Parsha Vayigash

For the past few years I have found the following pasukim to be a bit confusing…

Now Joseph could not bear all those standing beside him, and he called out, “Take everyone away from me!” So no one stood with him when Joseph made himself known to his brothers. And he wept out loud, so the Egyptians heard, and the house of Pharaoh heard. -Berashis 45:1-2 quoted from here.

I know that Rashi on the first pasuk says that by sending the Mitzriem away Yosef was being sensitive as so not to embarrass his brothers. Rashi is teaching us a very important lesson. However, why does the pasuk say that the Egyptians and Paro heard Yosef cry?

I was thinking about this and I might have found a lesson in it for me. R Yisrael Salanter said that, “One’s face is considered a r’shus harabim (public area)”, after he saw someone in the street looking very depressed. I think there is a fine line between wearing one’s heart on one’s sleeve and being completely deadpan or non-emotional in the public arena.

Yosef was always setting an example not only as viceroy, but as a Jewish leader. It is common to want to be senstive to others, as Yosef was to his brothers. At times, by putting others’ needs before one’s own, one can tend to forget about himself and his feelings. I think Yosef needed to cry as an expression of his emotions before his brothers. I believe he also wanted Egypt to hear a more ‘human’ side of him, not just him as Paro’s right hand man.

To be someone who thinks about others’ feelings, and at time same time not negate their own is, in Yosef’s case, all in the timing. I hope you have a Gut Shabbos Kodesh!

3 thoughts on “Parsha Vayigash

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