Are You Connected?

The Ramban is troubled with a question as to why it was necessary for Yehuda to review the sequence of incidences that unfolded until this point. The medrash says (93:4)

ד דָּבָר אַחֵר, וַיִּגַּשׁ אֵלָיו יְהוּדָה וגו’, כְּתִיב (משלי כ, ה): מַיִם עֲמֻקִּים עֵצָה בְלֶב אִישׁ וגו’, לִבְאֵר עֲמֻקָּה מְלֵאָה צוֹנֵן וְהָיוּ מֵימֶיהָ צוֹנְנִין וְיָפִין וְלֹא הָיְתָה בְּרִיָּה יְכוֹלָה לִשְׁתּוֹת הֵימֶנָּה, בָּא אֶחָד וְקָשַׁר חֶבֶל בְּחֶבֶל וְנִימָה בְּנִימָה מְשִׁיחָה בִּמְשִׁיחָה וְדָלָה הֵימֶנָּה וְשָׁתָה, הִתְחִילוּ הַכֹּל דּוֹלִין הֵימֶנָּה וְשׁוֹתִין, כָּךְ לֹא זָז יְהוּדָה מֵשִׁיב לְיוֹסֵף דָּבָר עַל דָּבָר עַד שֶׁעָמַד עַל לִבּוֹ.

Deep waters are the proper counsel for the heart of a man. Just as sweet waters cannot be reached without strands to strings and strings to ropes until one is able to draw the water, so too Yehuda went through item after item until he reached Yosef’s heart.

We look at this medrash and find it familiar, yet elusive. We understand the moshel that in order to get water out of a well one must fashion a cord, etc. What was the “cord” in the heart of Yosef that Yehuda was trying to reach out and touch?

Based on the thoughts of Reb Doniel m’Khelm, I would like to offer an explanation: Many times after a car accident the authorities try to reenact what happened, sometimes physically and sometimes by reviewing all of the preceding incidents that happened in order to jar the memory of those involved, and by doing so, the missing pieces of information may come to surface. How does this method work? It seems to me that there is a difference between “remembering” and “reliving”. “Remembering” is reaching into our past and pulling out a specific fact or incident; but “reliving” is much more potent and brings a person to that place. To relive one must go through many steps in the proper order that they happened, and then things fall into place, and the missing piece is found. This ploy is used extensively in serialized stories. Before the narrative continues with the next installment, there are a few snippets given not just to remember the story, but to bring you back to where you were. For a good story is not just told, it is lived.

Sometimes in life we lose the forest for the trees; meaning that we are so involved in the “here and now” we forget our ultimate goal and purpose. Therefore, time must be taken out to review our initial goal and the sequence of events that brought us to where we are now. We at that time evaluate if we are acting properly, in view of our goal and in conjunction with where we stand presently.

Yehuda understood that retelling the chain of events on how the brothers were singled out for no apparent reason, and time and time again were brought to the forefront for no apparent reason, would inspire a “chord” of sympathy within Yosef.

This moshel and nimshal can both be used in our personal growth. When we come to the chaggim, the chords of our heart are singing. We feel connected as we contemplate all the good that Hashem has bestowed on klal Yisrael throughout our long galus. However, the reservoir of HaKadosh Baruch Hu’s love for us and desire to bring us only good is there all the time, just as during the chaggim. In our own lives, Hashem does for us what we think is unattainable. The chords of our heart can be connected to the wellsprings of the good that HaKadosh Baruch Hu does for us. At the times of the chaggim when our buckets are filled we have a head start. Let us use this connection to keep us close to HaKadosh Baruch Hu throughout the year.