknowledging G-ds existence. If the minister had acknowledged Hashem, it would have been difficult for him to deny the gratitude owed to Yosef. A righteous man is constantly aware of G-ds graciousness towards him and the world surrounding him, and is thus further propelled towards higher levels of righteousness. In contrast, we find the opposite in regard to King David as follows: On verse Numbers15: 39, the Torah Temimah brings a fascinating Vilna Goan pertaining to King David from Samuel –1 17:34. (This is just a summary. Please refer to the primary sources for further details.) We all know that King David in his youth was a Shepard. This is a very dangerous occupation because at times a Shepard must contend with wild animals that are actively seeking to devour the flock.

Whenever King David rescued a lamb from a wild beast, he would make a garment from the hide as a reminder of Hashems kindness and benevolence towards him. King David actively sought to bring G-d into his life. He embraced G-d with gratitude. There are 2 types of people in the world, those that run away from G-d and those that embraced G-d.

The Minister of Cupbearers did not want to beholden to anyone, yet King David had a sense of gratitude for any kindness done to him. We must learn to be grateful, and actively remember the kindnesses done to us. The Torah is giving us 2 examples, and we must choose King David as the example we most closely want to resemble. I would like to use an original parable to further explain this concept as follows: There was once a poor boy that lived in far away village. This boy was very brilliant, and excelled in all of his studies. But since this boy lived far from a cultured area, it stifled his progress. The teacher of the village was so impressed by this boy’s brilliance that he wanted him to somehow be able to relocate to the capital whereby the boys abilities can better be developed. The teacher had purchased the boy new clothing and a ticket to the capital.

He also had provided him financially, ECT……………………At first the boy wrote letters to the teacher of his progress, but over time the letters stopped coming. After many years, the teacher was curious as to what actually happened to this boy whom he had bestowed so much upon so he decided to travel to the capital and to some how find him. After being in the city for a number of days, the teacher recognized his student. The student had grown up to be a most respected and elite member of high society. However, when the student saw his old teacher he wished to avoid him lest society discover his humble beginnings. The student, thereupon, ordered his carriage driver to go fast. But because of the enormous speed, a wheel had broken, and the student was now forced to confront the debt that he owed his teacher.

A person may try to avoid G-d, but will eventually be confronted with the reality.

Have a good Shabbos……………………………………………………….


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