A Father's Guilt
And Israel said to Joseph, 'Your brothers are pasturing at Shechem, Come, I will send you to them.' He answered, 'I am ready'. Rabbi Hama the son of Rabbi Hanina: These words Jacob recollected and his bowels writhed: 'You knew that your brothers hated you and you answered, here I am!'
(Genesis Rabbah 84:13)
Jacob will not see his son for twenty-two years. He will mourn him intensely and he will be haunted by the reverberation of his son's one word response, hineni - here I am. This word, used by Abraham when challenged by the Akedah, is echoed in Joseph's own journey to slaughter. Jacob will eat himself up alive, believing that he sent his beloved son to his death.
A Son's Journey >>