The story of Yosef and his brothers is one of a shattered, absent family. Through the lens of midrash, we see what it is like to live with absence and longing for extended periods of times. Yosef’s longing changes his experience of the world, allowing him in the end to recognize his brothers, even while they didn’t recognize him. It is this posture of longing that we can learn the most from, whether in our relationships with distant family and friends, or with God.
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