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    Not even a postcard – Vayyiggash

    When Joseph made himself known to his brothers, it was after years of estrangement. How strange it is that Joseph apparently made no attempt to contact his father during the long period of alienation.

    We can understand that he deeply resented the brothers who had treated him so badly, but surely he had no antagonism towards his father, whom he had always loved so deeply.

    When I was a student, a fellow student’s father said to me, “Joseph didn’t even send the old man a postcard! What sort of family is this?”

    Communications were much more complicated in those days, but as Egyptian prime minister, Joseph surely had the power and possibility of getting a message to Jacob.

    But the time was not ripe. For the first few years Joseph was in prison, and only when he was released did he have freedom of action. This is the view of Nachmanides.

    Abravanel thinks Joseph had to wait until he knew the brothers had repented. Else the old father would have been puzzled at the coldness between Joseph and the brothers.

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