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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 45, v. 4: "Ani Yoseif achichem" - I am your brother Yoseif - In the previous verse Yoseif disclosed his identity with the startling words "ani Yoseif." What is added with these words of our verse and in particular with "achichem"? The gemara Sotoh 10b says that when King Dovid said the word "bni" seven times (Shmuel 2:19:1) he elevated his son Avsholom from the seven depths of Gehinom.

The Tumim explains how this worked. Although Avsholom was grievously guilty of revolting against his father, Dovid offered a defence for him with the word "bni." He stated that it was extremely contrary to human nature for a son to be so rebellious against his father. This was surely just the fulfillment of the prophecy "hin'ni meikim mi'beis'cho ro'oh" (Shmuel 2:12:11). This was a heavenly decree and Avsholom should be absolved of guilt. Each statement "bni" showed that he was a son, not a rebellious enemy, and Avsholom was elevated from the seven depths of Gehinom, one at a time.

Here too, Yoseif first said that he is Yoseif and his brothers feared him and his possible retribution. He went on to say "I am Yoseif your BROTHER." It is not natural for one to sell his brother into slavery. It must be that it was the result of a heavenly decree. Hence Yoseif added, "Lo a'tem shlachtem osi heinoh ki hoElokim" (verse 8), as well as "Va'yishlocheini Elokim lifneichem, "Ki l'michyoh shlochani Elokim." (Rabbi Ezra Attia)

Please note that this interpretation of Dovid's defence for Avsholom's actions seems contrary to the words of the Rada"k. He clearly states that Avsholom was totally responsible for all his actions. In spite of the prophecy mentioned above (Shmuel 2:12:11), no specific person from Dovid's household was mentioned, and Avsholom was free to behave as a son should towards his father, and especially a father who was the king. He equates this with the prophecy that a nation would enslave and pain the bnei Yisroel, and in spite of this the Egyptians were fully accountable (see Rambam hilchos teshuvoh 6:5).

Ch. 45, v. 9: "Somani Elokim .. r'doh" - Elokim has placed me .. descend - In these words we have all aspects of the exile Hashem told Avrohom (Breishis 15:13), the total years of exile, the actual years of living in Egypt, and the years of harsh slavery. Yoseif said that "SoMaNI," whose numerical value is 400, the 400 years of exile, will only be "ELoKIM" = 86 years of harsh servitude. As well he urged his father to "r'doh" = 209 years, as part of the actual 210 years of living in Egypt had begun with the descent of his brothers earlier in the year. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 45, v. 14: "Va'yipole al tzavrei Vinyomin ochiv va'yeivk" - And he fell upon the neck of his brother Binyomin and he cried - Rashi says that he cried over the future destruction of the two Sanctuaries that would stand in the tribal land apportionment of Binyomin that would be destroyed. The word "tzavrei" alludes to the Bo'tei Mikdosh, as per the M.R. on the verse in Shir Hashirim 4:11, "K'migdal Dovid tzavo'reich," which is interpreted as the Beis Hamikdosh. (Torah Temimoh)

Ch. 45, v. 16: "V'hakole nishma beis Paroh leimore bo'u achei Yoseif va'yitav b'einei Faroh" - And the news was heard in the house of Paroh saying Yoseif's brothers have come and it was good in the eyes of Paroh - This was most wonderful news for Paroh. People complained that Paroh appointed a jailbird as their leader, and that he was a slave to boot. Now that they found out that Yoseif was a member of the household of Avrohom, Yitzchok, and Yaakov, they were very pleased to have royalty be their viceroy. (Medrash Lekach Tov) Alternatively, it was specifically because only the identity of these people as Yoseif's brothers came to the ears of Paroh, that he was pleased. Had he also heard "asher m'chartem osi" he would never have allowed them to remain in his country, let alone as honoured citizens. (Alshich Hakodosh)

Ch. 45, v. 23: "Ul'oviv sholach k'zose" - And to his father he sent like this - Rashi says like this amount. The Kabalists write that a person who eats a normal amount of food during a famine still feels hungry because of the psychological affect of knowing that there is a famine. There is a supernatural way of laying this hunger to rest. It is to concentrate upon the letters Ches-Tof-Kof, the final letters of the words "posei'aCH eS yo'deCHo" (T'hilim 145:16). This is Rashi's intention when he writes "k'cheshbon ha'zeh." He sent his father the secret of "k'zose," whose numerical value of 428 is the same as Ches-Tof-Kof. (Ge'res Karmel)

Ch. 46, v. 1: "Va'yovo B'eiroh Shova va'yizbach z'vochim lEilokei oviv Yitzchok" - And he came to B'eir Sheva and he sacrificed offerings to Elokim of his father Yitzchok - Yaakov was extremely concerned about the future of his offspring. Living in Egypt could totally change their value system. He therefore strengthened the three pillars of service to Hashem that he, his father, and grandfather instituted, Torah, avodah, and g'milus chasodim. M.R. 94:4 says that while in B'eir Sheva he cut down the trees that Avrohom planted and took them along to Egypt. These trees where the "eishel," an acronym for "achiloh, sh'sioh, linoh (l'voyoh)," the attribute of "gmilus chasodim." He likewise offered sacrifices "lEilokei oviv Yitzchok" to strengthen the "avodoh" implanted by Yitzchok. Finally, he sent Yehudoh ahead to establish a Torah study institution in Goshen (M.R. 95:3), the pillar of Torah. (Oznayim laTorah)

Ch. 46, v. 21: "Uvnei Vinyomin Bella voVecher" - And the sons of Binyomin were Bella and Becher - Rashi on 43:30 explains that Bella alludes to Yoseif's being swallowed into the society of the gentiles, while Becher alludes to his being the first-born to his mother Rochel. Since Yoseif was a first-born upon birth and only later was swallowed into the gentiles, why didn't Binyomin name his first son Becher and his second son Bella? The message of Yoseif's being the first-born would be lost if Binyomin's first-born would be given the name Becher because we would say that in his own right as a "b'chor" he was called Becher. Alternatively, it is only because Yoseif had vanished that Binyomin gave names to his sons as a remembrance of Yoseif's travails. (Rabbi Y.M. Rosenbaum shlit"a Rosh Yeshivas Gur of London)

Ch. 47, v. 6: "B'meitav ho'oretz hosheiv es ovicho v'es achecho yeishvu b'eretz Goshen" - In the prime of the land place your father and your brothers they shall reside in the land of Goshen - The cantellation "esnachto" for the word "achecho" seems to clearly indicate that these words mean "In the prime of the land place BOTH your father and your brothers. They shall reside in Goshen (which is the prime land)." However, the Chizkuni, in spite of noting the "esnachto," says that we are to explain the verse otherwise. Your father shall be placed into a prime location, with the verse not disclosing its name, a land that has pristine clean air and is a quiet place. Your brothers shall live in Goshen, a place most suited for pasture and grazing of sheep. He makes the "tipcho" cantellation the main mid-verse stop.



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

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