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Miketz. Does Faith in God clash with Human Initiative?

  • Does faith in God mean a suspension of human initiative?

  • Is human action a lack of faith?

  • Does a God-fearing person just adopt a fatalistic position, certain that “B’ezrat Hashem,” God will take care of our future?

A famous Midrash on the opening verse of our parsha seems to strongly underscore this sentiment.

If we recall, last week’s parsha saw Joseph in jail, interpreting the dreams of the butler and baker. As he foresees the butler’s return to his position, Joseph appeals to him:

“Remember me when all is well with you again, and do me the kindness of mentioning me to Pharaoh, so as to free me from this place.” (40:14)

However, his hopes were dashed:

“The butler did not remember Joseph; he forgot him.”