Joseph Presents His Father and Brothers to the Pharaoh (painting by Francesco Granacci)
From Torah Portion Blog:
"In a gathering of Talmide Chachamim someone raised a question. After Yosef’s goblet was found in Binyamin’s sacks the brothers were all brought back to Egypt. Yehudah stands and pleads before Yosef that they should be allowed to return to their father and that he, instead of Binyamin, be kept as a slave.
In Pirke DeRabbi Eliezer (Chapt. 39) note is made that in his speech to Yosef, Yehudah refers to their father as AVDECHA AVINU, “your servant our father” (Gen. 44,24). Yosef heard it repeated ten times and remained silent. As a punishment his life was shortened by ten years. One of the Rabbis asked a question. If you go check the passage you will find that this reference to their father is only mentioned five times and not ten.
The hostess Rabbanit heard the discussion and answered the question. She reminded the Rabbis that the Torah tells us that Yosef pretended that he could not understand Hebrew and so he had interpreters repeating in the Egyptian language what was said in Hebrew. Hence he heard the term used five times in Hebrew and then repeated five times in the Egyptian language.
The story is very interesting but there is an underlying message we can learn from it. A person can be guilty in a conversation, not only for what he says, but also for what he hears and does not find it necessary to object when something wrong is being stated. Not only must we be careful about what we say, but we must also be mindful of what we hear."