PLATE DEPICTING Joseph sold by his brothers, 1550-1554, The Metropolitan Museum of Art..
(photo credit: PICRYL)
In last week’s Torah portion, Miketz, we read about Joseph repeatedly accusing his innocent brothers of spying, of stealing and of lying. He threatens to enslave them and puts them in prison. The superficial reader might think that Joseph wants to get back at his brothers for what they did to him when they threw him into a pit and then sold him into slavery. But from this week’s portion of Vayigash, we learn that Joseph forgave his brothers wholeheartedly for their deeds. Joseph even comforted them and calmed them as he unveiled the great faith that directed his life:“But now do not be sad, and let it not trouble you that you sold me here, for it was to preserve life that God sent me before you… And now, you did not send me here, but God…” (Genesis 45:5-8).