Unable to be Comforted

We learn this week of the selling of Yosef by his brothers. This was a horrible crime that was later rectified by the Ten Martyrs who were thought to be a reincarnation of the ten brothers.

When Yakov is sent the bloody Coat of Many Colors, he goes into mourning for his beloved son. The Torah tells us, וימאן להתנחם, that he refused to be comforted.

The Rabbis have a statement that says, גזירה על המת שנשתכחים מן הלב, that it is a decree that when one passes away, he is forgotten after twelve months. However, if the person has not really died, the mourner will not be comforted. This could apply to one missing in action or one who went overseas and was not heard from.

In Yakov’s case, this was a clear sign that Yosef was still alive. He refused to be comforted and the usual rules of mourning did not apply to him. Shabbat Shalom