לא ישטמנו יוסף והשב ישיב לנו את כל הרעה אשר גמלנו אותו (נ: טו)
“Unless Yosef will hate us, and he will return to us all the bad we did to him.”
Following the death of their father, Yaakov, the shevatim (saintly brothers) feared that Yosef might hate them and take revenge. The Baal HaTurim, however, explains the pasuk as follows: The brothers said לא ישטמנו יוסף – “It would be great if Yosef only hated us in his heart, and he shouldn’t do anything to us. And if he wants to punish us ישיב לנו את כל הרעה אשר גמלנו אותו, he should do so in the mode that we did to him. What did we do to him? We sold him, and this resulted in him becoming a king! He should give us such retribution!”
An anti-Semite once entered a restaurant in good spirits, but he became enraged when he saw a Yid was also in the restaurant. His only respite was to taunt the Yid. In a loud voice, he announced, “Waiter, I’m in a generous mood tonight, serve the best appetizer to everyone present. I’ll pay for everyone except the Jew!” Everyone cheered, and after they ate their portions, they came to thank him again. The Yid also approached the anti-Semite and thanked him as well. The anti-Semite was confused. Why was the Jew thanking him? He was trying to disgrace him, not help him.
He decided to try once again. He raised his voice, “Waiter, serve your most elaborate main dish to everyone present.” Then he pointed to the Yid and said vehemently, “Serve it to everyone except for the Yid sitting over there.” After enjoying their meals, everyone came over to thank him. But then, once again, the Yid stood in line to thank him as well. It just didn’t make sense.
The anti-Semite approached the bartender and, to tempt the Jew, announced, “Drink as much as you want. I will pay. Drink any brand you want. It’s all on the house. Everyone can have, except for the Jew.”
The cheers were louder this time. When they had all drank to their heart’s content, they lifted the anti-semite on a chair and sang songs of gratitude. When they finally put him down, the Yid went over to him and thanked him.
“Why are you thanking me?” The cruel man finally asked. “I humiliated you. They thanked me, but what are you grateful about?”
The Yid replied, “I am grateful because I am the restaurant owner.”