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Steven Zvi Gleiberman

Free Will Isn’t Free

Instead of killing him, Yosef’s brothers sell him as a slave. Yosef turns his fortune around to rise up and become the second in command of the entire kingdom of Egypt. When confronting his brothers for selling him, Yosef says; “you did not send me here, but God, and He made me a father to Pharaoh, a lord over all his household, and a ruler over the entire land of Egypt.” This sounds interesting as Yosef’s brothers actually did sell him, causing him to go to Egypt, so why did Yosef say that the bothers did not do that?

It may be a message from Yosef to his brothers that they are not in charge. Yes, they had the free will to sell him, and they did. However, in actuality, they did nothing. Yosef’s perspective shifts the focus from their actions to the larger picture of Divine arrangement. God did, does and will do everything. He is in control of every outcome before it happens. As you read through the words of the passuk, Yosef says; “you did not send me here, but God” and it is followed by “and he made me a father to Pharaoh,” something that his brothers would not have ever imagined, further reinforcing the idea that the brothers weren’t in charge of the outcome (note: this realization doesn’t absolve his brothers of responsibility for their actions). It suggests that even when humans make choices, God’s overarching plan remains in control and can utilize those choices to fulfill a higher purpose.

In life, when good or bad things happen and we ask the question of; “where was God,” the answer is always that He is here and what He is doing is the correct thing. The better question is “Why did God do this,” to which the answer (in the form of a question, because I am Jewish) always is “how can you know why God does things unless He tells you”, meaning unless He tells us His reasoning for things, we will never know. On a side note, if anyone has one-on-one direct messages with God, please ask him where my wallet that I left on a bus two years ago is and if the Titan submarine was blown up purposely to distract us from other global events.

God works through human events, even the most challenging or seemingly unfair ones, to accomplish His plan. We do have free will, but ultimately, our plans and actions operate within the framework of a grander divine plan. So, the next time “life” happens, don’t be too strong on yourself. It is part of your plan, which is, by the way, the perfect plan for you.

Shabbat Shalom!

About the Author
StevenZvi grew up in Brooklyn and in his professional life worked in the healthcare industry in New York City. Wishing to create additional meaning and purpose in his life, he moved to Jerusalem in November 2020, where he lives with his wife, works in the Medical Technology space and volunteers for Hatzalah. He uses his writing capabilities as a healthy outlet not to receive money, recognition or fame. It’s his hope that his articles will have some positive impact on the Jewish nation and humanity worldwide. He may not live forever, but his contributions to society might.
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