Parashat Vayechi

By Rabbi Aharon Seleh:

The medrash teaches us an important lesson from the story of Yosef and his brothers – “Woe to us on the day of Judgment!” The brothers were embarrassed when Yosef revealed himself, how much more so will we be in the World to Come.

The obvious question is, why do we need to learn this from here? It’s obvious if we sin we will be embarrassed in the future.

The בית הלוי explains Yosef was telling his brothers, “You’re begging me to release בנימין for the sake of his father, יעקב. His father is attached to him and can’t bear to be separated. If you really cared about יעקב, why did you sell me? Where was your compassion for our father then?!?” At that point the brothers became terribly embarrassed, as they were hypocritical.

Everyone has excuses for why they weren’t more careful in keeping mitzvot. But in Heaven they will be shown the hypocrisy of their actions. For example, some people might consistently come late to tefilla, but when it comes to business or vacations, they make sure to be on time! Or, they tell themselves they can’t afford to give poor people money, but they go ahead and splurge on themselves. They don’t have time to learn any Torah, but have time to watch an episode. With a little introspection, we can see the hypocrisy and improve. Hashem just wants to see an effort being made and he’ll help us through all the way.

Shabbat Shalom