In this week's parsha, Judah, brother #4, tries to stop his brothers from leaving Joseph to rot in a pit. After the brothers had followed Reuben's idea and thrown Joseph into a pit, Judah sees merchants traveling by and says (Chapter 37, verse 26) that they should sell Joseph to these traveling salesmen and make some money. "Why kill him?" Maybe that's too extreme, after all…
What grade would you give Judah for this moment and for his noble speech? Does he deserve an "A" for saving Joseph or just an "A for effort" for trying to help – but without bringing Joseph home to their father, maybe he really failed.
What do you think Judah was thinking at this moment? What would you have done?
Have you ever had to stand up to a crowd of people and change the course of events? When it was all over, did you wish you had done more?
Our Sages fault Judah here for weakness and say that he continued to grow in his leadership role, as we see later when he admits wrongdoing in Chapter 38 and when he stands up for Benjamin in Parshat VaYigash.
After looking back at a moment of weakness, the real strength lies in one's ability to learn from his mistake and prepare to do better the next time.
When have you not done enough but when given a second chance showed growth and improvement?
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Bracha Krohn is a mom of three living in Israel. She teaches children, teenagers and adults in schools, Batei Midrash and summer camp. "Table Talk" and "Personal Parsha" are based on the ideas she and her husband, also a Torah educator, discuss with their children around their weekly Shabbat table.