December 17, 2014, Israel
So you are having a bad day, a bad month, perhaps a bad year or even a few bad years. I know the feeling.
Nothing seems to be going right. You try this and that but lady luck is not with you, not today or yesterday.
When it comes to surviving troubles, look to us, the Jewish people.
When you grow up around Holocaust survivors you find it difficult to complain. What can you say? I was teased at school, the teacher yelled at me?
Your neighbor has her Auschwitz Tattoo as a constant reminder that she "had it tough", but she never says a word. And her husband fought in all the wars and now her son is fighting on the Egyptian front.
So what can you complain about?? Not much.
I grew up with the expression, "We survived Pharaoh (Pharaoh king of Egypt) we will survive this too." Meaning; we can get through anything.
I do not know why they choose Pharaoh. We have survived so many tragedies. We survived the Catholic Church and the inquisitions of Spain, Portugal and Mexico. We survived Russia and Ukraine and Chmielnicki massacres, we survived the Kishinev pogroms and the Cossacks and the Holocaust and the Nazis. But that is the expression; we survived Pharaoh of Egypt.
And in the Egyptian era there was a great hero, before Moses there was Joseph, and he had it tough, very tough.
Nothing went his way. He was hated by his brothers, his dreams were mocked, they tried to kill him, eventually they threw him in a well filled with scorpions and then they sold him into slavery. Talk about a string of bad luck.
He went to Egypt and did his best but fate turned against him. After rising in the house of Potifar again troubles began. He was falsely accused of trying to seduce the wife of Potifar, he was thrown in prison where he languished for years.
But his day was to come. His day of glory was head of him. For he was destined for great things. Perhaps all his hardship was just a preparation for all the greatness to come.
It was Joseph who saved the house of Pharaoh and the people of Egypt from famine and utter ruin.
Joseph, Yosef, would be the only son of Jacob to be the father of two tribes, Ephraim and Menashe, his name would go down in history as Yosef the righteous, none of the other sons would be called thus.
He had his troubles but he never lost hope. He never gave up, his day of glory came.
Some of us believe and some of us do not. Some lose their faith in hard times, so become stronger. No matter, the ancient lessons of the Torah are still relevant. They never lose their meaning. They are here to remind us how to live our lives.
So you are having a bad day, a bad week, a bad year, a bad decade?
I understand, so did Yosef/Joseph, but...we got through Pharaoh we shall get through this as well. For we must.
As we teach in our Krav Maga classes, Kadima, Forward, only forward, keep moving forward. We have no reverse in our lives, only forward.