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Daily manna from the Torah by Dr Ketriel Blad

MiKets 10-7

At the end

Genesis 43:30 – 44:17

Then Joseph hurried out, for his compassion grew warm for his brother, and he sought a place to weep. And he entered his chamber and wept there. 

Gen. 43:30 ESV

Why men feel such love for his siblings?

After 22 years Yosef could see his closest brother, the son of his mother again. It was a very tense and emotional moment for Yosef. A part of him wanted to hug him and have the relationship they had since childhood, but another part of him made him stand firm and pretend toughness to fulfill the Eternal’s will. Pressure was too high and Yosef had to leave the room. The Hebrew text doesn’t say that he sought a place to weep, but that he sought to weep – vayevakesh livkot ויבקש לבכות.

Weeping was created by the Eternal to help men deal with emotions. He who doesn’t cry or doesn’t know how to cry has a deep emotional damage and needs inner healing. Self-control doesn’t limit emotions – only controls them and is not carried away by them. Both men and women need to cry. The idea that men don’t or can’t cry because they have to be “machos” is very harmful for the development of an approved character before the Eternal. Crying is good and it relieves pain a lot.

Yosef needed to cry to relief the strong emotions he experienced when he saw his brothers, especially Binyamin, and that’s why he sought to weep to relief tension. And after he felt relief from that pressure he was able to come out and eat with them.

The Hebrew text uses an unusual word to express what Yosef felt for his brother. What was translated as “his compassion grew warm” is actually two words: nichmeru rachamav – נכמרו רחמיו – which mean: “his compassions burned”. The root of the word nichmeru – נכמרו – is kamar – כמר to yearn for, to burn – and it appears only four times in the Scriptures. Lamentations 5:10 speaks about the skin burning like an oven. 1 Kings 3:26 speaks of a mother whose heart yearns for her son. In Hosea 11:8 the Eternal says that all his consolation grows warm for Ephraim.

The Eternal has created emotions and feelings so that men can feel like He does. Strongest feelings are related to family ties. A husband has strong feelings toward his wife and vice versa, parents have strong feelings toward their children and vice versa, and siblings have strong feelings for each other.

The word used in this context reveals that Yosef felt compassion for his brother in the flesh like a mother feels for a son and the Eternal for Ephraim.

Harsh treatment in Yosef’s life didn’t damage his brotherly love. His heart didn’t become hardened during those tough moments he went through. He managed to keep his heart sensitive to emotions that came from a good source, so he could feel for his brother a part of what the Eternal feels for His beloved ones.

Dear disciple of Yeshua, our Rabbi is a man with strong feelings. When he saw the multitude spiritually and physically helpless he had such compassion for them that he was willing to sacrifice his time, his food, his sleep and even his life to supply their needs. This man is our greatest example.

May the Eternal help us love our brothers and sisters in the flesh and also our brothers and sisters of the covenant with burning compassion.


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