In the sefer " ושב ורפא לו" by Rabbi Tikotzinski (Parshas Vayeshev, p. 119) explains that all things that happened to Yehudah, were a preparation from G-d to bring the redemption. He says:

When we look at the events in our parasha, mechiras Yosef, incident with Tamar, Eishes Potifar etc.. It were all events that were necessary to bring the light of Moshiach ben Yosef [...] (my own translation)

להתחזק באמונה וללכת בדרכו של יוסף הצדיק וללמוד להכיר את השגחת ה' וע"י כך להביא לידי משיח בן יוסף שהוא סמל השגחת ה' וכבר אמרו חז"ל בפרשת מקץ על הפסוק למה הרעותם לי וכו' אמר הקב"ה אני עוסק להמליך את בנו במצרים והוא אומר למה הרעותם לי הנה מתבאר כי האדם איננו יודע את השתלשלות הענינים כפי שקורה באמת הנה כשנתבונן בפרשתינו מכירת יוסף ואח"כ מעשה תמר ושוב פרשת יוסף בבית פוטיפר הרי הכל היה רצף מאורעות בכדי להביא את אורו של משיח בן יוסף שכך הם דברי רש"י על הפסוק וירד יהודה מאת אחיו שהורידוהו אחיו מגדולתו ועומק הדבר הוא שהקב"ה מקדים רפואה למכה ולכן לפני גלות מצרים שתחילתה היא בירידת יוסף בזמן האפל ההוא יוסף נמכר ויעקב מצטער וכן ראובן חס על יוסף וכו' ובנתיים מכין הקב"ה את התכלית ע"י ירידת יהודה מגדולתו ומוריד לעולם את אורו של משיח בן דוד לקראת הגאולה

What exactly does this mean? Why where these events necessary in order to bring Moshiach ben Yosef? Is this a common idea expressed by meforshim, or an chiddush of the author himself? I am aware of the principle that in order to ascend, sometimes a person needs to descend, but there must be another, deeper reason. At least, I would love to hear some :)

  • The common idea is that ultimately good comes from bad actions. This is a common idea in judaism
    – Shababnik
    Dec 27, 2023 at 20:44
  • Yes I know, but why specifically these events?
    – Shmuel
    Dec 27, 2023 at 20:48

1 Answer 1


This concept is discussed by Rav Avigdor Miller in his writings on the chumash. When things are looking bleak, Hashem is in reality preparing for the greatest of salvations. Yehudah had left the presence of his brothers, his wife died, 2 of his children had died. Things were not looking good for him. In the middle of all this, Hashem was getting things ready for mashiach by arranging things so that Yehudah and Tamar were together and produced a child who was the ancestor of the moshiach. I haven't found anyone who explains why specifically Tamar...

The brothers had sold Yosef. He was a slave in Egypt, a place of magic and impurity. His master's wife tempted him daily for months on end. His refusal to be with her landed him in jail for 12 years! However, Hashem was getting him ready for the critical role he was to play in forming our nation. All of this was for Yosef to improve his character. With his improved character, he stood before Pharaoh, only then was worthy to be the ruler of Egypt. It was Yosef who ensured that his father's family was taken care of during their stay in Egypt. For 70 years, the Jewish people were protected under the rule of Yosef till his passing. This was critical in the formation of our people. 

Yakov made a deal with Lavan to work for 7 years for Rachel. Yakov's original intention was to marry one wife and then go back home. Though Hashem had other things in mind, and ensured that Yakov also married Leah, who actually bore the bulk of the tribes. 

At all times, Hashem was and is guiding events so that His desire is, no matter how subjectively convoluted it may seem, the final outcome.

  • Thanks. The first part on the connection between Yehudah, Tamar and Moshiach I get. Nice. Refer also to Maamar Yehudah Atah 5746. The second part is a nice chiddush, but I have a problem with it. The Abarbanel famously explains in parshas Vayechi (birkas Yaakov) that Yaakov was inspecting his sons in order to find out which one of them would be suitable to rule the kingdom, Yosef wasn't suitable, Yehudah was. So what does it mean that: "Hashem was getting him ready for the critical role he was to play in forming our nation."? Is it because of the connection with Moshiach ben Yosef perhaps?
    – Shmuel
    Jan 4 at 20:54
  • @Shmuel Yosef watched over the family for the 70 years that he was a ruler in Egypt. He ensured that they would live in Goshen, somewhat apart from the rest of the Egyptians, so they would be less influenced by them. He provided food for them during the famine and during the rest of those years. It was under Yosef's rule, that the family started to become a nation.
    – Shababnik
    Jan 5 at 13:49
  • thanks, seems logical. Did you read the first section in Toras Avigdor (the English edition)? Gut Shabbos!
    – Shmuel
    Jan 5 at 15:28
  • @Shmuel yes I did read it in toras avigdor, though awhile back. Git shabbos
    – Shababnik
    Jan 5 at 15:43

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