Selfish Selfless
By Moshe Katz
Israeli Krav International

December 27, 2016, Israel

Politicians, let's go back about 3,700 years. And Joseph son of Jacob the Patriarch is known to us as a righteous man. He is sold into slavery, he rises to a noble position, he is falsely accused of an affair and is sent to prison. He languishes there for a long time. He helps out two Egyptian ministers and asks the one who will survive to "remember him to Pharaoh".

The bastard minister is released and restored to his former position, just as Joseph had interpreted his dream, but the minister is ungrateful and does not say a word to the king on behalf of poor Joseph. Joseph remains in prison, all but forgotten. No one cares. Until...they need him.

King Pharaoh wakes up in a cold sweat, he cannot sleep, he is having terrible dreams, again and again. He calls his wise men but none can answer him, none can calm his soul. The minister of beverages remembers Joseph as one who has the gift to interpret dreams, but it is awkward to bring it up, to remind Pharaoh of the ministers' days in prison. So he begins...Pharaoh was irrationally angry at his servants and I was sent to prison. I.e. I do not take responsibility for being thrown in prison, it was all due to Pharaoh being cranky that day.

So I and the minister of baking were placed in custody and there with us was a young Hebrew lad who was a servant of the minister of cooking, and we told him our dreams and he solved them for us very accurately.

The minister of Beverages only "remembers" Joseph when it serves his purpose, to get closer, an "in" with the king, Pharaoh.

Suddenly Joseph is rushed out of prison, suddenly it is so easy to grant him a presidential pardon. What about all those accusations? What about the alleged affair with the wife of an Egyptian of great importance? Well I guess all is forgiven and forgotten if you can serve my purposes now. Reminds me a lot of the Nuremberg war trials of Nazi criminals. Only when the USA discovered that a lot of these scientists and generals could be used by the United States suddenly all was forgiven and forgotten. Suddenly these Nazis could be smuggled "discreetly" into the United States, given a clean political bill of health and sent to work for the US government as scientists, researchers and spies. Some, like Joseph, soon became major governmental figures. And years later, when it was politically expedient, some of those former Nazis who were no longer vital to US interests were dumped and deported. Their former friends in the CIA were not there to help. Pure self interest.

So Joseph is cleaned up, shaved, bathed, dressed and brought before Pharaoh. This is his big chance. And Pharaoh says I have heard great things about you young man, you can hear a dream and give its meaning.

And what does Joseph son of Jacob son of Isaac son of Abraham the Hebrew reply?

No sir, it is beyond me, only God can restore Pharaoh's peace. And so it is. With complete selfless humility Joseph the Righteous takes credit for nothing at all. After Joseph not only interprets Pharaohs dreams but also gives sound advice how to withstand the famine and maintain political control Pharaoh is very pleased. "Can such a man be found who has the spirit of God within him?"

Ah Joseph, our Yosef, three thousand seven hundred years later and we are still talking about you; can such a man be found these days in our political system? We can find many Pharaohs, we can find many ministers of beverages seeking to gain favor with kings and lords but can we find a humble Joseph?  A man whom the spirit of God is with him?

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