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Biography of Yehuda Katz | Archives | This Week's Parsha


"And Joseph's ten brothers went down to buy food from Egypt."(42:3)

Rashi comments that since the verse states ,"Joseph's brothers", it teaches that they repented of selling him and set their hearts on conducting themselves toward him as brothers,and to ransom him at any price. (Please refer there for further details.)

It appears that the brothers were actively searching for Joseph.

Yet we find a very curious thing regarding this in that the brothers had encountered Joseph numerous times in the Parsha, but did not recognize him. If the brothers were looking for him, they should have seen some semblence of Joseph.Why were they blind in recognizing Joseph?

I would like to propose the following original answer, Bezrat Hashem. When the brothers went down to Egypt , they were looking for him specifically in the pits.They could never believe that he could have been the king of Egypt.The brothers were "narrow minded" in their approach.They assumed that since Joseph went down as a slave, thats what he remained.Never considering that perhapes Joseph had made it big in Egypt.This is exactly the brother's problem throughout. They suffered from "narrow mindedness".Joseph on the other hand was a dreamer,his mind was open and without limitations.We can learn a tremendous lesson regarding our own spirituality from this.

When we ourselves on in a pit spiritually, do we only see the pit surrounding us or can we expand our horizons and see beyond the pit?Very interesting question indeed.We must see ourselves as spiritual giants precisely when we at our lowest.This is the key to greatness. For one moment lets see ourselves as Tzadikim, and lets let our minds expand beyond our present reality.We can than become more like Joseph and less narrow minded. The brothers needed to see Joseph as a slave in the pit because thats how they imagined him, but were surely surprised to find him living in the king's palace. The brothers learned a very valuable lesson that being in the pit isn't final.Even if your in the pit of sin, image yourself a Tzadik and be amazed.If the brothers would have been open minded, they could have spoted Joseph a mile away even as a king.When one believes in G-d Almighty everything is possible.The brothers needed a lesson in believeing, and thats precisely what they learned.Have a good Shabbos.


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