And Joseph said to his brother, “I am Joseph. Is my father still alive?” But his brothers could not answer him for they were stunned before him. The Talmud records that when Rabbi Eliezer read this verse he’d cry. If the rebuke of flesh and blood can stun us into silence, how much more the rebuke of God, he’d say. But was Joseph rebuking his brothers? He simply asked: Is my father still alive? Now the brothers realized that their dislike for Joseph outweighed their love for their father. Implicit in Joseph’s question was the belief that his father was not alive, for no matter how much they disliked him, surely the brothers would not have allowed their father to live in pain for all these years. This was the rebuke, explains the Netziv, and it stunned them into silence.