Midot Hayom 5770 Day 41: Yesod in Yesod
The sale of Joseph was a boon for him, for it caused him to reign. It was also a boon for his brothers and for his father’s entire household, because [it enabled Joseph to] sustain them during the years of famine (Bamidbar Rabbah 13:18).
Joseph’s greatness was that he did not focus on his sale into slavery as a negative experience, but as part of a Divinely guided process for him to rise to a position of great power. That is Yesod. However, when he continued to see everything as Yesod, he did not focus on his new prestige, but on how Yesod demanded that his experience be used in the future to sustain the entire family. Joseph saw the Yesod in the Yesod.
Many of us are willing to say, “Bashert! It is the hand of God.” When we actually mean it, we are achieving Yesod, and should be able to let go of resentment, frustration and anger. If we can take the experience and use it for the future, we are using Yesod in Yesod.
A person is fired and is able to accept that he is being guided by God. He continues to trust the One Who guides everything. He will not resent his former employer. When he finds a new and better job he will actually experience the Yesod. Yesod in Yesod demands that he project his experience into the future: “What can he now accomplish that he could not have accomplished before losing his job?”
The Ramchal, whose yahrtzeit is today, handed over all his writings to be buried. He lost everything, except his perspective. He immediately focused on how he was being guided, and bore no ill will toward his adversaries. He focused on using his negative experiences to grow and teach even more than before his challenges. He became a lens grinder in Amsterdam, not the most prestigious job for the greatest Kabbalist of his generation, and yet, it was in that situation that he gave us the writings that have taught and guided every generation since, and continue to teach and guide us today. His entire life is an expression of Yesod in Yesod; he viewed every experience, positive and negative, as an opportunity to do more as a vehicle to reveal Torah to the world.
- Study Ramchal!
- Read his letters describing his reactions to his attackers.