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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 37, v. 3: "Kso'nes pasim" - A tunic of pasim - What does "pasim" mean?

1) Soft material (Rashi)

2) Palms of the hand - The material of the tunic had a different colour where it covered the palms. (Radak and Rabbi Avrohom ben hoRambam)

3) Silk (Rabbi Saadioh Gaon)

4) Palms of the hand - The sleeves reached the palms of the hands. (M.R.)

5) Soles of the feet - The leg coverings reached the soles of the feet. (M.R.)

6) Palms of the hand - The material was so fine that the whole tunic could be rolled up and still fit into one's palm. (Lekach Tov)

7) Consolation - From the word source "piyus" - The garment was made as a consolation payment to Yoseif. (Mei'am Lo'eiz)

Possibly, this was to console him for his lost wages for not being at work, and attending to his father's needs.

Ch. 37, v. 8: "Al chalomosov" - On account of his dreams - The Torah only relates one dream so far, so why the plural "dreamS?" An answer that was offered in a previous edition in the name of Rabbi Ovadioh of Bartenura is that Rashi in parshas Va'y'chi mentions that Yoseif had a dream of 10 flames attempting to extinguish one flame and being unsuccessful. However, Rabbeinu Bachyei says that so far there was only one dream and the plurality refers to the upcoming dream. The reason the Torah mentions it even before it happened is to avoid repeating that they hated him for this dream as well. Although the Torah mentions that they were jealous of him, "va'y'kunu vo echov," hatred is not mentioned again.

The Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh offers that there was only one dream so far and the plural expression refers to the details of the dream, which are numerous.

Ch. 37, v. 13: "Ha'lo achecho ro'im biSh'chem" - Aren't your brothers shepherding in Sh'chem - The Ibn Ezra explains why Yaakov sent Yoseif all on his own to his brothers, since he knew that they hated him and there was the fear that they might harm him. He says that since Shimon and Levi took the city of Sh'chem to task after kidnapping and defiling their sister, as explained in two manners, one by the Rambam, and one by the Ramban, Yaakov greatly feared for their safety when he was apprised of their bringing their animals to graze there. He therefore felt it appropriate to put Yoseif into a doubtful danger at the hands of his brothers, and to have Yoseif give them a command from their father to leave the area, rather than have them remain in a most likely danger at the hands of the communities surrounding Sh'chem.

See Mishnoh Bruroh 329:19 who seems to conclude that one is not allowed to place himself into a doubtful danger to save someone who is in a definite danger.

Ch. 37, v. 15: "V'hi'nei so'eh" - And behold he has gone astray - The three letters of the word "so'eh," Sof-Ayin-Hei allude to three exiles. Tof = 400, the years of the Egyptian exile, Ayin = 70, the years of the Babylonian exile, and Hei = 5, meaning 5,000, the time since creation when the exile of Edom began. May we be speedily and readily be redeemed. (Daas Z'keinim)

Ch. 38, v. 1: "Bo'eis hahee" - At that time - The Ibn Ezra and Rabbeinu Tovioh say that this took place before the sale of Yoseif.

Ch. 38, v. 1: "Ushmo Chiroh" - And his name is Chiroh - M.R. cites the Rabonon who posit that Chiroh is one and the same as Chirom in the days of King Dovid ((Mlochim 1:5). The medrash goes on to say that according to this opinion, Chiroh/Chirom lived for close to 1,200 years.

Ch. 40, v. 1: "Chotu" - They sinned - Rashi (M.R.) says that their sin was that one brought a goblet of wine that had a fly in it and one brought baked goods that had a pebble in it. Targum Yonoson ben Uziel says that these two people planned to kill the king and they placed poison in the wine and in the bread. Peirush Targum Yonoson ben Uziel explains that this is derived from the commonality of words found here and in Megilas Esther, where two of the kings workers also tried to poison his drink.

Ch. 40, v. 1: "Chotu mashkei melech Mitzrayim v'ho'ofeh" - The butler and the baker of the king of Egypt sinned - The ones who brought the bread and the wine were not the heads of the beverages and baked goods, but rather, the ones who actually served these items. (Sforno)

However, in the next verse we find Paroh taking "sorisov," his ministers over these two items, to task. This is simply understood. The final responsibility lies with the head purveyor. (Rabbeinu Menachem)

Ch. 40, v. 1: "Ladoneihem l'melech Mitzroyim" - - "Ladoneihem" seems superfluous. Haameik Dovor explains that these are two separate people. They sinned against their master, the head of the beverage supply and the head of the bakers, as well as to the king.

Ch. 40, v. 2: "Sorisov" - His ministers - The Targumim translate this as "his ministers." Hoever, the Ramban offers that these men also served royal women, and to make sure that the women would not be abused, only eunuchs were given these positions.

Ch. 40, v. 7: "Va'yishal es srisei Pharoh asher ito v'mishmar beis adonov" - And he asked the ministers of Paroh who were with him in the jailhouse of his master - The verse could have simply said "va'yishal osom," and he asked them.

1) This points out that Yoseif relied on Hashem who would give him wisdom in dealing with these two ministers problem and he was not afraid that if one or both of them would eventually leave jail they would have him killed for his audacity in asking them about their sour countenances. (Ramban)

2) In verse 4 we see that Yoseif served them in the jail for a year, hence he did not fear retribution. Our verse points out that he was with them, referring back to verse 4, and it was appropriate for him to ask his question. (Rabbi Yoseif ben Dovid of Saragosa)

3) The reason the verse repeats that they were Paroh's ministers and that they were with him in jail, although this is obvious, is to explain how Yoseif, a foreigner and a youngster as well, had the temerity to ask such highly placed ministers what was bothering them. The gist of the verse is: Even though they were ministers, since they were in jail with him, their age and former positions no longer were a barrier between them and Yoseif. (Malbim)

4) We have dealt with the nuance of difference between "ito" and "imo" at length in a previous issue of Sedrah Selections on parshas Bolok. Succinctly, "ito" means with someone, but without a close emotional bond of common purpose, while "imo" includes a bond and/or common goal. Our verse says that the two ministers were "ito" and not "imo." Notwithstanding that Yoseif of his own volition asked them why they woke up on the wrong side of bed that day, he feared no retribution because, although he was with them for a full year already (end of verse 4), nevertheless, they were only "ito" and not "imo." He made sure to have a respectful distanced relationship with them and not to act as if they were equals because they were all in the same boat. Therefore he felt safe that they would not have a bad reaction to his asking them this question this one time. (n.l.)



See also Oroh V'Simchoh - Meshech Chochmoh on the Weekly Parsha, Chasidic Insights and Chamisha Mi Yodei'a

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