April 21, 2024
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April 21, 2024
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Google Mapping Yosef’s Search for His Brothers in Today’s Israel

I don’t write and rarely give Divrei Torah, but several years ago I heard this from Rabbi Krohn of Young Israel of Teaneck and it always stuck with me, and I have repeated it often. This time I decided to write it down and add some interesting facts having spent a lot of time on the detailed route.

In perek 37, starting with pasuk 14, Yaakov told Yosef to go check on his brothers and their flock and report back. Yosef then left Chevron for Shechem (Nablus as per the Arabs for those Fauda fans, where Yosef is buried).

As an FYI, that’s a 72-mile trip, estimated to take 25 hours on foot. Today you can shoot up the 60 for the most part, past Efrat, Beit Lechem, Yerushalayim and up past more Palestinian villages: https://tinyurl.com/y8lo2gqq

יד  וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ, לֶךְ-נָא רְאֵה אֶת-שְׁלוֹם אַחֶיךָ וְאֶת-שְׁלוֹם הַצֹּאן, וַהֲשִׁבֵנִי, דָּבָר; וַיִּשְׁלָחֵהוּ מֵעֵמֶק חֶבְרוֹן, וַיָּבֹא שְׁכֶמָה

14 And he said to him: “Go now, see whether it is well with thy brethren, and well with the flock; and bring me back word.” So he sent him out of the vale of Hebron, and he came to Shechem.

טו  וַיִּמְצָאֵהוּ אִישׁ, וְהִנֵּה תֹעֶה בַּשָּׂדֶה; וַיִּשְׁאָלֵהוּ הָאִישׁ לֵאמֹר, מַה-תְּבַקֵּשׁ

15 And a certain man found him, and, behold, he was wandering in the field. And the man asked him, saying: “What seekest thou?”

טז  וַיֹּאמֶר, אֶת-אַחַי אָנֹכִי מְבַקֵּשׁ; הַגִּידָה-נָּא לִי, אֵיפֹה הֵם רֹעִים

16 And he said: “I seek my brethren. Tell me, I pray thee, where they are feeding the flock.”

יז  וַיֹּאמֶר הָאִישׁ, נָסְעוּ מִזֶּה—כִּי שָׁמַעְתִּי אֹמְרִים, נֵלְכָה דֹּתָיְנָה; וַיֵּלֶךְ יוֹסֵף אַחַר אֶחָיו, וַיִּמְצָאֵם בְּדֹתָן

17 And the man said: “They are departed hence; for I heard them say: Let us go to Dothan.” And Joseph went after his brethren, and found them in Dothan.

What just happened in pasuk 15,16,17? Yosef was wandering, a person saw him, asked if he needed help and then pointed him in the right directions? So what? How many times in the Tanach might that have happened? This is worthy of three pesukim?

The hidden meaning can only be seen after knowing what happens thereafter. He found his brothers, they sold him into slavery. He went on to become a prince in Egypt, his brothers went down to Egypt thereafter, they stayed and the Jewish slavery began. As they say, the rest is history. Truly.

In short, the entire world changed because of this unnamed stranger’s directions. This stranger could have ignored him. Yosef would have wandered home at some point to report back to his father that he couldn’t find them, and who knows where we would all be today

The lesson here is any and every single interaction can change the world, no matter how simple it may be. A simple “good morning,” “how are you,” “ can I help you” to a stranger, friend or anybody can literally change the world, as we see it did here.

There is a great Mordechai Ben David song and video from pasuk 16:


Shabbat shalom/good Shabbos, and may we all merit to travel Highway 60 in the near future, but this time with none of the red warning signs that your life is at risk in Palestinian-controlled areas.

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