The story of Yosef /Joseph and his brothers escalated and finally climaxed when Yehuda, who was capable of destroying Yosef and all of Egypt, was pushed to the limit. Yehuda confronted Yosef and Yosef revealed himself. The Midrash says that we see here the great wisdom of Yosef that he knew when to concede. The Midrash quotes Mishlei (Proverbs): "a wise man will appease him."
Rabbi Henoch Leibowitz, from whom we also learned last week, asks: What was so wise and profound about this? Yosef knew the capability and seriousness of his brothers; wasn't it obvious that he should give in?
The answer is that to an outsider this is obvious, but often when we are in the heat of an argument, and egos and small-minded goals are in front of us, it is very easy and quite common not to know when to stop or change course. The lesson is that although it may be difficult to concede to others, this lofty attribute is achievable and can make our daily living so much more enjoyable and productive.
May we all have the foresight and strength to work on and develop this important trait.
Have a wonderful Shabbos!
Rabbi Naftali Karp
Every week Rabbi Karp sends out thoughts about the weekly Torah portion. Enjoy!