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  • Shira Cohen

D'var Torah- Parshat Vayigash

In this week's parsha, Parshat Vayigash, Yosef finally reveals his identity to his brothers after years of separation. He states the following: “I am Yosef, your brother whom you sold to Egypt. Now don’t be sad or angry with yourselves that you sold me here, for G-d sold me here to preserve life.” (Genesis 44:4-5) After reading this, the following question may naturally come to mind: how does Yosef get this abundant generosity to forgive his brothers? After 22 years of personal exile, shouldn't there still be some residue of hatred?! How was he able to conquer the overwhelming desire for revenge?! The following story may help one understand Yosef’s forgiving words: a woman is driving back home after a long day of work and unfortunately gets into a car accident. Thankfully her injuries aren’t severe, but she is still taken to the hospital to get checked up. The doctors find no injuries related to the accident, but they do find something else: a tumor in her stomach. They immediately operate and remove the tumor in its entirety. If it would have been discovered later, this tumor would have taken her life. She would no longer be alive. Although not obvious at the moment, this car accident saved her life.

Yosef endured countless hardships in his life. He was thrown into a pit, separated from his family, sold into slavery, and put in jail; he went through it all. Although painful, these experiences allowed him to become the second most important person in Egypt. Standing before his brothers, he understood this. His brothers may have attempted to take him down, but he persevered. He had no reason to be mad. In life, sometimes we receive the “reward” right away, and other times it may take years or months. But in the end, everything works out as it should. We must all keep this in mind as we deal with our daily struggles and “bumps in the road.”

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