(45:8) After Joseph reveals himself, he lets his brothers know that they did not send him to Egypt. Rather it is H’ who brought him to Egypt, to be the head of Paroh’s house.
That is confusing. Kind of let down to the brothers, to hear that all of their work is for not. That they did not do it…This reminds me of the time when the Gabbai took credit for being there for the Schwartz family, and having a ‘Hashpah,’ an influence, on their son.
Mr. Schwartz, years later, told him not to worry…Their son came out normal.
It is this outlook, of it being H’ who runs the world, which allows for forgiveness.
Max and Merv have been fighting for the past 20 years. Is Gd involved in your fight? Why do you fight? Why has H’ not expelled one of you from our community?…For the sake of our congregation, why is the Gabbai still here?…
This makes the brothers uncomfortable. They are there, possibly in shock, not responding…I was also uncomfortable seeing the Gabbai taking credit for raising Sam, at Sam’s Bar Mitzvah…Many people who do kiruv (outreach) think they are doing the work. That makes everybody uncomfortable…
It is not the truth. In this shule, it is the rabbi who does the kiruv. Credit is not the point here. The point is that nobody can relate when you have your personal goals in mind. As in the Gabbai’s case, to mess up a perfectly enjoyable life with forcing people to come to shule to make up the minyan…It is about connection and truth…
(45:14-15) After he kisses his brothers and weeps, his brothers spoke with him.
After all of these years, they are able to have a conversation with each other. Because of a kiss and tears.
I want to see Merv and Max kiss and cry. Apologize for coming to shule drink and having our little kids bare witness to kiddush….
He already cried (45:1), but those were tears of joy, upon finally revealing himself to his brothers. However, until this point, of these tears, from the time Joseph revealed himself, they still did not talk.
There are commentaries that he wept over here in sadness, as he saw the future, and that the temples would be destroyed and the Ten Lost Tribes (according to Zohar). Rashi gives a simpler understanding- They speak after he cries and kisses them over here, because they see that his heart is good with them. Until now, they were ashamed.
You cannot get along with somebody when you are ashamed. That is why nobody likes the Gabbai. It is shameful seeing him try to take credit for everything. To be clear, the Gabbai did not teach Sam his Bar Mitzvah portion. Nobody did, that is why Sam wimped out and only did the Haftorah. It would have been good if we didn’t have to pull out the transliteration for the Barchu…Honesty. We need to see the heart into it….
I would now like to call Max and Merv and the Gabbai to the podium. Give Sam a hug. You have messed up this child’s life…I do not want to blame this on H’…
How do you get past being ashamed? That permission must be granted from the person who you wronged…Sam. Can you forgive?…Max came to shule drunk today…It is H’…
***These are excerpts from the sermon. For the sermon in its entirety, come see David Kilimnick perform at the Off The Wall Comedy Basement, in downtown Jerusalem.
David also tours as a Maggid with very few stories, if you invite him.