Parshat Miketz

The Parsha of the week is Miketz 📖

Yosef’s brothers came down to Egypt to buy food to help them and their family survive the famine in Canaan. On entering Pharaoh’s palace Yosef immediately recognised his brothers (even though 22 years had passed). The brothers, however, did not recognise Yosef.

How could it be, after all this time that Yosef felt any love for his brothers? Did Yosef not feel hate towards those who had cast him in a pit and sold him into slavery? He could have made life so hard for the brothers. He could have refused them food, taken THEM as slaves, yet he did not, even though they caused him so much pain and grief. What is this behavior teaching us?

Hashem is trying to teach us that even though it may be difficult to forget the wrong a person has done to you, it is possible to forgive. Yosef didn’t forget what had happened, and he even tells his brothers, “I am your brother Yosef, whom you sold to Egypt” (Bereishit 45:4), but he chose to forgive them. To let go of hurt and pain and see the bigger picture.

Which was what? That the brothers did not do anything at all.

Yosef was always an eved Hashem, a servant of Hashem. When he was thrown into a pit of snakes and scorpions, they didn’t touch him. He knew Hashem was with him. When he was sold to the Ishmalim the midrash tells us he noticed it was a caravan of sweet smelling spices. Yosef knew that even then Hashem was with him. Going from shackles and prison to the palace, he knew Hashem was with him. Looking back, he saw that his brother’s actions and his time as a slave were part of the bigger picture. Hashem wanted and needed him to come down to Egypt and become the second only to Pharaoh for a reason! “It is not you who sent me here, but rather God” (Bereishit 45:8).

Therefore, he had not forgotten what the brothers did, but he could not be angry. The brothers were to take responsibility for their actions, but Yosef did not seek revenge. That is Hashem caused and they way it was meant to happen. Hashem works everything out for the best and we must try to judge everyone with a good eye and favorably.

✨ *Shabbat Shalom* ✨