Asking for Forgiveness

Aug 31st, 2010 by admin in Holidays, Relationships, Spiritual Growth
Notes offered by El-Ad Eliovson:

Shiur l’refuah shleimah Yehudah Manik ben Beilah, Chana Chaya bat Perel, Yocheved Raizel Sarah bat Rivka Malya

• 1st instance of mechilah by brothers and Yosef

• See Genesis Chapter 45

• 42: 21

• The brothers are not “simple” – they are the Shivtei Kah, the twelve tribes of G-d

• This whole episode is a question of how open-minded your Torah learning is,

• Yosef’s coat was many colors: personal expression, very outgoing

• There were differences in opinion on Halacha: for Yidden after shechitah, the animal is “dead”, movement is insignificant. Were the brothers from the shifchot full-yidden yet before Har Sinai? According to Yosef, no, so movement counts for goyim who don’t have a Halacha of shechitah and they were transgressing the Halacha of taking a limb/eating from a still living creature; so he reports their erroneous behavior

• The brothers want a death sentence for Yosef. That’s pretty serious. They held he was chayav mitah: liable for the death penalty.

• Now later let’s say everything works out and they all find they were acting according to good intentions: do they have to ask mechilah?

• The brothers are now realizing the dreams are coming true; granted it is uncomfortable for them and to confront the fact that Yosef’s dreams are practically Nevuah/prophecy.

• OK – he’s viceroy and wealthy

• Do they have to ask mechilah?

• They were following Halacha…

The purpose of a Rav is to teach others to walk in the light of Halacha.

• Picture the scene. Picture it! “Take every man out?” who goes out? The bodyguards? The brothers?

• “Yosef couldn’t hold back?” Just the opposite; he couldn’t let go while everyone was around!

• Yosef didn’t want to let others see the brothers embarrassed? NO! READ RASHI! It was that Yosef didn’t want to let others see Yosef embarrassing others!

• The capacity you have to listen to the shofar with Kavanah, focus, hearing, allowing what is supposed to happen to occur determines what will happen, i.e., how you will hear Torah the following year

• Part of your Din on Rosh Hashanah is whether you will be able to improve in making Berachot in the coming year – why – because Berachot are formulated with the words: Melech ha-Olam (except for the first bracha of Shmone Esrei where it is Elokainu Elokei Avoteinu)

• The way you can hear other people say Berachot is the way you listened to Shofar

• The way other people hear you is the way you listened to Shofar

• All this is part of your Din on Rosh Hashanah. How you listen to Shofar

• Bracha means to expand.

• 42:21: we saw his suffering, but we didn’t hear. Hear? It should say, we didn’t respond to what we *saw*? Why does it say we didn’t hear his supplications?

• Verse 22: now Reuven says – Isn’t this what I said … and you didn’t *listen*?!

• Verse 23: and they didn’t know that Yosef was *listening*

• Now go back to chapter 45 after the revelation to the brothers: verse 16: And the voice was *heard* throughout the house of Pharaoh.

Yosef cried and everyone ran out except the brothers who were haunted by their ignoring their brother’s cries. This time they stayed and listened to someone’s cries. Joseph afforded them an opportunity to fix their mistake, and they took full advantage of the opportunity!

The first achrayut – responsibility is not on the person asking mechilah. The first achrayut – responsibility is on the one to be asked not to walk around achzari, stubborn, bitter, with a chip on your shoulder. The first step is to be forgiving and to create the opportunities, to be easily accessible to others to ask one for mechilah. (See Ra’avan and Kaf Hachaim Orach Chaim 606:13)

This is exactly what God does: He makes himself accessible to us in a manner that we will have the opportunity and desire to repair the damage to the relationship. Once the damage is repaired no request of forgiveness is really necessary.

We all want Hashem Yisborach to forgive us. If we act accordingly towards others, Hashem will forgive us.

Rabbi Moshe Stepansky added:

very interesting = a further step is the last perek in B’reishit after Ya’akov’s burial. The brothers’ subterfuge w Yosef (50;16-17).

Yosef seemed to not carry a chip on his shoulder -upon revelation to the brothers when he sends them back to bring Ya’akov (45;4-8), he’s reassuring them their actions were but G-d’s plan and it was all good.

So, how to understand perek 50? Were the brothers projecting onto Yosef the chip they would have carried? Is it possible that lo, after all these years they had a chip on their shoulder, still smarting from the ordeal Yosef put them thru when they arrived in Mitzrayim , and they’re hinting they’d like an apology from Yosef (can’t demand from the Viceroy of Mitzrayim, but they are still his older brothers)?

How much convincing does Yosef have to do vis-a-vis trying to placate the brothers? The bottom line is despite Yosef’s seeing his great-grandchildren being born (arichut yamim), he still left the world first amongst his brothers.

So, the wonder of the Holy Torah continues – the more you provide possible answers, the more other questions pop up.

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