The story of Vayigash is about members of a family “coming close” to one another after a long separation. The brothers recognized that maybe their chaos was happening because they had sold their brother Joseph. This recognition is what caused Joseph to reveal himself to them.
Do we look back and think about our own negativity? In the moments we experience chaos, do we ask ourselves what we did to create this situation? Most of us still want to blame others for whatever chaos we are going through. Chaos beset Joseph’s brothers over and over for 22 years until they finally realized that this was happening to them because they had sold their brother.
We can shorten this process. That’s what the technology of Kabbalah is all about. To shorten the tikkun process, we must take advantage of every moment when we can get extra Light, by accepting responsibility for our past actions and closing that chapter of our lives.
This is such a powerful lesson for us, and all we have to do is open a gate within ourselves. But it’s difficult to rid ourselves of the nonsense of “I’m still a little right about what happened.” Why can’t we just say in an argument, “You’re right and I’m wrong?” What would happen? We need to take responsibility for our actions and all that comes as a consequence of them. Sometimes the chaos arises from actions in a past life. But whether this time or the previous time, you have to ask yourself what you did to bring the situation about… even if it is a good thing.
We need to repeat to ourselves: “Every negative aspect of my life is only because of me.” If we can do that for just an hour or two, we can access the gates that are literally opened up during the reading of this story on Shabbat. And if we still cannot let go of the idea of whose fault it is, we will have wasted this opportunity.
I appeal to you: We all need the Light that can come from this story. If we can just take responsibility for all our actions, then we will open gates of abundance that have never been opened before.
*Excerpt from the Rav’s message on the portion of Vayigash as printed in The Kabbalistic Bible.