After a series of eventful interactions, it is time for the dramatic final showdown between Joseph and his brothers.
Judah had challenged Joseph over his incarceration of Benjamin, and Joseph could no longer contain himself and revealed his identity.
The brothers are dumbstruck. The Midrash & Talmud refer to Joseph’s revelation as a rebuke, which explains their silence. The problem with this interpretation of the Talmud is that no rebuke is evident in Joseph’s words.
The commentaries offer a number of explanations as to how the brothers were in fact rebuked by what Joseph said before they were reconciled. The nuances of Joseph’s words, and the sensitivity of the commentaries who explain them, are revealed in an array of stunning suggestions that shed light not only on this dramatic story, but on our own relationships with each other, as well as our relationship with God.