There is a Midrash on our Parsha, which says that when Yosef grabbed Binyamin, and said to the brothers that "he will be my servant," Yehudah became very angry. He said, "you've captured Binyamin, and you expect peace in our father's house?" His anger was so great that he let out a loud roar--and the sound traveled so far that Chushim, the son of Dan, heard and came. The paradox is that Chushim was deaf. A possible answer is that to the contrary, "Chushim" means "senses." Chushim was uneducated, but he was able to sense feelings, even so far away. So even though he was deaf, he "heard" his uncle's anger and pain, and realized something was wrong.
The Avnei Azal uses this Midrash as a parable. Binyamim, the youngest of Yaakov's twelve sons, represents a young Jewish child--torn out of Israel's lap, taken by foreign hands that wish to educate and raise him to assimilate into their society and to abandon Judaism. There are many Jews who should be aware of the problem this poses, but ignore it--they make themselves "deaf" and are not affected. Only "Yehudah" truly feels the bond of "Yehudim," all Jews, that "all of Israel is responsible one for the other." “For your servant is responsible for the boy” (34:32). He is the one who cannot sleep, realizing the danger faced by this child, and by extension, all of us. The "house of our father," Israel, cannot be complete (S halem, from the same root as Shalom, peace), at ease, when the youths are in danger of being torn away--even one, all the more so when we stand to lose millions! Therefore, the "Yehudahs" cry out, to awaken and arouse all of Israel, pointing out the great danger, and guiding the response. And their voice is so great and powerful that the entire camp shakes--and even the deaf "Chushim" hear the call.
“It is my mouth talking to you” (45:12). Rashi explains that this expression connotes that Yosef spoke to his brothers in the holy tongue, Hebrew. The Chatam Sofer states that the holy tongue is not remembered by those who do not continue to observe the Torah. For instance, when the Jews were exiled to Babylonia, Hebrew became obsolete in a mere 70 years, and the Jews spoke only Chaldean. This was because they did not observe the commandments and did not practice their religion. Thus, when Yosef conversed with his brothers in Hebrew, he was giving them proof that though he lived in Egypt, he had continued to observe the commandments.
Shabbat Shalom שבת שלום.
Rabbi David Grossman