Parsha Vayashev: Inspire More Order Less

In Parsha Vayashev we are told that Joseph is with Bilha and Zilpa (handmaidens) boys. Joseph  “hung out ” with Bilha and Zilpa sons.

We all know the story: Joseph goes out into the field to  find  his brothers on the instruction of his father and the brothers conspire to kill Joseph. However, they throw him in a pit and sell him.

The Ramban asks a great question: If Bilha and Zilpa’s boys used to hang out with Joseph, why did  they not help him? Why did they not have his back?

If the SD understands the answer (and the SD gets it wrong alot because the Hebrew is hard) it sounds like Jacob made the boys take care of him or watch. It does not sound like it was done of their on volition.  The command vs. the inspiration kind of issue.

The answer: when talking to your kids about kindness, caring and charity  dont make them or order them. Inspire them. You do it and show them how meaningful it can be. Somehow Jakob missed an oppportunity to show the boys that caring for a young man like Joseph who does not have a mother and needs a friend warrants a kindness.

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