Silenced by shame. The brothers couldn’t speak. Yosef had just revealed himself, climaxing a 22-year ordeal initiated by their jealousy and misplaced justice. His heartrending explanation immediately clarified and exposed the hidden Divine Hand that orchestrated two decades worth of distressing events.
Nevertheless, the brothers saw their role in the affair and were shamed into silence.
“And Yosef said to his brothers, ‘I am Yosef. Is my father still alive?’ But his brothers could not answer him because they were left disconcerted before him,” (Bereishis 45, 3).
“He then kissed all his brothers and wept upon them; afterwards his brothers conversed with him,” (Bereishis 45, 15).
In both verses, Rashi cites the Medrash Tanchuma, stating that the brothers were rendered silent due to their shame (בושה), and were able to finally respond only after Yosef cried on their shoulders, emotionally removing their humiliation through sincere comfort and acceptance.
Embarrassment is an extremely unpleasant state of being. It is an emotional reaction a person feels when highly regrettable and inappropriate choices are exposed for others to see, or to admit to himself.
However, strangely enough, shame is one of the three sterling characteristics used to identify the unique greatness of the Jewish People: “הרחמנים והביישנין וגומלי חסדים – Merciful, Shameful and Performers of Kindness,” (Yevamos 79a).
Read more: http://baltimorejewishlife.com/news/news-detail.php?SECTION_ID=1&ARTICLE_ID=34320
Moshe Sokolow reflects on the Newtown massacre.
The Bible brands the angel of death a coward when he robs the cradle: “Death has ascended through our windows and entered our palaces; to cut off children from the streets and young men from the squares.” (Jeremiah 9:20) Rather than entering through an ordinary door, death has climbed furtively through the window. When its prey is a child, death itself feels shame.
Read full article: http://www.jewishideasdaily.com/5613/features/touch-not-mine-anointed-ones/?utm_source=jta_widget&utm_medium=jta_widget&utm_campaign=touch-not-mine-anointed-ones&jtahome
P.S. I am in a different location than usual. That is the reason for posting before Shabbos later than normal. Posting after Shabbos will likewise be later than usual.