VAYESHEV by Mark Gersten in memory of Helene
Only G-d who created the world and directs it daily, can offer pure truth and justice in all his decisions. Clearly Rashi comments that Judah’s oldest two sons Onan and Er lost their lives because of their own sins. However, Judah was punished by Hashem, at that same time too, by losing these sons. It was his punishment for causing Jacob intense pain when he sold Joseph down to Egypt and the brothers implied that Joseph was dead.
Only Hashem can weigh multiple interacting blessings and curses, sins and mitzvot, merits and demerits from the actions of ancestors , and the future potential of offspring. He processes these to provide a just and truthful plan of action. We may not always be able to see Hashem’s thinking clearly, but we must believe in it being perfect.
Judah’s punishment is also a wakeup call for us. Judah actually thought that he was doing a Chesed for Joseph by selling him to Egypt and preventing the other brothers from killing him. He said, “mah Betzah ?”( בצע ) What is the good of praying three times a day :
ב Boker (morning) צ Tzaharayim (afternoon) and ע erev (night) if we have our brother’s blood on our hands ? …..and yet he was punished. We must always realize that decisions of a moral nature are often complex with many potential results and ramifications. One must try to consider and weigh them all as best as possible to hit upon the best solution.
JOSEPH’S BROTHERS SAW HIM COMING TO THEM FROM THE FIELD
THEY WANTED JUST TO KILL HIM, BUT TO JUDAH THEY DID YIELD
WE PRAY TO G-D THREE TIMES A DAY DOES IT MAKE ANY SENSE
INSTEAD OF KILLING FLESH AND BLOOD ALLOWING NO DEFENSE
LET’S SELL HIM, THAT WAY THERE WILL BE NO BLOOD UPON OUR HANDS
THE BROTHERS LISTENED QUIETLY AND HONORED HIS DEMANDS
BUT WHEN THE BROTHERS SAW THE ANGUISH ON THEIR FATHER’S FACE
JUDAH LOST ALL THEIR ESTEEM AND HAD A FALL FROM GRACE
THE PUNISHMENT IN G-D’S TRUE JUSTICE ALWAYS FITS THE CRIME
JUDAH LEFT HIS FATHER’S HOUSE BUT IN THE PROPER TIME
HE’D UNDERSTOOD QUITE WELL THE PAIN WHEN JACOB LOST HIS SON
INDEED G-D’S WILL WAS HE’D LOSE TWO SONS INSTEAD OF ONLY ONE