Parashat Vayigash

By Rabbi David Cohen:

He cried in a loud voice. Egypt heard and Pharaoh’s household heard. (45:2)
When Yosef wept, the entire country heard. Chazal (Bereishit Rabbah) state that Yosef’s cries were meant to assuage his brothers’ feelings of guilt and shame.

Horav Yeruchem Levovitz, zl (cited by Bad Kodesh), posits that herein lies an important concept concerning interpersonal relationships. Just as the “Shulchan Aruch,” addresses the rights of the victim who was hurt by his fellow, so, too, a complete set of laws addresses how the victim should act towards his assailant.

We have laws concerning the method and the amount of payment that the mazik, damager, must pay his victim. We have laws that teach how one asks for forgiveness, and how he removes his sin. Likewise, we have laws regarding the manner in which the victim should accept the apology, admission of guilt in order to absolve the perpetrator.

Let’s face it; when someone harms us, we neither jump for joy, nor are we ready to forgive the aggressor. I suffered; let him suffer. This is human nature. We are different. Our Torah, as interpreted by Chazal, teaches us not to be vengeful, not to make our provoker suffer as we have suffered. There is a derech for the perpetrators and a derech for the victim.
May we be able to serve Hashem in any situation we are in.

Shabbat Shalom