Translation by Yehoshua Siskin
On Shabbat morning in Tel Aviv, 60 people are crowded together in the living room of Rav Asaf and Zvia Tabachnik, from “Rosh Yehudi community. There is a meal followed by long and enchanting hours of discussion and song. Rav Asaf speaks about two words which, in his opinion, are the most powerful words in the parasha: “Ani Yosef” (I am Yosef). Only a moment before, everything seemed lost. The brothers stand before a strange Egyptian ruler who threatens to put one of them in prison, investigating them all the while. The brothers are sure there is no way out, that they are completely stuck. However next in one brief moment, their reality is flipped and everything is suddenly beautiful on account of just two words: “Ani Yosef.” Suddenly, their knotty predicament is resolved. Suddenly, there is an answer to their questions, an explanation for the Egyptian ruler’s bizarre behavior and interrogations, an end to their worries. “Ani Yosef.” Suddenly the family reunites. We learn that a seemingly impossible situation can turn around in an instant.
Rav Asaf explained that every one of us has “Ani Yosef” moments, moments where everything suddenly becomes clear, where all the chaos, disappointments, and misunderstandings from the past are suddenly interconnected and make sense. Everything that happened to us can now be explained in a meaningful way, and provide clear and unmistakable guidance as to what we should do next —start over, but in a better place than we ever imagined we could be.
Rav Asaf asked all of those present to share an “Ani Yosef” moment from their lives. What followed were highly emotional stories, whether they were experienced individually, with a spouse, or in professional life.
You are invited to think about such moments that you have experienced in your life, too.