(c) 2000 Dr Hendel; 1st appeared in Torah Forum (c) Project Genesis

Date: Wed, 16 Feb 2000 01:40:44 -0500 (EST)
From: Russell Hendel <  rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu>
Subject: Re: Yosef and Yaakov

QUESTION: Why didn't  Joseph try and contact his father.

<  <  The brothers proclaimed a solemn ban against divulging to Jacob what had
occurred, and this ban also adjured Yosef, as explained in the Sefer
Chassidim. The Providential plan necessitated Jacob's ignorance of Josef's
whereabouts.>  >

<  <  Well I guess they did not let him because he was a slave and maybe he
thought that this is hashems will so I will not protest it.>  >

Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch in his commentary adds the following reason not
only for Joseph not responding to his father but to his attempting to
imprison Benjamin. Rav Hirsch says:

<  Joseph was concerned that if they got back together the brothers would
repeat their action. Before revealing his identity Joseph had to be sure
that they would always stand as a unified whole no matter what happened.
Hence Joseph never contacted his father.  Hence Joseph framed Binyamin to
see if the brothers would stand behind him. Hence only when Judah defended
Binyamin did Joseph reveal himself>

Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA; Math; Towson University
Moderator Rashi is Simple, http://www.shamash.org/rashi/