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It seems that Yaakov and Yosef did not spend much time together in Egypt. After the emotional reunion is there any other mention of them together? Why not?

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5 Answers 5

up vote 7 down vote accepted

One midrash has it that it was engineered by Yosef as such, so Yaakov would never say "by the way Yosef, how exactly did you um, get lost when you went looking for your brothers, and wind up in Egypt?"

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A citation would improve your answer (as you know :-)). –  msh210 Jan 6 '12 at 18:04

Despite the above answers to this question, there is a midrash that Yaakov convened family dinners during the remainder of his life, and requested that Yosef sit at the head of the table, in a position more honored than the other brothers, because of his position in the Egyptian government.

After Yaakov died, Yosef discontinued these dinners because he was uncomfortable with the protocol that would have required him to hold himself over his brothers. The brothers misinterpreted this as hatred that Yosef was only now expressing now that Yaakov was no longer alive, and this is why they made up a request from Yaakov that Yosef forgive his brothers.

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Interesting. Any idea where this midrash is recorded? –  Monica Cellio Dec 10 '13 at 4:06
    
@MonicaCellio: commentaries on Bereishit 50:15 would be a good place to start. Note that Rashi brings a version of this idea, but is different enough so as to contradict the answer given here. –  Menachem Dec 10 '13 at 4:56
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Bereishis Rabbah 100,8. It does not say there where the meals took place, but since it says that "he (Yaakov) would seat me (Yosef) etc." it would seem that it is referring to meals which took place in Yaakov's house. –  Gemini Man Dec 10 '13 at 6:09

Rabbi Shlomo Kluger comments on the posuk (48,2) “And (someone) told Yaakov and said: Behold, your son Yosef is coming to you. And Yisrael summoned his strength and sat up on the bed”, that the word “behold” in this posuk implies that something new was happening here, implying that Yosef was accustomed never to go to his father.

We can explain why this was so from what the poskim write about the Maharam from Rottenburg, that from the day that he rose to prominence as a great sage he did not visit his father, nor did he wish that his father should visit him. The reason was because his father was an ordinary person, and it is a disgrace to the Torah for a great Torah sage to stand up for someone who is not a Torah sage, and not everybody who might see him stand for his father would know that it was his father.

But Yosef's father, Yaakov, was a great person. However, Yosef was concerned that if he came to his father, his father would want to honor him as befits a king, and to stand before him. Indeed, we see here that when Yaakov was told of Yosef’s imminent arrival, he struggled to sit up. Therefore, Yosef refrained from coming to his father, in order that his father would not need to honor him each time. But on the other hand, he loved for his father to visit him because his father was a great Tzaddik, and it was fitting for Yosef to honor Yaakov by standing for him.

Therefore, whenever Yaakov needed Yosef, he would go to him, and not the other way round. But now Yaakov was ill and could not go to Yosef, and so Yosef was forced to go to him. Therefore it says “and it was told to Yaakov: Behold” - Look! something new! - “your son Yosef is coming to you”, something that has never happened before, since Yosef was not accustomed to come to Yaakov.

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I heard from Rav Yosef Mizrahi that the Gra had a sister that he hadn't seen in over 50 years, and when he met her, he just said "hello, nice to see you" and then went back to learn.

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It would be improper - as Yaakov the father would have to show respect to his son Yosef who is the Mishne L'Melech. - will add in source after Shabbos

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Does this mean that the fathers/mothers of anointed kings of Israel cannot meet with their powerful children? –  Seth J Jan 6 '12 at 18:33
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In fact, it is recorded that the Maharam of Rothenberg (Germany, 1215-1293) stayed away from his father once he became a Rabbi, in order not to compromise his or his father’s honor. He did not want his father to show him respect, but he knew that if others would see his father not showing him respect, they would not realize that this was his father, thus causing a disgrace to the Torah. He therefore felt it was preferable to him not to see his father at all, so that neither would have to compromise his honor for the sake of the other’s honor. –  simchastorah Jan 6 '12 at 19:34
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It's after Shabas. :-) –  msh210 Dec 9 '13 at 0:27

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