Section: Parshas HaShavua   Category: Quick Vort
Parshas Vayeishev: Rav Yaakov Kaminetzky - Proving The Shvatim Had Nothing Against Yosef Personally

All the Meforshim write that the Shvatim had absolutely no jealously or hatred towards Yosef personally. Rather it was purely a pursuit of justice. "Yet," says Rav Yaakov Kaminetzky (Emes L'Yaakov) "many people believe these Peirushim are just a coverup, to spare the Shvatim a bad name."

Rav Yaakov says that if one looks carefully at the psukim it is obvious that this is so. At first the Torah tells us that they decided to kill him. If this was about revenge, why as soon as Reuven said that they should not kill him but rather throw him into the pit, did they unanimously agree? "The truth is," says Rav Yaakov, "that personal feelings not withstanding, they paskened that Yosef was Chayav Misa and were obliged to carry out the verdict. However, when Reuven said that throwing him in the Bor without killing him is sufficient in place of death, they were all very happy not to have to kill him."

Similarly, when Yehuda found an angle to carry out the verdict by taking him out of the pit, where he would eventually die, and instead sell him, again there was no hesitation and they all agreed. Furthermore, after seeing Yaakov's pain, they even blamed Yehuda because had he found a psak that would allow them to spare Yosef altogether, they would have surely listened. "All this," says Rav Yaakov, "is a proof of the Shvatim acting purely L'Shem Shamayim without any personal feelings of hatred mixed in."