17 Dec Rabbi Hillel Skolnik’s Torah Spark for Parashat Vayigash
This Shabbat we read from Parashat Vayigash in which Joseph reveals his true identity to his brothers and is finally reunited with his father. What makes all of this possible is an important action taken by Judah. It is Judah who stands up and defends Benjamin in the face of the false accusation of theft levied against him. In doing so Judah proves to Joseph that his brothers have changed, that they’ve come to value family and are not the same as they were when they sold Joseph. Seeing this, Joseph then reveals himself and the family reunion can take place. What it shows us is that people can change their ways, even when they have done things that make us think we may never see another side of them. Yes, it can and often does take many years, but change can come. It doesn’t always, but we can keep our hope that people will change, just as Joseph always hoped his brothers would prove to be better people.
Rabbi Hillel Skolnik