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Daily manna from the Torah by Dr Ketriel Blad

MiKets 10-4

At the end

Genesis 41:53 – 42:18

Joseph saw his brothers and recognized them, but he treated them like strangers and spoke roughly to them.

Gen. 42:7a ESV

Why did Yosef treat his brothers roughly?

Yosef had learned many things in the Eternal's school of suffering. One of the things he learned was forgiveness. He had forgiven his brothers in his heart for what they had done and there was no room left for bitterness in his soul. So now that his brothers came to bow down before him, and the first part of the dream came to happen, he didn't have any wish for vengeance. Then, why did he treat them harshly?

Yosef had received wisdom from the Eternal to know how to treat his brothers in that moment. The purpose of such rough treatment was to produce repentance in them for what they had done with their brother. He knew that they needed to be treated roughly for their hearts to become sensitive. Besides, he gave them an opportunity to rectify and prove that they would not send away one of their brothers again. His idea was to put Binyamin in a position in which they could make tikkun – rectification – for what they had done to Binyamin's older brother, son of Rachel, their father's most beloved wife.

Therefore, what was behind that harsh treatment wasn't hatred, resentment, vengeance, sadism, a desire for showing his power or anything like that, but love. Because of love for his brothers, he wanted to help them to complete their repentance process with specific action. When he saw that they were not going to leave Binyamin alone in jail and make their father suffer for the loss of the son of Rachel – something similar to what had happened before – he made himself known to them. In that very moment, their rectification was complete and they were showing with actions that they really regretted what they did to with Yosef. This was enough for him to make himself known to them. 

From this we can learn that sometimes we have to experience rough treatment by the authorities that the Eternal has established over us. We can even receive rough words from the Eternal Himself and the Messiah. This is not lack of love but totally the opposite. He whom the Eternal loves, He disciplines one way or another so that he can be purified and cleansed from things that the Eternal doesn't like and become prefect.

May the Eternal help us repent completely and rectify whatever damage we have done to others.



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