Parshas Vayigash: Rav Isaac Sher - Doing The Wrong Thing With Hashem's Help
When Yosef revealed himself to his brothers they were mortified and ashamed. Why? After all they judged him properly and determined that he deserved to die. They even at the end decided to spare his life. Their only regret twenty years later was that they didn't have enough pity, but they never believed that they erred. Moreover Hashem agreed with them, as He was part of the pact to remain silent. Their every action was done with Ruach HaKodesh. Why were they ashamed?
Rav Isaac Sher says we learn from here a very important lesson. Divine assistance and consent proves nothing and doesn't justify any of our deeds. We can not use it as a barometer of our righteousness or an indicator of the path we should take. Why? Hashem gives each person Bechira, free will to do as he wants. This means that he will get divine assistance for any path he chooses. It is all part of life. Chazal say B'Derech SheAdam Rotzeh Leileich Molichim Osoi, the way a person wants to go Hashem helps him.
The Shevatim were convinced that their intentions were pure. Only when they saw Yosef was right and they were wrong, did they search deep inside themselves and find the hatred and jealousy that sullied their power to correctly judge Yosef. They realized they erred even with Hashem's apparent consent.
There is much confusion in today's frum world as to what Hashem wants from us. Our order of priorities has been turned on its head. There are all sorts of fads and segulos that promise proven results. This however is no indication that these things are important to do, or even desired by Hashem.
So if we can't trust Heavenly signs, how are we to know what's right and what's nonsense. The answer is that we complicate our own lives, when in fact things are quite simple. Our one and only guidance is the Torah and our Chachomim. Our Torah is eternal and does not change with the times. The things that were important for generation after generation remain important today, even if they aren't the latest and greatest. Torah, Davening, and Chesed have held up the world until now and will always continue to do so. There are clear guidelines in the Shulchan Aruch as to how they should be performed. Don't buy into the latest craze.