I’m a homebody- there, I admitted it. When I lived in New Jersey, nothing would make me happier than just spending time with my family and friends. Now, living six thousand miles away from all of that, I can honestly say what I miss the most in my life is being close to my parents, four younger siblings, and other family and friends in the New York area. This is why I find myself utterly confused when reading the story of Yosef’s sale. Yosef is the quintessential homebody- while his brothers are in the field working, he relaxes at home with his father and stepmothers, hangs out with his half-brothers (“וְהוּא נַעַר אֶת-בְּנֵי בִלְהָה וְאֶת-בְּנֵי זִלְפָּה, נְשֵׁי אָבִיו”), and, in general, lives a very pleasant home-bound life. All of this changes with Yosef’s dreams and the brothers’ jealousy, and, before we know it, Yaakov’s eleventh son is sold into slavery. However, things eventually turn for the better at the beginning of our parsha, and Yosef appointed viceroy of Egypt, the second-in-command of the powerful country. At this point, alarm bells should be ringing in our heads- Yosef, after several years as a homesick slave in Egypt, finally rose to a position of power. He controlled the country’s grain stock, and was a very potent ruler. Why didn’t he take the time to get in contact with his family in Canaan, to let his long-lost father know that he was alright? In short, why didn’t Yosef “phone home” once he was appointed to avreich over Egypt?
The rest of this d’var torah can be found at: http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/holy-land-homesickness-family-ties-parshat-miketz/