Parshat Vayeshev - Menachem Mahn
In Parshas Vayeshev perek 37 pasuk 33 it says “Yakov recognized it and said it is my son's coat, an evil beast devoured him. Yosef has been torn to shreds”. On the words “an evil beast devoured him” Rashi writes, a spark of Ruach HaKodesh flickered within him that it is Yosef’s destiny that Potiphar’s wife would provoke him. Then Rashi asks why didn’t Hashem reveal everything which had happened to Yosef to Yakov? Rashi answers, the brothers excommunicated and cursed anyone who would reveal it and they included Hashem with them. Yitzchok, however, knew that Yosef was alive but said: “ how can I reveal what happened to Yosef if Hashem doesn’t want to”.
From this Rashi there is a question, how can the brothers include Hashem as one of the excommunicators to not reveal what happened to Yosef? Many commentators talk about this, however, I’m only going to mention two.
The Ber Haytiv writes, it shouldn't be a question to you as to how the brothers were able to include Hashem in the ex-communication, Avraham also attempted this by Sedom, Avraham asked to include Hashem with nine people in every city. Avraham said, “you are the most righteous of the whole world, join with the other nine and save them. If one would want to say that what Avraham did was different than what the brothers wanted to do, because Avraham wanted to save and the brothers wanted to destroy, the reality is the brothers didn’t want to destroy, rather, they wanted to save all of Israel and the honor of Hashem. The brothers were afraid, God forbid the matter to be revealed to their father Yakov for he would curse the brothers, and all the descendants of Yakov would be destroyed. Furthermore, there wouldn’t be anyone to publicize the name of God.
The Sifsei Chachomim writes, it is certain Hashem wasn’t forced to join the brothers, rather, he agreed with them for many reasons. One is because Hashem wanted to fulfill his word when he said: “your descendants will be strangers”. If Yakov knew what had happened to his son, he wouldn’t have gone down to Egypt, because he would have freed Yosef with all the money in the world. Also, if Yakov would have known, he would have cursed and destroyed their name, and by doing so destroying the descendants of Israel, and Hashem wanted the descendants of Israel to multiply. Therefore, it says at the end of the Rashi, Hashem didn’t want to reveal it to him which implies that Hashem wasn’t forced, if he wanted to reveal it he would have. Another reason Hashem didn’t want to reveal it to Yakov, is because Hashem wanted Yakov to suffer for twenty-two years which would come about from Yosef’s absence. Hashem wanted Yakov to suffer because Yakov didn’t honor his parents for twenty-two years. If Hashem told Yakov what happened, he would have prayed and nullified the decree for him to suffer for twenty-two years. As a result, Hashem agreed with the sons of Yakov in their decision to excommunicate anyone who would reveal what happened to their brother Yosef.