I am a rabbi because of a game of catch I played at camp with a rabbi more than three times my age. ... Others people who have changed my direction are like supporting actors in my life. ... In Parashat Vayeishev, Joseph goes out searching for his brothers who are supposed to be in the field tending the flock. ... Along the way he meets a man whose name we never know: The Torah refers to him simply as ha-ish, ”the man” who saw Joseph wandering in the field (Gen. 37:15).
As we read Parashat Vayeishev, Rabbi Dan Moskovitz challenges us to ask ourselves, “Who are the people past or present who at critical crossroads in your life’s journey gave you directions, held your hand, and walked a bit of the journey with you?” ... He recalls various influential people in his life. ... Rabbi Moskovitz compares such people to ha-ish, "the (unnamed) man" who guided Joseph to discover his destiny. I want to suggest, though, that ha-ish was not quite like the people that I can identify from my past. ... By contrast, ha-ish was just an anonymous stranger who told Joseph that he had seen his brothers ... head toward Dothan.