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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 41, v. 33: "Ish novone v'chochom" - A person who is understanding and wise - What need is there for these traits? An organized person is all that is needed. The mishnoh in Pirkei Ovos says, "Ei'zehu chochom horo'eh es hanolad," - who is wise, he who sees the future. At a time that there is great abundance people don't readily put away for a "rainy day." They think that the blessing will go on forever. A person who is wise and sees the future is the one who can influence people to think as he does. (Rabbi Yisroel Yaakov Lubchanski)

Ch. 41, v. 35: "V'yitz'b'ru vor tachas yad Paroh" - And they should amass grain under the hand of Paroh - Absolutely everyone, from Rishonim down, asks, "Why did Yoseif offer advice, when all he was asked to do was to interpret the dream?" Most commentators answer in one manner or another that the advice Yoseif offered was incorporated in the dream. Perhaps it was in the dream in verses 3 and 4, "vataamodnoh eitzel haporos, vatochalnoh haporos ro'ose hamar'eh .. eis sheva haporos y'fose hamar'eh." Why is the fact that the 7 emaciated cows stood near the 7 robust cows relevant? We can say that this taught Yoseif that only when they stood NEAR the healthy cows did they swallow them, i.e. the years of hunger will obliterate the years of abundance. However, if grain is stored out of sight, it will somewhat alleviate their plight. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 41, v. 45: "Tzofnas Paa'nei'ach" - Hidden clarified - The sale of Yoseif was hidden from all, save those who participated and the purchasers. There was one exception, our Patriarch Yitzchok (see Rashi on 37:35 d.h. "va'yeivk"). To all it was hidden, save Yitzchok, whose name has the same numerical value as "paa'nei'ach," clarified. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 42, v. 1: "Lomoh tisro'u" - Why should you show yourselves off - Rashi says, "Why should you show yourselves off in front of Yishmo'eil and Eisov as if you are well fed." There were many people of other backgrounds as well, so why does Rashi single out Yishmo'eil and Eisov? It seems that others were not keeping their eyes on the bnei Yisroel. These two are always looking to see if the blessings of Avrohom and Yitzchok come upon the bnei Yisroel, and if so, they feel deprived. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 42, v. 8: "Va'ya'ker Yoseif es echov v'heim lo hikuruhu" - And Yoseif recognized his brothers and they did not recognize him - The Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh writes that the verse tells us that it is quite surprising that in spite of Yoseif's recognizing his brothers and there is the nature of "k'mayim haponim l'fonim" (Mishlei 27:19), which should have brought about a reciprocal recognition, nevertheless, this did not happen. The reason they did not recognize him is because of his exalted position and royal bearing. The possibility that the brother they sold into slavery being raised to such a position was far from their minds.

We can thus say that Yoseif's "crown" of kingship kept his identity hidden. "Tzofnas," hidden, has the same numerical value as "keser." (Nirreh li)

Ch. 42, v. 19: "Achichem echod yei'o'seir b'veis mishmarchem" - One of your brothers will be locked in your jailhouse - Since they were released, why is it THEIR jailhouse? Yoseif was praising them, saying that he realized that they cared so much for each other to the point that when even just one brother was incarcerated they would feel so strongly for his plight that they considered themselves locked up as well. (Pardes Yoseif)

Ch. 43, v. 12: "V'chesef mishneh k'chu v'yedchem" - And double the money take in your hands - Why point out that it be taken in their hands? Is anything wrong with taking it in a money-belt or the like? There is a restriction to return a lost item to an idol worshipper (Rambam hilchos g'zeiloh vaa'veidoh ch. #11). This is the strength of their "kal vochomer" logic in 44:8. Since we returned an item that we did not have to return, surely we would not steal. Why indeed did they return the money? The Rambam also says that if by returning the item an elevation of respect for a ben Yisroel comes about, it is laudable to do so. This was Yaakov's intention. Return the money in a very public manner, holding it in your hands as you travel back to Egypt. (Rabbeinu Bachyei)

Ch. 43, v. 18: "Al dvar ha'kesef hashov b'am't'choseinu bat'chiloh onu muvo'im" - For the matter of the money that was returned in our satchels in the beginning we are brought - The word "bat'chiloh" begs interpretation. The gemara Shabbos 31 says that when a person is brought to the celestial court to give an accounting, the first issue is if he came by his money honestly. We can say that this is alluded to in these words of our verse. Regarding the money we are brought to judgment "batchiloh." (GR"A)

Ch. 43, v. 29: "Elokim yoch'n'cho bni" - May Hashem be gracious to you my son - Rashi says that Yaakov blessed his sons with the graciousness of Hashem in 33:5, "asher chonan Elokim es avdecho." Binyomin was not yet born at the time and received no such blessing. Now Yoseif bestowed it upon him. In a previous issue the words of Rabbi Yitzchok Hutner were mentioned, where he said that Yoseif was a bridge between "ovos" and "bonim," taking on the characteristics of both. This seems to be indicated in the words of this Rashi. Yaakov, who was a Patriarch, blessed his sons, and here Yoseif, not a Patriarch, blessed Binyomin, so how does this make up for the blessing he did not receive from Yaakov? If however, we say that Yoseif also somewhat embodied the power of the Patriarchs, this is resolved. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 43, v. 34: "Va'teirev masas Binyomin mimasos kulom cho'meish yodos" - And Binyomin's portion was greater than the portions of all others five-fold - Rashi explains that Binyomin was given his portion as one of the brothers, plus the portions of Yoseif, Osnas, Menasheh, and Efrayim. This gives Binyomin 4 extra portions. Although the verse says MORE by five-fold, we can understand this to mean that the TOTAL including his own portion was five times as much as any other portion. If we are to take "va'tei'rev" literally we have to find one more portion. Rabbeinu Chaim Paltiel explains that the portions were served 2 to a plate, and thus there was a plate for Yoseif and Osnas, another for Menasheh and Efrayim, and a plate for Binyomin that had 2 portions, totaling 6 portions, thus resulting in his having 5 portions more than the others.

Ch. 44, v. 2: "Tosim b'fi amtachas hakotone" - Shall you place in the opening of the young one's satchel - Rabbeinu Chaim Paltiel explains that Yoseif staged this to clearly establish that it was Binyomin whom they brought. He left Binyomin as a young child, and the man presented to him now as Binyomin was a full-grown bearded person. If the brothers react violently to his enslavement, then he could be sure that it was Binyomin.

Ch. 44, v. 4: "Lo hirchiku" - They didn't go far - Yoseif sent after them immediately, so that they would not have said "t'filas ha'derech." Once they would have said "t'filas ha'derech," which includes the words "mikaf ko oyeiv .. umikol mi'nei furonios," the messenger would have been unable to catch them and cause any stress through the trumped up charges, so great is the power of this prayer. (Imrei Emes)

Ch. 44, v. 15: "Ki nacheish y'nacheish ish asher komoni" - A person of my stature will surely divine - Why didn't Yoseif say directly, "I divine"? He didn't want to say such a negative thing about himself. The gemara Sanhedrin 102a relates that Yeihu expressed himself as someone who would serve baal and this brought about his sinning with the calves of Y'rovom. (Haa'meik Dovor)



See also Oroh V'Simchoh - Meshech Chochmoh on the Weekly Parsha and Chasidic Insights

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