<I>Vayigash</i>: Learning the Lesson of Unity

We haven't learned the brothers' lesson yet.

Moshe Burt,

Parshat Mikeitz records the whole affair between Yosef and the brothers when they came to Mitzrayim to buy food and were accused by the viceroy of being spies. We learned how, after hearing their story and family history, Yosef demanded that they bring their youngest brother to him. He incarcerated Shimon as insurance that the brothers would indeed return with Binyamin, their youngest brother.
 
We learn that, with the imprisonment of Shimon, the brothers recognized and attributed
The brothers showed Yosef that they had recognized their aveirah.
their predicament to the sin they had committed earlier by throwing Yosef into the pit and then selling him. Yosef heard and understood their conversation and left their presence to cry silently. (Ch. 42, vs. 21-24)

Then, we learn that when Binyamin was finally brought to Yosef, the brothers were provided with food and it was made to appear as if Binyamin had stolen the viceroy's silver goblet. The viceroy detained Binyamin and released the other brothers to return to their father.

Our parsha, Vayigash, begins with Yehuda speaking his appeal to the viceroy on behalf of his father Yaakov regarding Binyamin's imprisonment.

Upon hearing Yehuda's plea regarding the special affection Yaakov had for Binyamin, Yosef could no longer restrain himself and revealed his identity; he cried out so loudly that he was heard by Pharaoh.

The brothers showed Yosef that they had recognized their aveirah, done teshuvah and were unified in their concern for Binyamin's welfare. Yosef embraced his brothers and comforted them and "told them not to be sad that they had sold him, for HaShem had actually sent him here to keep them alive during the years of famine." (Lilmod Ulilamed, parshat Vayigash, page 57)

This unity was crucial for the future travails of enslavement in Mitzrayim, as the Jewish nation was forged.

In our own time, this unity is lacking amongst B'nai Yisrael. And many among us do not, and appear as if they will not, see the sin of their ways even as the consequences become ever clearer - bogus ceasefires, continued rocket blitzes, mortars and stonings, release of funds and rearming of terrorists, releasing hundreds of murderous terrorists to attack more Jews, reckless endangerment of Jewish lives resulting from lifting roadblocks in Yehuda and Shomron, and more.

All the while, the modern-day Hellenists continue their drive toward "convergence." The vast majority of those who should know better seem unprepared to put their individual lives on hold and collectively act with unity, as one, to do everything necessary to confront the evil.

We haven't learned the brothers' lesson yet.

And further, the protexia-class Hellenists have learned more than we have - they know our weaknesses intimately, and they know how to divide and conquer us through our
Unity was crucial for the future travails of enslavement in Mitzrayim.
machlokes - setting each against the other.

When the brothers returned to Yaakov, according to a midrash, they were worried about how to break the news of Yosef to him, that the shock of the news might endanger Yaakov's life. So, they sent Asher's daughter Serach, with her great spirituality and her special harp-playing talent, to gently sing a melody to Yaakov: "My uncle Yosef is still alive; he is ruler over Egypt." (The Midrash Says, Sefer B'reishit, page 426) This teaches a rule of human nature regarding the breaking of important news: "break it to me gently."

And so, we've watched the incremental evolution of events over the last 13 years - Oslo, Oslo II, Wye, leaving south Lebanon to Hizbullah, "Roadmaps," the expulsion from Gush Katif and the four Shomron towns, the kidnapping of Jewish soldiers and lack of efforts to rescue them, the two-front war of last summer in Gaza and in Lebanon, the so-called "ceasefire" in Lebanon and it's bogus UNIFIL "peacekeepers," the bogus "ceasefire" in Gaza, the High Court's continued demolition of the other branches of government, Ehud Olmert's continuing attempts to bring about "convergence," the blatant and gross humiliation of Annapolis, and much, much more. We can look back and surmise that, had all of the implications and all that has happened in the past 14 or so years been known to, deduced or anticipated by, the people when Oslo was first hatched, the Jews would not have stood for it.




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