by Zvi Akiva Fleisher
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SEDRAH SELECTIONS VAYIGASH 5761 BS"D
L'ILUY NISHMAS OVI MORI R' CHAIM B"R SIMCHOH Z"L HK"M
LICHVOD LEIDAS NECHDI HATINOK BEN R' YECHEZKEL SHRAGA V'HENNIA SHEYICHYU, NOLAD SHABBOS KODESH PARSHAS MIKEITZ 5761
Ch. 44, v. 18: "Va'yigash eilov Yehudoh va'yomer BI adoni y'da'ber NOH av'd'cho dovor b'oznei adoni v'AL yichar apcho b'avdecho ki chomocho K'Pharoh" - Rashi says that we can derive from the words "v'al yichar apcho," that Yehudoh told Yoseif that he was about to begin speaking roughly and would likely arouse his ire. If so, our verse should have left out the words BI and NOH, as these are words of appeasement, and as well left out Al from "v'AL yichar," leaving over "v'yichar," as he was expecting to anger Yoseif. Rashi says that the intention of "ki chomocho K'Pharoh" was to compare Yoseif and Paroh to each other in that they each make laws and don't comply with them. If so the letter Kof of "K'Pharoh" seems superfluous, as it is sufficient to say that Paroh is like you. This leaves us with the letters Beis-Yud-Nun-Alef-Alef-Lamed-Kof seemingly extra.
The Yismach Moshe says that he has a tradition handed down from the Holy Baal Shem Tov that when a person feels that he is beginning to anger that he should stem it by reciting the verse in T'hilim 119:9, "Ba'meh Y'za'keh Naar Es Orcho Lishmor Kidvo'recho." Yehudoh sensed that not only was he going to stir up anger in Yoseif, the recipient of his harsh words, but that he too would become angry. This is a most abominable trait as pointed out in the gemara N'dorim 22a. To avoid this he added the extra letters Beis-Yud-Nun-Alef-Alef-Lamed-Kof to his statement, as they are the first letters, in order, of the verse mentioned in T'hilim which helps counter anger. (Baal Shem Tov al haTorah)
Ch. 44, v. 18: "V'al yichar apcho b'avdecho" - Rashi points out that Yehudoh was warning Yoseif that he might become angry as he was about to speak to him in a very stern manner. It is most puzzling that just 2 verses earlier, in the end of the previous parsha, Yehudoh spoke quite submissively, accepting the fate that they would become slaves because of the theft of the royal goblet. The Holy Alshich answers that when they thought that they would ALL become slaves, Yehudoh felt that this was Divine retribution, as they were all (see Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh regarding Binyomin's innocence) guilty for the sale of Yoseif as a slave, but now that only Binyomin was going to be enslaved, Yehudoh realized that this was not Divine punishment, but rather trumped up charges by Yoseif.
Ch. 44, v. 31: "V'horidu avodecho es seivas av'd'cho ovinu b'yogone sh'oloh" - Yehudoh relates to Yoseif that if Binyomin would not be allowed to return to his elderly father, the father would suffer greatly. We know that Binyomin had ten sons before he was brought to Yoseif, as the gemara Sotoh 36b relates (see Rashi 43:30 d.h. "ki") that Binyomin told Yoseif that he named each of his ten sons for a different aspect of Yoseif's being torn away from the rest of the family. If so, why didn't Yehudoh say that Binyomin's absence would cause untold hardship to his ten young children? We see from here, says the Holy Admor of Kotzk, that a father cares more for one son, even if he is one of many, than ten sons care for one father. (Mimaynos Ha'netzach)
The Holy Admor of Ostrovtze explains that this is human nature because primary man, Odom Horishon, had no parents, but did have children. This developed in him concern for his children, and this was carried over from generation to generation, and people care more for their children than for their parents. We may add that this also has halachic implications regarding a "bo b'machterres," one who has dug a tunnel beneath another's house to attempt to gain ingress and commit robbery. We assume that a person who has gone to such great lengths will not stop at anything short of murder if accosted by the victim, hence the victim may kill the robber, as per the rule of "habo o'lecho l'hor'g'cho, hashkeim olov l'horgo." The gemara Sanhedrin 72b says that if the victim is the son of the robber, this rule does not apply, as a father always has a certain level of mercy for his son and would not kill him. If however the roles are reversed, and the son is robbing the father, the father may kill, as it is not guaranteed that the son has mercy upon his own father.
Ch. 45, v. 1: "V'lo omad ish ito B'HISVADA Yoseif el echov" - The letters of the word B'HISVADA are the same as the word HO'AVDUS. This indicates that the reason no person stood in the room when Yoseif broke the news that he was their brother whom they sold into bondage was so that they should not be embarrassed. (Chid"o in Nachal K'dumim in the name of Rabbeinu Efrayim)
Ch. 45, v. 3: "Ha'ode ovi choy" - Why did Yoseif ask this question since he had already asked it earlier in 43:27, and the brothers had not been home in between? The Moshav Z'keinim answers that this question means "Could it possibly be that my father is still alive after having suffered so much." Another answer the Moshav Z'keinim gives is that the earlier question was literally, "Is he still alive," while here Yoseif was asking about his general welfare. His final answer and as well that of the Ralbag is that Yoseif was not sure that they were telling the truth, as perhaps his father had already died, and the brothers stated that he was alive to arouse sympathy for the plight of their elderly father in the frozen heart of the ruler. Now that Yoseif had revealed his true identity to his brothers he asked, "Is it true that my father is still alive."
Ch. 45, v. 7: "Va'y'shalcheini Elokim lifneichem losum lochem sheiris bo'oretz u'l'hachayos lochem lifleitoh g'doloh" - Yoseif tells the brothers that it was the master plan of Hashem to send Yoseif to Egypt ahead of their arrival. This allowed for their acceptance as immigrants and dwelling in their own community of Goshen. It is not surprising therefore that this pre-arrangement led to "V'ei'leh shmos bnei Yisroel habo'im Mitzroymoh eis Yaakov ish u'veiso bo'u" (Shmos 1:1), and that the numerical value of these two verses are equal, 3,161. (Rabbi Y. Orbach in L'oroh shel Torah)
Ch. 45, v. 9: "SOMANI ELOKIM l'odone l'chol Mitzroyim" - The Holy Zohar writes that the Egyptians were not able to enslave the bnei Yisroel for the full 400 years of their exile (Breishis 15:13), but rather only 86 years, because the Egyptians became slaves through Yoseif (47:23). This is alluded to in our verse. Somani = 400 years, have become Elokim = 86 years, because "l'odone l'chol Mitroyim." (Chid"o in Chomas Anoch)
Ch. 45, v. 15: "Va'yeivk a'lei'hem" - Why did Yoseif cry? He had forgiven them for their cruel behaviour but saw through prophecy that their souls would be reincarnated into ten great Torah scholars, the "asoroh haru'gei malchus," who would pay for this sin with their lives. This is alluded to in the words "Va'yeivk a'lei'hem." He cried for "a'lei'hem," which can be split into "al" and Yud-Hei-Mem, the first letters of Yud Haru'gei Malchus. (Bnei Shlomo, Rabbi Shlomo Amsilam)
Ch. 45, v. 23: "U'l'oviv sholach K'ZOSE" - Rashi explains the elusive word K'ZOSE as meaning "k'cheshbone ha'zeh," as per this calculation. What does this mean? The Kabbalists write that during a time of famine even a person who has sufficient provisions and eats well will still feel hungry, as there is a pervasive hunger looming on the general populace that also effects him. What should he do to feel satiated? They write that he should recite the name of Hashem CHoSaCH, Ches-Sof-Chof, which is an acronym of the final letters of the first three words of the verse in T'hilim 145:16, "Po'seiaCH eS yo'deCHo," which ends with u'masbia l'chol chai rotzon," - and satiates all living creatures to their satisfaction. CHoSaCH numerically equals K'ZOSE, 428, hence Rashi's explanation "k'cheshbone ha'zeh." (Geres Carmel)
Ch. 45, v. 24: "Al tir'g'zu ba'derech" - Rashi's first explanation is that they should not involve themselves in deep Torah study, such as rulings of halacha. I heard in the name of MVRHRH"G R' Yaakov Kamenecki zt"l that if one is the driver of a vehicle, he should not say or involve himself in a Torah discussion with others, as this diverts some of his concentration from driving and puts himself and his passengers into danger.
Ch. 45, v. 24: "Al tir'g'zu ba'derech" - Yoseif's brothers, in their tremendous concern for their father, wanted to immediately rush post-haste back to their father and deliver the good tidings, thus alleviating him from his anguish of thinking that Yoseif was not alive. Yoseif told them to not rush, but rather, to proceed at a normal pace, since Hashem had proclaimed that Yaakov would miss Yoseif for 22 years, the same amount of time that he was responsible for being away from his parents. This would be fulfilled to the second and no amount of rushing would hurry the process. (The Holy Admor of Kotzk in Amud Ho'emes)
Ch. 46, v. 2: "Va'yomer Elokim l'Yisroel b'marose haLAYLOH" - As well, we find a second communication from Hashem to Yaakov taking place at night in the beginning of parshas Va'yeitzei, "Va'yo'len shom ki vo hashemesh, Va'yomar Ani Hashem Elokei Avrohom" (Breishis 28:11,13). Yet by Avrohom and Yitzchok we find no nocturnal communication. The Meshech Chochmoh explains that a prophecy received at night symbolizes that Hashem will be with him even when he is in the darkness of golus, as the gemara Megiloh 29a says, "When the bnei Yisroel descended to Egypt the Divine Spirit descended with them. When the bnei Yisroel descended to Babylon the Divine Spirit descended with them. (Although Avrohom also left Eretz Yisroel, this was only for a short period of time, and he intended to, and indeed did return. Yaakov, however left Eretz Yisroel knowing that he would not come back alive, as is indicated in the wording of verse 4, "Onochi eireid imcho Mitzraymoh v'Onochi aalcho gam oloe" - I will go down WITH you, and I will bring you back up." With regard to descending to Egypt, Hashem will descend WITH Yaakov, but upon return, Hashem will bring Yaakov, not ascend with him.)
The gemara Brochos 26b says that Yaakov established the evening prayers, corresponding to the burning of the organs and fats of the sacrifices that were brought by day in the Beis Hamikdosh. This corresponds to his life, where he lived in Eretz Yisroel, symbolized by day, and completed his life in Mitzrayim, compared to night. Just as sacrifices, once the processing of their blood service has been completed by day, their burning on the altar may be done by night as well, so also Yaakov, who began his life in Eretz Yisroel and received prophecy there, was promised by Hashem that His Divine Spirit would not depart from him even upon descending to Egypt. This is similar to the ruling that Hashem does not give prophecy outside of Eretz Yisroel, unless the prophet has already received prophecy in the past in Eretz Yisroel, as explained in the gemara Mo'eid Koton 25a, as per Rashi there d.h. "shehoyoh kvar."
He adds that this is also the intention of the verse in T'hilim 20:2, "Yaancho Hashem b'yom TZOROH y'sa'gevcho sheim Elokei YAAKOV." When one is in a TZOROH, when he does not see the "countenance of Hashem" shining upon him, he prays to the G-d of Yaakov, because Hashem promised Yaakov of all the forefathers that He would be with him even when in golus, a time and place of great difficulties.
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