Destroying Envy by Oren Levy


A certain Tzaddik passed away and was succeeded by another Rebbe.  One of the Chassidim, however, entertained the notion that he was better suited to fill the position of his late Rebbe.  He decided, though, that he should first travel to visit the new Rebbe to see if the new Rebbe was qualified.  When he arrived, he took a seat at the table with the other Chassidim, and throughout the Shabbat meal he observed the Rebbe.  Then the new Rebbe invited the man to share some insight in the Torah with those present.

“We find,” he said, ”that when Yosef’s brothers are reunited with him, though they did not realize it, the Torah says, ‘And they drank and were merry with him.’  On this verse, Rashi comments that from the day they had sold him until this moment they had not drunk wine.  This is difficult to understand.  It is easy to see why Yosef would drink now, as he already knew that these were his brothers.  But if they did not yet recognize him, why would they drink?

“All their hatred of Yosef was based on their envy of his coat of many colors.  When they regretted their action, they made efforts to eradicate the despicable trait of envy from their hearts.  Still not being certain that they had completely succeeded in this, they did not allow themselves to drink wine.  But now that they had seen Yosef give their brother Binyamin five times as many gifts as he gave the rest of them, they realized that they were not at all envious of Binyamin, and it was apparent that they had succeeded in their self-imposed task.  They therefore allowed themselves to drink wine.

“And therefore,” continued the Chassid, “since after visiting your table I find that I am not envious of your having been chosen Rebbe, I too am in turn for a cup of wine!”

נעשה ונשמע Revisited by Rabbi Darren Blackstein

Why Won’t Yosef Write Home? by Chaim Rapps