What did Joseph feel at the moment that he revealed himself to his brothers? Was there a sense of relief? Was there anyone else in the world with whom he could be himself? Were there others who could understand Yosef as a human being, the son of Jacob, the dreamer, the Jew, better than his brothers?
Joseph functioned at incredibly high levels for at least nine years as viceroy of Egypt. He had to live as an Egyptian. He had to live as royalty. He could not ever share with anyone that he had always dreamed of achieving this position. He could not admit to anyone that one of his dreams was realized when his brothers bowed to him as they came for bundles of grain. There were innumerable layers and levels to Joseph that could only be shared with his brothers.
Perhaps this is why he can say, “I am Joseph!” only to his brothers. He was not Joseph until he was unmasked.
Is there anyone in our lives to whom we can say, “I am me?”
Perhaps this is why the Sages explain “Vaigash” – the approach at the beginning of the portion – as a form of prayer: We can use prayer to unmask ourselves and say to the One, Who truly understands, “I am me!”
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