Parshat Mikeitz: Every Jew comes to the world in order to do miracles
Secrets of the Torah, with Rav Eliezer Berland, shlita.
Every Jew comes to the world in order to do miracles and wonders. Hashem created the world only in order that there would be miracles and wonders – only for this did He create the world! And these miracles and wonders are not just when there is other choice, and there is no other way.
In Lesson 1:97, Rabbenu HaKadosh tells us that: “Before creation, God adorned and garnished Himself with the prayers and good deeds of the Tzaddikim.” Hashem saw that there would be Tzaddikim who would work whatever deeds were required, who would change the course of nature, and all the laws of nature, by their prayers. And this is what pushed HaKadosh Baruch Hu to create the world, for the enjoyment that He would derive from the Tzaddikim who busy themselves with their prayers, and who change the course of nature.
Even before the creation of the world, Hashem entertained Himself with the miracles and wonders that each person would do with their prayers. This was His amusement and his pleasure, and that’s why He created the world.
“And this is the explanation of: ‘Mine is Gilad’ (Psalms 60:9), that God’s pleasure was revealed (giluy) before Creation when He adorned and garnished Himself with the prayers of the Tzaddikim.” ‘Gilad’ is the revelation of God’s pleasure and enjoyment, because
“Hashem has no greater pleasure than when He sees a person pray and succeed in making something that he wants happen, which brings miracles and chessed (kindness) downs to the world.”
We need to pray from a place of humility and lowliness
If a person wants to change nature, and to work miracles, they need to pray from a place of humility and lowliness, with submission, and to know that ‘I’m a very small person, smaller than any other Jew in the world’. And then, he can make anything happen with his prayers. And this is the secret of why Yosef called his son ‘Menashe’, because “God caused me to forgot (nashni) all my suffering and the house of my father.”
How can we understand Yosef? How is it possible to give a name like this, ‘Menashe’, to his son, whose meaning is that ‘I forgot about my father, and I forgot my brothers, and all the Imahot (matriarchs), I forgot everyone, I forgot my father’s house’? But according to what Rabbenu is teaching us in Lesson 97, we can understand this secret:
Yosef merited to attain the aspect of ‘Menashe’ – which is humility and lowliness, and this is the explanation of the verse: ‘For God has caused me to forget the house of my father’ – which is taking about his yichus (genealogy), ‘and all my suffering’ – which is the suffering endured as part of his avodat Hashem (spiritual endeavors).
Yosef HaTzaddik lives for Hashem
A person strengthens himself in prayer, and in his avodat Hashem, because he’s got an important father, and an illustrious mother, and a well-known grandfather, but Yosef HaTzaddik says “I’m only serving Hashem! I’m not praying just because I have an important father, or an illustrious grandfather, I’m praying for Hashem! My chizzuk (strength) comes from the fact that Hashem created me, and from the fact that Hashem exists in the world. Hashem is chai v’kiyam (alive and present), I see that He’s chai v’kiyam, that’s why I’m serving Hashem.”
Yosef HaTzaddik lives for Hashem. He doesn’t live for his father, or for his mother, rather, only for Hashem. And this is how he reached his lofty spiritual level, and thus he called his son ‘Menashe’ – from the language meaning ‘to forget’ – ‘to forget all my suffering and the house of my father’.
A person needs to forget about all his yichus, and all the effort he’s put into his avodat Hashem In order to merit being able to govern [creation] via prayer, and to be able to work wonders in the world.
Translated and abridged from Tzama Nafshi.