Holiday time. A typical time for family reunions, bringing together family members from all over….aunts, uncles, grandmas, cousins, recounting stories of days past. That could spell trouble for most. This week’s Parashat ,Vayigash, is a kind of family reunion. Joseph gets to finally reveal himself to his brothers. You know, those jealous, scheming siblings that sold him into slavery so many years before. The question is, will Joseph seek revenge upon the brothers that were so cruel to him so many years before?
We see a Joseph without revenge or anger, and without the self-conceit that had stirred his brothers’ hatred. After 22 years, the brothers have reconciled. Joseph has resisted the temptation to use his position of power to settle the score. Family reunions bring a lot of anxiety, always trying to attain that sense of unity and community.
But, as I write this, residents of a quiet town in Newtown, Connecticut start preparing for funerals, instead of the holiday reunions that they were hoping for. So, how do we find hope in a world, which can seem so cruel?
Perhaps Joseph can teach us all a lot. We all have lots of catching up to do, and memories to share. We should be inspired by Joseph’s ability to reconcile his past and continue his journey. We will not allow darkness to define our destiny.
‘May Their Memory Be for a Blessing’