In this week’s parsha, Yehuda, brother #4, tries to stop his brothers from leaving Yosef to rot in a pit. After the brothers had followed Reuven’s idea and thrown Yosef into a pit, Yehuda sees merchants traveling by and says (Chapter 37, verse 26) that they should sell Yosef to these traveling salesmen and make some money. “Why kill him?” Maybe that’s too extreme, after all…
What grade would you give Yehuda for this moment and for his noble speech? Does he deserve an “A” for saving Yosef or just an “A for effort” for trying to help – but without bringing Yosef home to their father, maybe he really failed.
What do you think Yehuda 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 Binyamin 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?