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D''vrei Mordechai

by Reb Mordechai Rosen z"l
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What does Hashem Elokecha ask from you, but to fear Hashem Elokecha and to walk in His ways? (Devorim, Perek Yud, Pasuk Yud Gimmel)


"Vayigash Eilav Yehudah" (Perek Mem Daled Pasuk Yud Ches). At the end of Parshas Miketz, an expensive goblet is found in Binyamin’s sack and Yosef orders him held as collateral. Incredibly angered, Yehudah approaches Yosef to speak on behalf of the brothers. Reviewing Yehudah’s dialogue, the Baal Shem Tov Hakadosh finds a number of words that seem unnecessary.

When Yehudah first begins to speak he says "Bi Adoni," please my Master. Why use the word please if he was so angry, the word "Bi" seems unnecessary. Later on he says "Yidaber Nah Avdecha", please let your servant speak. Again the word "Nah," meaning please, seems unnecessary. He continues "Al Yichar Apcha," do not get angry. The word "Al" is unnecessary. The last thing the Baal Shem Tov finds unnecessary is the letter "Chof" before the word "Kamocha."

The Baal Shem Tov points out that the letters that make up these four words -- Bais, Yud, (Bi), Nun, Alef (Nah), Alef, Lamed (Al), and Chof are the Roshei Teivos for these words: "Bameh Yizaceh Nar Es Archo, Lishmor Kidvarecha" (Tehilim, Kof Yud Tes, Pasuk Tes). These words are a Segulah for holding back your anger. (See the Baal Shem Tov on the Torah for various explanations.)

One can say that Yehuda used these words to help himself control his anger. But we can also see a message here for Yosef. We know that the word "Nar" is generally a remez to Yosef. Also as Yehudah continues to speak he tells Yosef everything that happened, even things that Yosef already knew. "Bameh Yizaceh Nar Es Archo," How can a "Nar" keep himself on the path of righteousness, "lishmor Kidvarecha" by keeping his word. Yosef had asked them to bring down Binyamin and when they hesitated, he gave them his word that everything would be okay. By adding these words, Yehudah was asking Yosef to keep his promise.

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