Thursday, December 22, 2011

Family Values

by Devora Gila Berkowitz

Parshat Mikeitz

Soap opera lovers, you gotta read this parsha.

The brothers' cruel treatment of Yosef has come full circle.

Now these men have new opportunities to appreciate who they are as a family. They need to explain their relationships to Yosef under duress; they must report back in detail to their bereaved father; they need to leave Shimon imprisoned in Egypt; they have to take Binyamin away from Yaakov.

As a group they regret how they treated Yosef: Then they said to one another, 'Indeed we are guilty concerning our brother inasmuch as we saw his heartfelt anguish when he pleaded with us and we paid no heed; that is why this anguish has come upon us.' (Bereshit 42:21)

This sorrow for their past actions is the key that can open the door to a new way of being as a family. It's a chance to be closer than they ever were. Yosef demonstrates this value of family relationship when he seats them in order of age at their private banquet. (43:33)

Reuven, in a twisted effort to preserve family harmony, even offers to sacrifice his own sons if he fails to return with Binyamin. (42:37) 

What the brothers don't know is the upcoming reunion that is about to happen in the next episode...

Do you have amends to make with a family member?

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