In this week’s momentous Torah reading, Joseph is re-united with his brothers in a deeply emotional and dramatic encounter. Years of guilt in his brothers now collide with Joseph’s forgiveness of them and even more than forgiveness; for he tells them, “It was not you but God who sent me here…” Joseph has realized that though the path to his destiny was peppered with betrayal, rejection and pain, God was orchestrating it all and the very pain he endured served to make him an honorable and godly man. He learned to see God’s hand in incredibly painful circumstances and embrace the lesson rather than wallow in bitterness.
Now, he is able to look at his brothers with forgiveness and deep love in his heart, as well as gratitude to God for the family reunion.
As this is the last Torah portion of 2014, how fitting that it turns out attention back to the two greatest commandments in the Torah:
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your resources.”
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Joseph learned through the painful lessons of life to love God and to trust Him above and beyond all that he endured and because of that he saw his dreams come to pass; he positioned himself to fulfill the destiny for which he had been born.
Joseph also learned to forgive and to love his brothers unconditionally despite their treatment of him.
Are there any greater commandments than these that deserve our thoughtful meditation as we approach the beginning of 2015?
In Tune with Torah this week = renewing our commitment to the two great commandments as we make our way into a new year.