Likutei Mahara: Miketz: Joseph’s Second Test
The 26th of Kislev is the Yahrtzeit of Rav Elazar of Kozhnitz [Kozienice](1863). Son of Rav Yisrael, the Kozhnitzer Maggid, his thoughts are recorded in Likutei Mahara. One of
his disciples was Rav Aryeh Yehuda Leib haLevi Epstein (1837-1914), “Rebbe Leibush the Second,” author of Birkas Tov.
“And it was at the end of two years time.” The Zohar teaches that there is a “keitz” – an end of a period of time – and there is a different “keitz.” There is a “keitz” to the right side, which is good, and a “Keitz” of the left side, which derives from shells that cover holiness.
We know that Joseph was tested on his faith when he interpreted the dream of the Pharaoh’s wine-steward. Would he maintain his trust in God, or would he push the wine-steward to help him get out of prison?
Joseph failed his test, and had to spend an extra two years in prison. The “Keitz” that was added, was a punishment and came from the “other” side.
When a righteous man fails a test, God immediately tests him again to see if he acknowledges and regrets his failure. God tests him using a similar, but more challenging, test.
When Joseph was brought before Pharaoh to interpret the king’s dreams, he was being tested again to see if he would push Pharaoh to free him. Joseph passed the test, and transformed his Keitz into one from the side of Good. (Likutei Mahara, Miketz)