Today I opened up a window in my life that was closed and shaded for years. The fear that bringing this story to light might cause continuous storms, led me to leave it locked away. Yet the events of the current year have had me open this window and tell this story to some of my closest friends at my Shul. Here are a few notes (below) for those that weren’t able to attend and if you want to fill in the gaps the window is now open for other speaking engagements. For although I predicted clouds and a storm it turned out to be a day of beauty with loving friends which has made sure that I won’t be closing this window anytime soon.
WHY JOSEPH EVERY YEAR
Part 1- The most difficult part- Rabbi Inspired to speak up
- The truth is have a certain fear that I might lose a friend by this Diva Torah or some will just look at me in a different lense but I felt I need to speak.
- Sharing this w my extended family the people of this Shul.
- For Joseph is a bible story that in many ways is too true in my life.
- Running for office- then in a 12×12 cell
- I had done the right thing- but everything appeared totally wrong- This wasn’t supposed to happen here to me?
- The charges were dropped even before a grand jury was called because they were completely baseless.
- Yet all I sought was vengeance and hate for this individual that caused such pain for me and my family and who appeared to destroy my entire life.
- I prayed to G-D for some relief and the story of Joseph came into my heart and soul. I realized if hate wasn’t in Joseph’s heart why should it be in mine. I decided to hate the sin but not the sinner.
- Leaving true justice in G-D’s hands instead and living in peace instead.
- In the end this story such as Joseph’s had a happy ending where justice was served partially due to a civil law cases but also by powers above my own.
- Being accused of a crime is something one keeps hidden for even if they are completely innocent they feel guilty for the pain that has occurred to their loved ones as well as what if’s. Will others look at them differently if they know their full story? They learn to fear the institutions they should trust and wonder who they can truly share this pain with without it hurting more.
- I’ve told my story with my extended family because Just like in Joseph’s time innocent people from all walks of life are being accused of crimes and sometimes our biases even mine convict before all the facts are heard. Before these individuals are even charged they may lose something more important their reputation and belief.
- As Jews I believe we have an extra calling to “innocent before proven guilty” whether it be hideous accusations of as a group such as blood libel or prominent individual cases of injustice such as the Dreyfus Affair to baseless claims today concerning the state of Israel we’ve seen this story repeated way to often.
- Let us pledge to keep the story of Joseph relevant in our life’s today and not pass judgement until it is truly passed. Let us have sympathy for those that bring such accusations but also those who were falsely accused.
PART 2- LEARNING FROM JOSEPH
- I believe observation isn’t necessarily based on the food we eat or the clothes we wear but how we bring faith through the clouds and sun.
- Joseph inspired me to see that sometimes we have to go through a little hell to find true warmth.
- Without the false accusations would I really have understood the pain of others and appreciated the freedom many take for granted? Would I have pushed ahead with projects that before could have waited till another “free day” ?
- Joseph inspired me to do that when things go right there is only one who should take the final bow G-D
- For life’s puzzle’s piece may make no sense in the moment but form a beautiful picture if you put them together one faithful step at a time.
- Maybe the story of Joseph needs to be told throughout our world and especially the ending for justice will prevail if not by our means then by G-D’s