This week’s Sedra opens with Yehuda taking the heroic role of advocating clemency for Binyomin’s supposed crime of stealing Yosef’s goblet. Eventually Yosef can no longer contain himself and reveals his identity to his brothers. Yosef tells them ‘I am the Yosef you sold to be a slave in the land of Egypt’. Yosef creates the obvious contrast between his brothers’ attitude then when they were willing to sell him and almost kill him without his having committed any crime and now, when they are courageously defending Binyomin when it would seem (to anyone but those involved in ‘planting the evidence’) that he did commit a crime. What caused this total about-face?
It would appear that when the Shevatim witnessed their father’s suffering following the disappearance of Yosef, they realized the enormous impact that the loss of a child had had on their father. The B’Ohalei Tzadikim explains that the love a father has for a son is greater than the love a son can ever have for a father. The B’Ohalei Tzadikim explains that this is so because it was programmed into mankind from Adam Harishon. Adam Harishon didn’t have a father, but he had a son. Adam therefore could not love a father, but he loved a son.
While neither Yosef nor Binyomin became sons of the other Shevatim, the Shevatim were able to become more conscious of the fact that Yosef and Binyomin were their father’s sons. The Shevatim became sensitive to the paternal emotions Yaakov Avinu had towards his sons.
Chazal tell us (Avos) that mankind is dear because mankind was created in the image of Hashem. Chazal then continue and tell us Am-Yisroel is even dearer as we are called sons of Hashem.
Each and every member of Am-Yisroel is Banim LaHashem (sons to Hashem) and as such we must realize that Hashem has tremendous love and appreciation for every single Jew. Perhaps if we were to recognize each Jew as a son of Hashem we would cease to have so many internal struggles and we would be able to come together with Avinu Shebashamayim. It was when the Shivtei Kah recognized each other as Bnei Yaakov that Yaakov was able to reunite with all his children together.
May Hashem reunite with all of his children in the very near future.
A very warm Good Shabbos, Rabbi Y. Dov Krakowski