After Yosef’s Gavi’a was found in Binyamin’s possessions, the brothers were brought back to Egypt. At the end of last week’s Parsha we read that Yehudah was dejected and apologetic before Yosef. This week’s Portion begins with the words VAYIGASH ELAV YEHUDAH, (…and Yehudah approached him…) Gen. 44:18 Rashi comments on this first Pasuk that Yehudah spoke harshly against Yosef. First he is passive and suddenly he is belligerent.
This is the nature of the Jewish people. We are quiet and submissive at first, but we reach the point where we gain the needed courage to stand up for our rights and for justice and the truth.
The State of Israel has been very patient with its enemies but it reached an unbearable level and at that point Israel responded forcefully. There is a limit to how much a country must endure.
In our private lives we should follow the same pattern. We do not have to stand up and oppose every remark people make against us. We should be slow to anger. When it reaches an unbearable level, at that point we have a right to respond and not be too meek to answer. Patience is a virtue but there is a limit to when patience should be abandoned.