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To answer the final question, the Baal HaTurim to Bereishis 45:26 writes that ויגדו of "ויגדו לו לאמר" when the brothers (or Serach) told Yaakov that Yosef was alive is missing a yud (it should be ויגידו) is because they didn't tell him until they opened (undid) the excommunication. He cites Pirkei D'Rebbi Eliezer 38.


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They knew that they were destined to become a great nation (Bris Bain Habesarim) and the brochos of Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov. They felt that Yosef (with his dreams of rulership) was going to destroy this and was to them what Eisav was to Yaakov. As a court, they felt that Yosef was actually chayav misah and that they had actually shown him mercy by ...


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See Why Didn't Yosef tell Yaakov He was Still Alive? A non-literal reading of the medrish would be that the family dynamics created a situation where revealing the truth would help no one (and likely hurt).



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