Ruvain heard and saved him from their hands. He said, “Let us not kill him.” – Bereshis 37:21
The brothers of Yosef came to a final decision that Yosef needed to be murdered. He was acting in improper ways and after studying the Halacha carefully, the proper thing to do was to give him the death penalty (or at least that is what they thought). They were about to commit the murder, when Ruvain stepped forward and stopped them. Oznayim L’Torah states the reason why Ruvain was the one of all of the brothers who saved Yosef. The crime the brothers felt Yosef was committing was to steal the kingship throne. Since Ruvain was the oldest of the brothers, he was to be given the crown to be the king. Ruvain, though, saw the truth that the throne did not really belong to him, but belonged to his brother, Yosef. Therefore, he was the one who spoke up because he was the only one who really could speak up. Yosef was taking Ruvain’s position, but Ruvain admitted the truth which saved Yosef from death. What a lesson we can learn from Ruvain’s honesty!
Rav Akiva Grunblatt, the Rosh Yeshiva of the Chofetz Chaim Yeshiva in Queens, NY, once spoke about the silliness that occurs when candidates run for Governmental offices. Imagine a synagogue’s Rabbi retires and now the “search committee” is interviewing the applicants for the new Rabbi. One of the applicants begins his interview by stating, “I should be chosen for this position because, just look at the other applicants. They do not know how to teach. Their sermons are boring! And they do not even know how to learn properly. Just look at the yeshiva they went to…” Would any synagogue hire him? He would probably be thrown out of the shul within a few moments. Compare this situation to what happened a few weeks ago before the elections and what will unfortunately happen again around elections time.
And then, compare the behavior of our nation’s leaders to how Ruvain reacted. Ruvain was set to be in the king’s throne, but admitted that someone else was better suited for the job than him. How many people would go to an interview and state someone else is better qualified than him? Of course, this does not mean every time we go on an interview, we should recommend someone else gets the job. But if someone else gets a job that we applied for, we should not be jealous. This is not only true with jobs, but in everything in life whenever we do not get what we want.
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