ויגש אליו יהודה “And Yehuda approached him.” Rashi explains that Yehuda was blunt and provocative in his opening lines to Yosef. If necessary, Yehuda was ready to wage war. In the previous parshah, Yehuda appeared meek and gentle, as he implored Yosef to treat them kindly! How was he transformed into a strong-willed spokesman ready to wage war?
R’ Shimon Schwab, זצ“ל, comments that one can find strength of character within himself when he assumes responsibilities for a situation. We see that once Yehuda tells Yosef that he has accepted the responsibilities of Binyamin’s guarantor, he became a different person.
Often, parents shy away from giving their children too much responsibility as they feel it is too heavy a burden on them. However, accepting responsibility enhances a person’s self-esteem.
We see from the case of Yehuda that responsibility can transform one who is meek to one who is courageous, and an unassuming one into an assertive one. Even giving simple responsibilities, such as specific jobs Erev Shabbos, finishing their homework on their own, or getting up on time can be instrumental in transforming our children.
Countless times we see that when one makes up his mind to take upon himself responsibility on a certain מצוה, he is blessed with a new source of both physical and emotional energy.
Rabbi Gidon Goldberg
Head of School