Yehudah is pleading with Yosef to allow Binyamin to return to their father. He recounts the discussion Yosef had with them during their previous visit to Egypt. He relates that at that time Yosef said to them: IM LO YERED ACHICHEM HAKATON ITCHEM, “…if your youngest brother does not come down with you, you will not see my face again.” (Gen. 44,23)
The famous Rabbi of Berdichev had a beautiful exposition of this passage. There are Jews who are concerned only with their own welfare, be it in material or spiritual matters. “If I have what to eat; if I have what to wear; if I have where to live; if I could get an education; if I could keep Shabbat’ etc., I am happy and satisfied.” He is not concerned about his brother’s happiness and wellbeing.
To such people, says the Rabbi of Berdichev, the Torah exclaims, if your brother is not with you, I cannot look upon you. You cannot see my face again. We Jews have a special obligation. Chazal tell us KOL YISRAEL AREVIM ZE BAZEH, all of Israel are responsible for one another.
Our great sage Hillel also put it very wisely when he said, “If I am for my self what am I?” (Avot 1;14)
[ on that note: In Beit Shemesh today, Kol Hakavod to these Yeshiva boys from Amit Nachshon Yeshiva High School giving out these notes with a little something attached – see below and read original article ]