We all know the story of how Yosef’s brothers sold him into slavery. Yet in the Torah we never are given any hint as to whether Yaakov ever found out what really happened to him. Did he always believe that Yosef was lost in the Wilderness?
We are told that when Yaakov became ill VAYOMER LEYOSEF HINEH AVICHA CHOLEH, “… someone told Yosef. ‘Behold your father is ill’…”. (Gen. 48,1) Isn’t strange that someone had to come tell Yosef about his father’s health? Did he not visit him often enough to be able to notice his health? This is a question about which the Midrash ponders and tells us that, indeed, Yosef did not visit his father often. He did not want to be alone with him so that he would not have to tell him what his brothers did to him.
Yosef was afraid that if he told his father the truth, Yaakov would have cursed his brothers and that would have disrupted the entire family. He was so intent on keeping the family together that he never told his father what happened and he himself never took revenge on his brothers for what they did to him. Peace within the family is very important and we should be ready to overlook any injustice we feel has been done us and even if we have been truly wronged. Family is the greatest possession we have.