Meir Tzvi Berman

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Parsha Vayechi


"Arur Apam Ki Oz V'evroson Ki Koshoso" "Accursed be their anger because it is strong and their wrath because it is harsh"
At the end of his life, Yaakov (Jacob) gathered his sons to bless them. Three of his sons received what seems to be rebuke rather than a blessing. Reuven (Reuben) was chastised about his haste in removing Yaakov's cot from Bilhah's tent to Leah's. Shimon (Simon) and Levi were rebuked for acting out of anger towards the townspeople of Shechem and towards their brother Yosef (Joseph).

Yaakov's words to Shimon and Levi actually contained a blessing. Yaakov cursed the anger and their wrath, not Shimon and Levi themselves. He hoped that by cursing their anger he would weaken it. In essence he was saying "May their anger never come to fruition and be acted upon. Let them be spared the consequences of their own anger." (Chizkuni)


"Vayitzavu Ell Yosef Laimor Ovicha Tzviva Lifnei Moso Laimor Ko Somru L'Yosef Sa Na Pesha Achecha V'Chatasam Ki Ra'ah G'molucha" "And they commanded to Yosef as to say 'your father commanded us to say 'So shall you say to Yosef carry (forgive) please the sins of your brothers and their misdeed for they wrought bad upon you. '"
After Yaakov's (Jacob) passing, his sons came to Yosef and told him that Yaakov commanded him to forgive them.

Where do we find any mention of Yaakov sending word to Yosef to reconcile with his brothers? If there actually was such a command, wouldn't the Torah have included this important exchange in its account of Yaakov's last instructions to his sons?

When Yaakov summoned his children to his deathbed, he requested that his sons should "Gather and I will tell that which will happen to you at the end of days" (Gen.). The word "gather" indicates that Yaakov wanted his children to gather together as one. He wanted them to achieve perfect harmony and unity. In order to achieve this unity, Yosef would have to forgive his brothers and mend the rift between them and himself. The brothers were thus actually drawing upon Yaakov's words.

(Sha'ar Bas Rabim)

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