Tears — Then and Now
The long-awaited reunion between Yaakov and Yosef is most unusual in one regard: Yosef cries, but Yaakov does not. Yaakov had ceased to weep, but Yosef continued to weep while Yaakov was talking with him.
Throughout all of the years of Yosef’s absence, Yaakov was overcome with mourning. The few sentences recorded in the Torah during this time show the grief that occupied his heart and mind. His emotions were spent. Yosef, on the other hand, had led a most eventful life in Egypt. He does not mourn his loss. In fact, in the naming of his first child, Yosef evidences a certain gratitude for his losses.
Yosef names his first child Menasheh — “for
This is the attitude that accompanies Yosef throughout his travails in Egypt, and upon the first opportunity he expresses this to his brothers: “Do not be troubled… that you sold me here, for
But here we see Yosef’s pent up sadness pouring out — he surrenders completely to the pain of separation for his father. Only now, in his father’s embrace, did he feel all the pain of the separation, reliving the twenty years that had already passed.
- Sources: Commentary Bereishet 46:29; 41:51