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Echoes of the Future
Video 15 of 17
What happened when Joseph revealed himself to his brothers? Vayomer Yosef el echav - Joseph said to his brothers, I am Joseph, is my father still alive. Now at that point; Lo yachlu echav la'anot oto - the brothers could not even answer him; Ki nivhalu mipanav - because they were panicked before him. So the brothers are panicked, they just can't even get any words out of their mouth, they are so astonished and instinctively ashamed when they see Joseph it's just this crushing moment, and they just can't get any words out of their mouth.
Now contrast that - the response of all the brothers here to the revelation of Joseph to what might have been Judah's response to the revelation of Joseph. Remember Judah is one of the brothers, but he's not exactly in the same position as the other brothers. For example, whereas the brothers can't even speak, if you think about it, who has been speaking in this whole story? Up until this very moment when Joseph revealed himself to his brothers, it was Judah. Judah had been speaking, Judah was the one who had been giving this impassioned pleas in defense of his brother Benjamin. It was because Joseph was so overcome with seeing Judah, one of the perpetrators in his own sale, and coming to the defense of a fellow child of Rachel, that Joseph just couldn't stop crying. He just lifted up his voice and cried, he just broke down. Judah actually caused all of Joseph's defenses to just break down.
Judah now over here - Judah/David - I think is reflecting on all of that in Psalm 30. I think here's what he's saying. Judah is looking back on this moment when Joseph cried. Remember we talked about before; B'erev yellin bechi - at night there were these tears, Joseph was crying. It was at the time - remember - what I had promised myself, I had said; Hodah li - oh yes of course, I'm going to be fine; Bal emot l'olam - I can never be moved. I promised myself as security for my brother but I didn't know how I was going to be able to stand up for that. But You god were by my side. You; Birtzoncha - through Your will; He'emadata l'hareri oz - You gave me that mountain of strength to be there, to be able to talk to Joseph. Had You not done that; Hayiti nivhal - then I too would have panicked.
Remember this is what the brothers did. I too would have been in a position of panic, but the implication is that Judah as a matter of fact did not panic. The sense is that he did not actually have the same response as everyone else. He just breathed a sigh of relief. Why? Because G-d didn't hide His face. Joseph might have been hiding his face but G-d had always been there with Judah, G-d had been helping Judah, G-d had been giving him that strength to make that courageous declaration to Joseph. Because of that he had a clearer conscience and therefore when all the other brothers were astonished and embarrassed and terribly ashamed, Judah actually could stand up straight and look Joseph in the eye and smile. He did not panic, he didn't have the same reaction.
Had You not been there for me G-d; Histarta panecha - had You hid [my/Your 3:29] face, then I would have been frightened, then I would have panicked along with all of the other brothers. But as such, I had a clear conscience. I had made my plea for my brother Benjamin. I had come to the aid of a child of Rachel. I had redeemed my sale of Joseph. I had redeemed what I did when I threw him in the pit. In going through exactly the same story and coming to Benjamin's aid and saying let me be the slave. Therefore I did not have to panic.
This leads straight in to the rest of the Psalm. I want you to now come back and look at verse 9. We've gone through verses 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 now; you take a look at 9 and the rest of the Psalm and listen now - this is going to evoke the Mah Betza which Judah had said before. See what you think it means now in the context of the whole psalm. Let's come back and discuss that.
1. What Does the Book of Psalms Have to Do With the Joseph Story?
2. A Curious Dedication
3. Profit Motive
4. Blood Money
5. Did Jacob Know?
6. A Father's Ambivalent Blessing
7. The Ruthlessness of War
8. The Lion and the Cub
10. To Redeem an Ancestor's Pledge
11. The Lion and the Lamb
12. Moving Up
13. Memories of Father
14. First Cries
15. Where Would I Be Without You
16. What Could Kill Me--But Then What?
17. A Palpable Presence
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