210. "And it came to pass after these things that his master's wife cast her eyes upon Joseph" (Beresheet 39:7). Rabbi Chiya began the discussion with the verse, "Bless Hashem, you angels of His, you mighty in strength who perform His bidding, hearkening to the voice of His word" (Tehilim 103:20). Come and behold, a man should be very careful to avoid sinning and should walk the path of righteousness so as not to be led astray by the Evil Inclination, who daily brings accusations against him.
211. Because the Evil Inclination constantly accuses him, it behooves a man to overcome it and stand firmly, SO THAT THE EVIL INCLINATION CANNOT MOVE HIM. Man must be mightier than it and be attached to the place of Gvurah ('might'), for when man overpowers it, he cleaves to the side of Gvurah and is strengthened. Because the Evil Inclination is mighty, it behooves a man to be mightier.
212. Those who overcome it are described as "mighty in strength," as they are with their own kind FOR BY OVERCOMING THE MIGHTY ONE, THEY BECOME AS MIGHTY AS IT. These are the angels of the Holy One, blessed be He, NAMELY THE RIGHTEOUS, who come from the side of Harsh Gvurah to overcome THE EVIL INCLINATION. THEY ARE CALLED the "mighty in strength who perform His bidding" (Tehilim 103:20). "Bless Hashem, you angels of His," such as Joseph, who was called 'righteous' and 'mighty' and preserved the Holy Covenant, which was imprinted upon him.
213. Rabbi Elazar asks, What is THE MEANING OF THE VERSE, "And it came to pass after these things" (Beresheet 39:7)? HE SAYS, It has been explained that the place from which the Evil Inclination brings forth accusations is the grade CALLED "after these things." Joseph gave it an opening for accusations, so THE EVIL INCLINATION said that Joseph's father was mourning over him and that he, Joseph, adorned himself and curled his hair. Thus, it aroused against him the bear, NAMELY POTIPHAR'S WIFE, and it assailed him.
214. "And it came to pass after these things." Come and behold, when the Holy One, blessed be He, inspects the world to judge it and finds wicked people therein, then "He shut up the heavens, that there be no rain, and that the land yield not its fruit" and then, "You perish quickly" (Devarim 11:17). Because of the sins of men, the heavens and earth stop performing their natural functions.
215. Come and behold, those who do not keep the Holy Covenant cause separation between the children of Yisrael and their Father in heaven. For it is written, "And you turn aside, and serve other Elohim, and worship them; and then Hashem's anger be inflamed against you and He shut up the heavens, that there be no rain" (Devarim 11:16-17). He WHO GUARDS NOT THE COVENANT is equal to a person who serves other Elohim, for he is false to the Holy Covenant.
216. When the holy Covenant is well kept in the world, the Holy One, blessed be He, pours blessings from above, which are showered over the world, as it is written, "You Elohim, did send a plentiful rain, whereby You did strengthen Your inheritance when it languished" (Tehilim 68:10). The "plentiful rain" is a rain of favor that pours when the Holy One, blessed be He, is favorable toward the Congregation of Yisrael and desires to pour blessings upon it. Then, "You did strengthen Your inheritance when it languished."
217. Your inheritance is Yisrael, the inheritance of the Holy One, blessed be He, as it is written, "Jacob is the lot of His inheritance" (Devarim 32:9). The 'languishing' is the Congregation of Yisrael which languishes in a strange land. It is thirsty for water BUT CANNOT SLAKE ITS THIRST and is thus weary. With favorable rain then, "You did strengthen."
218. Thus, the heavens, the earth, and all their armies are all established on the principles of the Covenant, as it is written, "If my covenant be not day and night, it were as if I had not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth" (Yirmeyah 33:25). We should guard it, as has already been explained. It is therefore first written, "And Joseph was of beautiful form and fair to look upon," and then, "his master's wife cast her eyes upon Joseph," WHICH MEANS THAT BECAUSE HE WAS NOT ON HIS GUARD, BUT ADORNED HIMSELF BY CURLING HIS HAIR, AND WAS GOOD LOOKING AND WELL FAVORED, HIS MASTER'S WIFE CAST HER EYES UPON HIM.