Vayeshev: Chapter 11

"I seek my brothers..."


Rabbi Yehuda interprets "I seek my brothers ..." to indicate Joseph's intimate association with righteousness and the Shechinah. We are also shown how Joseph's enduring love and loyalty toward his brothers provide a human demonstration of God's compassionate love for the children of Israel.


The drama of human existence is more than a one-act play. It is a production that encompasses many lifetimes, where credits and debits accrue according to our actions. Therefore, forgiving those who have inflicted harm upon us really has nothing to do with the other person. Kabbalistically, the people who hurt us in life are messengers. Everything that befalls us is a result of our prior deeds. The consequences of our actions eventually return through the agency of others, in order to help us achieve spiritual growth and correction. The strength to display compassion and forgiveness, even when we feel it is not deserved, is stimulated by the words of this passage.