Aliya Summary: Joseph’s brothers were away tending their father’s sheep, when Jacob sent Joseph to see how his brothers and the flocks were faring. When Joseph’s brothers saw him approaching they plotted to kill him. Reuven, however, implored them not to shed blood, advising them instead to cast him into one of the nearby pits. Reuven’s plan was to later return and rescue Joseph from the pit.

Rashi says that Reuven truly intended to come back and save Yosef, but his reason was that he, as the oldest, would take all the blame if something were to indeed happen to Yosef (pretty selfish reason). Nonetheless, he gets the credit for the good deed he planned on doing, despite the facts that 1) it wasn’t accomplished and that 2) his motives were not pure. How much more credit is there for those of us with proper motives that DO accomplish our objectives and do good things!