Vayeishev - Spices were arranged
Chananya Weissman


  נזדמנו בשמים

[לז:כה] וַיֵּשְׁבוּ לֶאֱכָל לֶחֶם וַיִּשְׂאוּ עֵינֵיהֶם וַיִּרְאוּ וְהִנֵּה אֹרְחַת יִשְׁמְעֵאלִים בָּאָה מִגִּלְעָד וּגְמַלֵּיהֶם נֹשְׂאִים נְכֹאת וּצְרִי וָלֹט הוֹלְכִים לְהוֹרִיד מִצְרָיְמָה:

רש"י (ד"ה וגמליהם נשאים)

למה פרסם הכתוב את משאם? להודיע מתן שכרן של צדיקים, שאיו דרכן של ערביים לשאת אלא נפט ועטרן שריחן רע, ולזה נזדמנו בשמים, שלא יוזק מריח רע:

Yosef was just torn away from his family, left for dead by his own brothers, and sold into slavery to a bunch of Arabs. His future looked bleak, if not entirely hopeless. But, hey, the caravan sure smelled nice!

Without a doubt, this unlikely silver lining was not meant to be a consolation prize to Yosef, but a twofold message. First, that whatever afflictions Hashem had decreed upon Yosef were measured with a perfect measure. Even if Yosef did not understand why this had befallen him, he could take solace in the fact that he would be spared from even the slightest annoyance that had not passed Heavenly decree.

Second, it was clear from this subtle miracle that, even in his darkest moment, Hashem was still watching over him. This incident with the spices was not meant merely to give him a minimally pleasant journey, but to give him chizzuk to withstand the many challenges that awaited him.