With the discovery of the goblet in Binyamin's sack, the brothers are confused. Yehuda alone steps forward and eloquently but firmly petitions Yosef for Binyamin's release, offering himself instead. As a result of this act of total selflessness, Yosef finally has irrefutable proof that his brothers are different people from the ones who cast him into the pit, and so he now reveals to them that he is none other than their brother. The brothers shrink from him in shame, but Yosef consoles them, telling them that everything has been part of
It’s Nothing, Really!
"I am Yosef. Is my father still alive?" (45:3)
How many times when you apologize to someone do you hear, "It’s nothing, really! Why are you making such a big deal out of it? What did you do, after all? Forget it! It’s really nothing.”
Now, for some people, saying "It’s nothing" is a genuine expression of forgiveness. It really is nothing to them. However, sometimes what people really mean is, "It’s nothing, really?!"Meaning,“ You must be joking! I don’t even want to hear to your voice. I just want to see you squirm around in front of me. I’m not letting you off the hook for anything. Apologize away. It’s nothing really!”
A person who refuses to accept an honest apology can make himself guiltier than the "guilty party". Just as Judaism prescribes the appropriate behavior for one who needs to apologize, so too there is a correct way to behave towards someone seeking forgiveness. Indeed, someone who turns a plea for forgiveness into an opportunity for vengeance, however subtle it might be, may end up committing a graver sin that the original transgression.
Picture Yosef’s brothers standing in front of him, the utter humiliation and guilt of facing their young brother whom they had wronged so terribly. Now they were facing a king who had the power of life and death over them. How did Yosef react in this situation? Human nature would suggest that Yosef would have at least laid out in some detail all the hardship and suffering they had caused him. However, what we read in the Torah sounds more like an extended "Thank You" note than a reproach.
"And now, be not distressed, nor reproach yourselves for it was to be a provider that
The Torah teaches us that, as important as it is to say “I’m sorry,” it’s equally important to know how to say “I forgive you”in a way that genuinely comforts the offender.
- Source: Da’at Torah