How do you deal with someone who wronged you?
The brothers of Yosef committed a great travesty by selling him into servitude. The harm and sorrow that they caused their father Yaakov is immeasurable. Years later, Yosef had them in the palm of his hands. As viceroy of Egypt, he was second only to Pharaoh. As the brothers stood before him, first asking for sustenance and then later beseeching him for the life of Binyamin, Yosef could have acted towards them with hostility and vengeance. Instead, when Yosef revealed his identity to them, he chose an entirely different track.
Yosef treated them with mercy and love. But actually he did even more than that. Yosef told them, “And now, it is not you who sent me here, but rather it was G-d; and He placed me as an advisor to Pharaoh, master of his house, and ruler over all Egypt.” What was the intent of Yosef when he said the words, “And now”?
Yosef wanted to make his brothers comfortable and alleviate their fears. They had braced themselves for his retaliation at them for the harm and cruelty that they had demonstrated towards him. They would not believe that Yosef could be forgiving and kind towards them. Therefore Yosef conveyed that truthfully their behavior and the level of their cruelty was bizarre and incomprehensible to him. It would be reasonable for him to carry feelings of malice towards them. However, “And now,” there is a new perspective.
Now, Yosef was able to see all that resulted from their actions. This was clearly the Divine design. They did the bidding of Hashem. Because of that, there would be no reason for him to bear malice towards them and violate the bond of brotherhood that he shared with them.
This presentation helped the brothers in another way. Before them stood the task of presenting to their father that Yosef was alive. How could they do that, recognizing their responsibility in his sale and the grief and suffering that they caused their father to endure? This perspective could help them to have the courage to face their father and be prepared for any fallout that might come their way.
Yosef took it a step further. He said, “You see with your own eyes,” referring to the honor he carried and also that he was their brother. Yosef emphasized to them that the great honor that he was awarded was beyond comprehension, beyond the natural order. It had to be Divinely orchestrated. “Why did this happen to me?” he asked, “Because I am your brother, and carry the merits of our fathers.” Yosef attributed the blessings that he accrued, not despite them, but rather because of them.
When people wrong us do we harbor ill-feelings towards them or at some point can we appreciate that what we experience is part of a Divine plan? Can we actually bear good feelings towards those who have intentionally caused us grief?
Shabbat Shalom, Rabbi Hershel D. Becker
 Vayigash 45:8
 Ohr HaChaim Vayigash 45:8
 Vayigash 45:12
 Divrei David in Sifsei Chachamim Vayigash 45:12