Baruch Hashem by Yigal Marcus


When a Jew is asked, “How are you?” it is customary to answer, “Baruch Hashem,” “Thank God.”  But does this answer the question?  Obviously, it doesn’t, so why answer the question with this response?  We can learn the reason for this from this week’s Parsha, Parshat Mikeitz.

The Parsha opens with the incident of Pharaoh dreaming about the seven fat cows and the seven emaciated cows.  Because Pharaoh was perplexed by the dream, he began to look for someone who could interpret it.  It is brought to his attention that Yosef, a criminal in jail, has the ability to interpret dreams.  Pharaoh calls Yosef to his palace to interpret his dream, and we see from the Pesukim throughout this event and from Yosef’s language with Pharaoh that he constantly reminded Pharaoh that everything was in Hashem’s hands:  “Biladai, Elokim Yaaneh Et Shlom Paroh.”

This is the first time that Pharaoh is directly exposed to monotheistic beliefs.  Yosef constantly reminds Pharaoh of Hashem’s omnipotence and awesomeness.  Upon seeing through Yosef’s speech that he was truly a man of God, and, therefore, a man of wisdom, Pharaoh appoints Yosef to the second highest position in the Egyptian government.  Ultimately, because of this, Yosef shapes the future of Klal Yisrael.

We can learn from this that one’s speech – which should always convey one’s belief in God, can shape the future of all of Klal Yisrael.  When someone asks how you are doing, you should always answer “Baruch Hashem,” to show others your true belief in God.

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