I'm always at the edge of my seat when reading the story of Joseph’s reunion with his brothers
. They do not recognize him, but he is watching their every move for a sign: that they regret selling him into slavery, that his family misses him, that they have changed.
The other brothers just see an unmovable Egyptian ruler, power-hungry, even manipulative. But their every word weighs so heavy on Joseph that at points he must remove himself to cry behind closed doors
How often do we encounter students who appear like Joseph, aloof and unaffected? We often put up walls in return or write them off as not worth our time. The beauty of Joseph’s hidden emotions reminds us that we often have no idea what is happening behind the sometimes stoic faces of students we meet.
May we be blessed with patience, courage and persistence, so that we can help our students bring their full selves to our communities. Rabbi Megan Goldman is the Senior Jewish Educator at Columbia/Barnard Hillel.