Upon Ya'aqov Avinu's passing (Bereshit 50:1), Yoseph (to the glaring exclusion of his brothers) immediately falls upon his father and weeps.

Why don't we hear anything about the brothers weeping or mourning over their father's death?


The Stone edition of the Chumash relates,

Although the other brothers were surely as aggrieved as Joseph, only he is mentioned because his presence in Jacob's final moments was a fulfillment of God's promise [46:4] that Joseph shall place his hands on your eyes (Sechel Tov). It may also be that Joseph was nearest to Jacob at the time, listening to the final whispered instructions and divine secrets that were not known to his brothers (Haamek Davar).

the Radak writes

יפול יוסף, not only he but also his brothers, of course. Seeing that he was the most highly placed of the brothers the Torah mentions him. If he allowed himself this display of emotion, his brothers surely did no less.

As a side note, the Bereishit Rabbah has this to say (which dovetails with another question you asked,

ויפול יוסף וגו' ויצו יוסף את עבדיו - למה מת יוסף בפני אחיו? רבי ורבנן רבי אמר: על שחנט את אביו, אמר ליה הקדוש ברוך הוא: לא הייתי יכול לשמור את צדיקי, לא כך אמרתי לו (ישעיה מא): את תיראי תולעת יעקב, אל תראי תולעת את יעקב. ורבנן אמרי: הוא שצוה אותן שיחנטו אותו, הה"ד: ויעשו בניו לו וגו'. על דעתיה דרבי ניחא. על דעתהון דרבנן, קרוב לה'. פעמים יהודה אומר: עבדך אבי, עבדך אבי, והוא שומע ושותק:

by the way, in my humble opinion, at the moment of death, the brothers would have backed away expecting revenge from Yoseif so the text would not list them as mourning in the same unbridled way (as pasuk 15 indicates).

  • Indeed the Midrash Rabbah you cite could also be submitted as an answer to my other question. Thanks!
    – Lee
    Jan 12 '17 at 12:44

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