“And a man found him, and he was wandering aimlessly in the field. And the man asked him, “What is it you seek?”

In the beginning of this week’s parsha, Yosef encounters a man in the field who points him in the way of Dosan, where his brothers are pasturing. The three pesukim which describe this encounter tell of a man (Rashi tells us this is the malach Gavriel) who sees Yosef wandering in the fields and asks him, “Mah tevakeish?”, “What are you looking for?” When Yosef answers that he is searching for his brothers, the man directs him toward Dosan.

In the larger setting of Yosef’s strained relationship with his brothers and their plot to harm him, this event seems to be a minor, almost insignificant detail. However, let’s look at this episode from the following, hypothetical perspective. If this man doesn’t point Yosef in the way of Dosan, Yosef never finds his brothers. He doesn’t get sold down to Egypt, and Yaakov doesn’t settle there. The Jews are neither enslaved by Pharaoh nor redeemed by Moshe, and, ultimately, matan Torah never takes place.

This means that, on a certain level, the entire history of the world may be seen as hinging on the concern and guidance of one man to a wandering teen.

This Shabbos, let’s take a moment to think about all of those wandering souls we meet in the fields of daily living. What might happen if we cared enough to ask them, “Mah tivakeish? – What are you searching for?” Who can tell the effect of simply pointing another Jew in the right direction? Sometimes, a little concern and a drop of guidance is all it takes to change the course of history.

While it may seem like an insignificant act, offering guidance and support to a wandering soul can change the course of history.

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R’ Yaakov Klein is the founder of the Lost Princess Initiative, an author, musician, and lecturer devoted to sharing the inner light of Torah through his books, music, and lectures.

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