In Parshat Vayechi, after our father Yaakov passes on, all the brothers bring their father to Hebron where he will be buried next to his wife Leah, his father Yitzchak, his mother Rebecca, as well as his grandparents Avraham and Sarah.
The Talmud advances that on the way back from the burial, Joseph passes the pit that his brothers threw him into decades earlier. Upon seeing the pit, Joseph recites a blessing thanking G-d for his miraculous survival. When his brothers see this, they become worried and think perhaps Joseph still harbors resentments, and now that their father is gone, he will exact revenge and retribution.
When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “What if Joseph still bears a grudge against us and pays us back for all the wrong that we did him!”
However, this was not the case, because Joseph had made peace with all that occurred years ago and did not maintain residual anger. How did he do it? How did he garner the strength and conviction to truly forgive the grave sin that caused him trauma and pain?
Joseph believed and understood that everything that occurred was designed by G-d Himself, and therefore there was no room for resentment against his brothers who carried out the beginning of the divine plan.
As we conclude the book of Genesis and appreciate our illustrious national beginnings, let’s also try to incorporate some of the great examples of personal integrity and achievement we read about our Matriarchs and Patriarchs.
Community Scholar in Residence