VAYEISHEV "And Joseph's master took him...................................."(39:20)
A very curious question can be asked, as follows: Usually a servant is known by his master, yet here we find that the master is known by his servant, namely Joseph's master? It appears that Joseph is more dominate a figure than his master. What lesson is the Torah teaching us by telling us this fact? I would like to propose an original answer, Bezrat Hashem. In Taanith 21b, it states the following:Rabbi Yose stated, "It is not the place that honors the man, but it is the man who honors the place." (End of quote)(Please refer there for further details.)
This is a very significant statement especially regarding Joseph. In all types of relationships, there is a dominate person and the subservient partner. It is very rare to find equal partners.Joseph's presence was having an effect on Egypt and especially on his master. His master was not the same, he was actually being influenced by Joseph for the better. When people saw POTIPHAR
(Joseph's master), he was different. He walked, spoke,and ate differently. People were saying, "There goes Joseph's master." Potipher was actually picking up Joseph's refined mannerism's. Joseph was becoming the dominate half of the master- servant relationship which is quite unusual.We , therefore, find that no matter where an honorable personage may go, honor is being bestowed on that place. Joseph was honorable and refined,thereby his associations were honored and refined. An honorable personage has the ability to have a direct influence on the local he is presently at. A prime example is Joseph. The Egyptians were intuitively aware of Joseph's dominance as personified through his master.
As Orthodox Jews, do we bestow honor to the places we go like Joseph? Are our mannerisms and manners refined? Are we dominate for good, or subservient to mediocrity? We must realize that Joseph was just a lowly Hebrew slave, yet his influence was felt .
Have a good Shabbos
This Torah thought is being dedicated to my beloved father NACHMAN SHIMON ben YEHUDA MEIR HAKOHAN, Z"L