Friday Candle Lighting: 4:34 PM
Shabbat Ends: 5:33 PM
If Ya’ Got It, Don’t Flaunt It!
“So, Yaakov said to his sons: ‘Why do you make yourselves conspicuous?’” (42:1)
For many years, Rabbi Arthur Kohn zt”l was the Rabbi of Finsbury Park Synagogue in London. Once, at a wedding, delighted to see that Rabbi Kohn was in the crowd, one of the organizers rushed up to him and asked if he would accept the honor of saying one of the sheva berachot (seven wedding blessings) that are traditionally recited under the chupa (wedding canopy). Rabbi Kohn readily agreed, but when the organizer came to tell him that his beracha would be the next one, he firmly refused.
The beracha that he was to recite was:”Sos tosis…” “The barren one will surely exult and be glad in gathering her children to herself joyfully (in haste). Blessed are You, Hashem, The One who gladdens Tzion by way of her children.” “But Rabbi Kohn,” said the organizer, “please accept the honor!” “You don’t understand,” said Rabbi Kohn, “we have no children. If I say this beracha, how will my wife feel?”
“So, Yaakov said to his sons: ‘Why do you make yourselves conspicuous?’”
In the Gemara in Ta’anit (10b) Rashi explains that Yaakov was telling his sons to be sensitive to the plight of Yishmael and Esav, through whose lands they would have to travel on the way to Egypt. When everyone else is starving, be sensitive to others and don’t flaunt your good fortune.