Kenneth Cohen

Yehuda’s leadership

The Alshich gives an interesting insight into Yehuda’s response to Yosef. He came to the conclusion that Yosef was a fraud.

He was under the assumption that all of the accusations made against them, were a punishment for their role in selling Yosef. They were told to bring their youngest brother, Binyamin, to prove they were telling the truth that they were not spies.

But now that they had brought him, and he only wanted to hold Binyamin as a slave, Yehuda had enough. He was going to confront this phony leader without any fear.

He told him that in his mind, he was just like Pharoah. Rashi comments that just as he would finish off Pharoah, he would finish him off as well. The Midrash adds that Yehuda felt it was inappropriate to be asked personal, irrelevant questions about his father and siblings.

According to this theory, this was the reason why Yosef felt it was time to reveal himself to his brothers. There was no more reason to continue playing games.

Perhaps it was for this reason, that Yehuda was chosen as the leader of Israel. The monarchy would come from him, as well as Mashiach. He showed that he could not be intimidated by powerful demagogues. He was able to see through them, and challenge them.

This is a very special quality that Yehuda possessed. We have been aided by October the seventh, to expose the heads of the major nations of the world. We are able to see who is with us, and who is not.

We are blessed to be led by Binyamin Netanyahu. He has not been afraid to call out world leaders, and stand up to them, and not be intimidated. He is the one chosen for the task at this time. We must remember that we are at war, and we must stand behind him.

If after the war, there is an inquiry, and he’s found responsible for not being prepared, he will need to suffer the consequences. But I have no respect for anyone who bad mouths our prime minister during such a critical time. Similarly, the polls of what would happen if elections were today, are demoralizing.

All of Israel should stand united with one common goal. We must destroy our enemy, and try to bring back our hostages. Nothing else matters at this time. We must focus on this and pray that our victory comes quickly. Only when this is done, can we start to draw conclusions and put things in order.

We need Yehuda like leaders to help us through our difficulties. In the meantime, Hashem sends us the leaders we deserve, whom we must respect and support.

About the Author
Rabbi Cohen has been a Torah instructor at Machon Meir, Jerusalem, for over twenty years while also teaching a Talmud class in the Shtieblach of Old Katamon. Before coming to Israel, he was the founding rabbi of Young Israel of Century City, Los Angeles. He recently published a series of Hebrew language-learning apps, which are available at