Insights for the Younger Tzadikim
Can We Learn From Yosef?
Our Torah tells us that
Yaakov (Jacob) had 12 sons:
Reuven, Shimon, Levi, Yehudah, Issachar, Zevulun,
Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Yosef, and Binyamin, and that
these were the fathers of the 12 Tribes of Yisrael.
Of these, Yosef was the person who would end up
protecting and caring for the family.
When Yosef was younger,
he did something that we can learn from.
Because of his bad behavior, his brothers sold him to
some merchants as a slave. As the story turns out, Yosef became a great man in Egypt and
saved many people.
He still had a weakness
though and we can learn from this.
In the Torah, in Parashat Vayeishev, it says the
following at Bereshit Pasuk Lamed-Zayin (Genesis Chapter
These are the descendents of Yaakov (Jacob), Yosef (Joseph)
at the age of seventeen years, was as a shepherd, with his
brothers, at the sheep, but as a youth, with the sons of
Bilhah and Zilpah, the wives of his father, and Yosef
brought their tittle-tattle nastily to their father.
In other words, Yosef
was a tattle-tale about his brothers.
What does this mean to us?
Does this mean we should not bring problems to the
attention of parents and teachers? Absolutely not. When
there are problems, when other children or adults do not
behave properly, we should tell our parents and teachers.
So what does this mean?
To find the answer, we have to look at three words
together "tittle-tattle nastily."
We should always tell the truth. We
do not bring these things to our parents and teachers to get
others in trouble. We
don't exaggerate and make what happens worse than it is.
In other words, we don't behave "nastily"
or in a mean way. In
this way, we avoid speaking loshon hara, the evil tongue - a
very important commandment from Hashem.
God calls upon us to be a light to the nations of the world. When we behave like menschen, like we are supposed to, we are doing just that.
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