Midreshet Amit


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Parshat Vayechi: Working Things Out

By: Mrs. Pesha Fischer

So often we see in families that arguments fester and grudges are born and families are torn apart. In this weeks parsha almost immediately after Yaakov is buried, the brothers approach Yosef and inform him that Yaakov "commanded" them to tell Yosef before he died that Yosef must forgive them for all that they have done. The brother are afraid now that Yaakov is not alive that Yosef will take revenge upon them for the past. Yosef cries. He is devastated that after all this time his brothers still see him in such a light. He replies "התחת אלקים אני " am I in place of G-D. He reminds his brothers that everything was for the best, but he does not forgive them outright. He promises them food for them and their families but does not reply you are forgiven. Am I in place of G-d he asks? Yes, everything turned out OK, but your intentions were not good, maybe you need to ask forgiveness from G-D. The section continues to inform
us that Yosef spoke to their hearts. The brothers sat and worked on their issues together until the brothers were no longer nervous that Yosef would retaliate against them. Yaakov was not able to see the maturing of his sons and their deepening relationship.

Before it became popular, Yosef and his brothers talked everything out and left no issues left unsaid. On the cusp of becoming a nation the brothers build a nation of brotherhood in their own families that set the tone for the unity that Bnei Yisrael display during their time in Egypt. According to the Midrash, one of the identifying markers that kept the Jews separate was that they did not speak badly of each other. Learned from their ancestors, brotherhood became the pride of the Jewish nation thanks to the stage set in this weeks Parsha by Yosef and his brothers.