When Yosef reveals his identity with the famous line ‘I am Yosef. Is my father still alive? And the brothers could not answer him, for they were embarrassed,’ (45:3) the Midrash comments ‘woe to us for the day of judgment, woe to us for the day of reproach.’ The Midrash continues that if the brothers could not stand before their brother Yosef how much more will we be ashamed to stand before HaShem when He is judging and reproving us (in our Heavenly judgment). But where did the Midrash see that Yosef gave the brothers reproof - he simply revealed his true identity to them? The Torah Temimah answers that Yosef’s question of ‘is my father still alive’ was not merely a simple enquiry as to Yaakov’s wellbeing. Yosef was hinting to the brothers that they had been wrong for selling Yosef and had thus caused undue pain to their father - for Yosef’s dreams were correct and indeed had come true. This was the reproof that the Midrash is referring to.
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