Section: Parshas HaShavua   Category: Quick Vort
Parshas BiShalach: Rav Elyashiv - The Ultimate Tour Guide, Atzmos Yosef

The pasuk says that Moshe took Atzmos Yosef, the bones of Yosef with him. Why does it say this in Parshas Beshalach after they left Mitzrayim? Shouldn't it say it in Parshas Bo while they were getting ready to leave?

Rav Elyashiv in Divrei Agaddah says that in Bishalach the pasuk says that Hashem could have brought them to Eretz Yisroel in just a few days but didn't want to. The Medrash says that had they come to Eretz Yisroel straight from Mitzrayim they would have quickly involved themselves in planting and building and would never have absorbed the lessons of the Torah properly. They needed the time in the Midbar to grow spiritually. The Midbar was their "Yeshiva". They ate Mun, drank from the Be'er and absorbed Torah into their bones. The problem with the Midbar was that it was a dangerous place and took strong willed people to endure this climate that was as harsh on the spirit as it was on the body; wandering aimlessly for so long without a home. So close to Eretz Yisroel yet so far away. In an environment like this one could lose hope and everything gained will be lost.

The Atzmos Yosef says Rav Elyashiv provided them with a guiding light. Yosef himself suffered in his own "Midbar" for so long. Sold into slavery and thrown into jail (more correctly a dungeon) on false charges. Yet Chazal tell us that Yosef prevailed. His spirit did not waver for a moment although he was the ultimate "lost" soul without hope. Through all this he held steadfast to mitzvos and overcame every temptation.

When one goes through a spiritual Midbar says the torah, do not forget to take a good guide with you. The best one available is Atzmos Yosef.