Kahane on the Parsha
Rabbi Meir Kahane- Parshat Miketz
LIKE A PAUPER AT THE DOOR
"Pharaoh took his ring off his own hand and placed it on the hand of Joseph" (Genesis 41:42). What a divine revelation! What an open miracle! Mere minutes before, Joseph was a lowly prisoner. Now, in the blink of an eye, he had become Pharaoh's viceroy by whose command all food would be distributed in Egypt.
This sudden turnabout was a devastating response to Joseph's lack of trust in G-d when he asked the chief steward to save him. The Midrash states, "Joseph really only deserved 10 years in prison...yet because he asked the chief steward, 'Remember that I was with you...say something about me to Pharaoh' (Genesis 40:14), two years were added [to his sentence]" (Shemot Rabba 7:1).
A Jew who seeks help from a non-Jew out of despair and fear, lest G-d not help him, commits a grave sin. Had Joseph approached the steward with a DEMAND, because the steward OWED HIM A FAVOR, his act would not have been considered a sin. But instead he approached him with a REQUEST, indicating that he needed a favor from a non-Jew, and thus profaned G-d's Name by implying that he did not trust the Almighty, only flesh and blood.
From here we derive a major principle regarding aid from non-Jews: If the non-Jew offers support as part of a MUTUAL aid agreement, or payment for what he owes the Jew- we may accept it. Otherwise, we must reject it. Approaching a non-Jew or a country with a REQUEST for support- like a pauper standing at the door- demonstrates lack of faith in G-d and constitutes the ultimate Chillul Hashem.
The Jewish Idea
Shabbat Shalom and Chanuka Sameach!
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