SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS VA'YIGASH 5766 BS"D
Ch. 44, v. 18: "Va'yigaSH eiloV YehudoH" - And Yehudoh drew close to him -
Baal Haturim notes that the final letters of these three words form the word
"ShoVoH," equal. Yehudoh advised Yoseif that he was his equal, also a king. If
this is so, is the statement of Rashi that Yehudoh warned Yoseif that he was
about to speak to him in a harsh manner agreed upon by the Baal Haturim? Since
Yehudoh was of equal stature his words are not to be considered something that
might incite another king.
Yad Yoseif explains that although the protocols of Egypt prohibited
appointing a jail-bird as a viceroy, nevertheless, Paroh justified his move by saying
that there is no equal to Yoseif, "Nanimtza cho'zeh ish asher ruach Elokim bo"
(41:38). The laws of the land only prohibited appointing a jail-bird if there
was no one his equal.
Now that Yehudoh intimated to Yoseif that he was his equal, Paroh's excuse
falls away and Yoseif's being appointed viceroy should be rescinded. Yehudoh
being Yoseif's equal in theory would depose Yoseif. These are the harsh words of
Yehudoh. (Migdal Dovid)
Ch. 44, v. 20: "Va'yivo'seir" - And he was left over - Compare this with the
synonymous word "v'hu l'vado NISHOR" (42:38). Although both refer to Binyomin,
commentators explain that the word form "yesser" is used when the "left over"
is of minor importance, and "shair" means a remainder of prominence. Yehudoh
was requesting that Yoseif permit him to be a slave in Binyomin's place, thus
he denigrated Binyomin. When relating that their father was very reluctant to
send Binyomin, it was related that he was "nishor," the prominent remaining
Malbim explains that "yesser" means remaining by chance, and "shair"
Ch. 44, v. 24: "El Av'd'cho ovi" - To your servant MY father - Compare this
with "Va'yomer ovinu," OUR father, of the next verse. Why does Yehudoh call
Yaakov HIS father in our verse and OUR father in the next? Again in verses
27,30,32, and 34 we find OVI, while in verse 31 we find OVINU.
Ch. 44, v. 32,34: "Ki av'd'cho orav es hanaar, Eich e'eleh el ovi v'hanaar
einenu iti" - Because your servant has is responsible for the youth, How will I
be able to ascend to my father without the youth - Why was it necessary for
Yehudoh to add on the second reason since the first in its own right is very
compelling? Sh.O. Y.D. 229:8 states that even excommunication can be annulled
through an "opening," a rational reason for the excommunication to not have been
made in the first place had he known .. If so, "V'chotosi l'ovi kol ha'yomim"
could be annulled. However, the gemara N'dorim 65a says that a vow taken for
the benefit of another may not be annulled without it taking place in front of
the beneficiary. This is why Yehudoh added that he was unable to appear in
front of his father sans Binyomin. (Ponim Yofos)
Ch. 45, v. 2: "Va'yitein es kolo bivchi" - And he brought his voice into
crying - This is the literal translation and is indicative of an intentional act
rather than an emotional reaction. Targum Yonoson ben Uziel "Va'a'reim yas
ko'lei," and he raised his voice. Perhaps Yoseif would not have cried at all, or
at least not loudly, as he was not suddenly confronting the realization that
these were his brothers from whom he was separated for many years. He surely
didn't want the Egyptians to know their history. By crying out very loudly, to
the point that those sent outside heard it would seem to them that this was a
startling surprise, and they would surmise that Yoseif suspected nothing, and
they would think that he was originally kidnapped by Yishmeilim and sold into
slavery. (Nirreh li)
Ch. 45, v. 5: "V'atoh al tei'otzvu" - And now don't be dispirited - NOW don't
be depressed, but in the future the whole nation will be most unhappy with
the murder of the ten leaders of the bnei Yisroel as recorded in the liturgy of
"asoroh harugei malchus." (Rabbi Shlomo Ashtruk)
Ch. 45, v. 8: "V'atoh al tei'otzvu" - And now do not be depressed - The word
"v'atoh" seems totally superfluous. Possibly we can answer that the gemara
Brochos 12b says that he who sins and is embarrassed that he did so, is
immediately cleansed. Yoseif's brothers were "nivhalu miponov," very likely out of
embarrassment. Yoseif told them, "v'atoh," and now that you have repented (ein
atoh ela loshon teshuvoh), your sin has been expiated and there is no need to
further be disconsolate. (Nirreh li)
Ch. 45, v. 17: "Taanu es b'irchem" - Load your animals - This is the
translation according to the first offering of the Rada"k in Sefer Hashoroshim.
Alternately, he offers that "taanu" means "prod."
Tur and Rabbi Saadioh Gaon agree with the second translation.
Ch. 45, v. 18: "V'es bo'teichem" - And your houses - Targum Onkelos
translates this as "v'yas anash bo'teichon," and the people of your houses. This is
well understood, as Yoseif surely didn't suggest that they bring their actual
Perhaps by not spelling out "the people" Yoseif was alluding to their
bringing the spirit and pure atmosphere of their homes with them. Indeed, we find
that the Torah relates "Eis Yaakov ish uveiso bo'u" (Shmos 1:1). (Nirreh li)
Ch. 46, v. 1: "Va'yizbach z'vochim l'Eilokei oviv Yitzchok" - And he offered
sacrifices to the G-d of his father Yitzchok - See Rashi who explains why
specifically to Elokei Yitzchok and not Avrohom. Yaakov realized that he was
separated from his beloved son Yoseif for a total of 22 years because he was away
from his parents for 22 years (gemara Megiloh 16b). He was therefore concerned
with the likely possibility that when he would descend to Egypt his son Yoseif
might not properly treat him with respect. He therefore specifically invoked
the name of his father when offering the sacrifices before entering Egypt.
Ch. 46, v. 26: "Kol ha'nefesh" - The total of souls - Rashi notes that
according to the opinion (see on 37:35) that girl twins were born along with
Yaakov's sons, we must say that they died before the family descended to Egypt, or
else we would have a total of more than 66 souls. There is a well-known and
well-used refrain, "Foon a kashya shtarbt men nisht." A close friend pointed out
that our Rashi seems to say otherwise. Because of the difficulty Rashi raises
the twins died.
Ch. 46, v. 29: "Va'yipol al tzavorov" - And he fell upon his neck - Rashi
comments that Yaakov did not likewise respond because he was reciting the "Shma."
The gemara Yoma 19b says that one who reads the "Shma" prayer and at the same
time winks to someone or makes some other signal is criticized by the words
of the verse "v'lo osi koroso Yaakov" (Yeshayohu 43). Why is Yaakov chosen as
the name of the multi-tasking "Shma" reader? The Maharsh"a in his "chidushei
agodos" on this gemara explains that when Yaakov was reciting "Shma" he did not
fall on Yoseif's neck nor kiss him, nor cry. He totally concentrated on the
"Shma." One who does otherwise is called "not reading/calling Me as Yaakov did."
Ch. 47, v. 23: "Konisi es'chem ha'yom v'es admas'chem l'Faroh" - I have
purchased you today and your land to Paroh - Based on the rule that whatever a
slave owns becomes the property of his master (gemara P'sochim 88b), what need is
there to separately purchase their land? The Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh concludes,
based on this difficulty that they were not truly slaves with all the
accompanying laws inherent to master/slave transactions. Rather, they were only
committed to work the fields and give the legislated portion of produce to Paroh.
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