This time around in the Torah portion cycle, I saw some interesting things that I did not see last year. I got a greater understanding of what transpired between Joseph and his brothers in Egypt and was corrected over something I was in error with.
Setting: Joseph with his brothers in Egypt. Joseph was favored by his father and his brothers hated him for it. Joseph presents an identical situation by favoring the youngest brother Benjamin by giving him 5 x’s the food portions than the brothers received. Also 5 x’s as many sets of clothes. It was an identical situation only this time, the brothers did not react the same way.
Joseph gave the brothers a golden opportunity to be rid of Benjamin, like they did Joseph, by framing him with possession of the cup. In the brothers’ mind, it would have been legitimate because after all, Benjamin had the evidence. But Judah told his father that he would be responsible for Benjamin and that did not change even when Benjamin seemed to have been guilty of taking the cup.
We know that Joseph’s brothers had truly repented because when faced with an identical situation with a particular brother being favored, they did not repeat the offense. Instead, they made the right choice. Also, Judah offered himself as a substitute for punishment rather than Benjamin and the brothers did not object. He sacrificially gave himself just like Yeshua did for us.
On a personal note: This is what I took away from this Torah portion…
First, my Christian background teaches that you must feel remorse or “Godly sorrow” before you repent. But I realized after reading this parsha that even if you do feel remorse for a sin, you have not truly repented if you repeat that same sin. I have been in a cycle of remorse, repentance, remorse, repentance etc. over the exact same sin and now I realize that I had not truly repented during that time even though I felt genuine remorse. Our feelings are not evidence of a true change of heart because feelings come and go and change with the wind. At that time, I was deceived into believing that I had repented based on my feelings of remorse but it simply was not the case. I am so grateful to YHVH for showing me this truth in this parsha and applying it to my life!
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