Parashat Vayeshev: Yosef as Leader

[Tal Chermon p. 86-87]

Question: Why wasn't Yosef's authority accepted?
Answer: A true leader is one who contains within him all the qualities, thoughts, and aspirations of the people he leads. For example, the "leader of ten" (Shemot 18:21-23) has all the qualities of the souls of the ten people under him. That is why these people accept his rule over them. They know that he feels and understands them and will thus faithfully represent their aspirations. If this is not the case, the people under his tutelage will not accept his rule. The brothers did not accept Yosef's kingship because he did not represent or express their special makeup and task in the world. Yosef capably organized the physical world to function honestly and properly, but he was unable to perform their task of building up the spiritual content of the world. Yosef did not embody their world and thus could not lead them.