It’s no wonder the sons of Jacob don’t believe it. They had ambushed Joseph and held him captive only to sell him as a slave. Everything he’d endured since then seemingly stems from their trickery: servitude to Potiphar, his master’s wife framing him for what could have been a capital crime, and his being imprisoned based on that false accusation.
Yet, standing before his stupefied, silenced brothers, Joseph states simply: “None of you are to blame.”
The gift of hindsight is a valuable one. And Joseph, decades on, is blessed with it. What looked like a callous, cowardly attack to teenage eyes is, to an adult looking backwards, a far reaching and forward looking Act of God meant to provide rescue and relief.
Too often, in politics and government, we rush to judgment. A sound bite or a tweet takes the place of reasoned analysis. Even something well thought out is missing context and color. It takes years for the full judgment of history to bear out. Classified information, once secret and sensitive, is made available. The rush of news articles and of the push to win the day gives way to the slow plod of journals and theses, and the wish to understand.
Joseph got it. We ought try as well. Words to consider. Ideas to ponder.
Howie Beigelman, formerly director of state affairs at the Orthodox Union is a public affairs & strategic
By Howard Beigelman