by Zvi Akiva Fleisher
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PLEASE BE MISPALLEL FOR CHAYEH BAS LEAH NECHA FOR A REFUOH SHLEIMOH BSSHCH"Y
SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS VAYIGASH 5769 BS"D
Ch. 45, v. 2,3: "Va'yitein es kolo bivchi, Vayomer Yoseif el echov" - And his voice was crying, And Yoseif said to his brothers - On a simple level it seems that Yoseif simply let out a cry without saying anything and then spoke to his brothers. A strong indication for this is that these are two verses. Nevertheless, the Haameik Dovor says that these are two descriptions of one action. Yoseif cried and said the words of verse three.
Ch. 45, v. 10: "V'yoshavto b'eretz Goshen" - And you shall reside in the land of Goshen - Why specifically there? Rabbeinu Bachyei seems to say that there was no reason for specifically picking Goshen. Rather, Yoseif understood that his father did not want the family to live in the capital, Mitzrayim, because his sons gave the appearance of being very strong and prominent people and it was likely that Paroh would force them to become his ministers. Goshen was somewhat far afield, and this concern would be alleviated. Pirkei d'Rebbi Eliezer says that Yoseif specifically chose Goshen because he knew that when the Paroh who took Soroh from Avrohom, and then as an appeasement gave her presents, he included the area of Goshen. In her merit this area was clear of the spiritual defilement of Egypt.
Ch. 45, v. 11: "Pen tivoreish" - Lest you will become impoverished - The source of the word "tivoreish" is Yud-Reish-Shin, and in the "nifal" form the Yud becomes a Vov, as "yivoleid." Yud-Reish-Shin has three translations, inheritance, chasing away, and impoverishment. Rashi, based on his text of Targum Onkelos translates "tivoreish" as "you will become destitute." There is another version of Targum Onkelos, which translates it as "you will be forced out." This is the translation of the Rashbam.
Sefer Hazikoron comments that it would be inappropriate for Yoseif to send a message that is so negative to his father, that he would become destitute, hence the advantage of the Rashbam's translation. Ramban, in the same vein, says that we find that Yoseif told his brothers that if they were to come down to Egypt to ride out the famine they would, "losum lochem sh'eiris" (verse 7), be preserved, indicating that if they would remain in Canaan they would ch"v be destroyed. Yet, the message he sent his father was "pen tivoreish," "lest you will become destitute." This is because Yoseif would be unable to send them a reasonable amount of food on a regular basis, as Paroh might suspect him of sending food beyond their basic needs and the rest would be sold at exorbitant prices, as is common during a famine. Having a hefty sum of money laid away for him in Canaan he might escape back to his homeland. However, if they were to descend to Egypt he could give them special attention without raising any suspicions.
Interestingly, the Baal Haturim translates "tivoreish" as impoverished, like Rashi, but says that it refers to Torah. You might not be able to study Torah properly if you suffer from the famine.
Ch. 45, v. 19: "V'atoh tzuveisoh zose asu" - And you have been commanded do this - Rashi explains that the bringing of food supplies to Canaan required no special permission from Paroh. What he granted was permission to use chariots for transport. We see that this is the intention of these words from verse 21, where it says that Yoseif supplied his brothers with chariots "al pi Faroh." Why did this require special permission?
1) These were chariots used for warfare (Mei'am Loeiz, Mahari"a)
2) The issue wasn't the chariots, but rather the calves that pulled them. There was an ordinance in Egypt that no bovine or pig could be sent out of the country unless its uterus was removed. Here the calves were complete. (Chizkuni)
3) They only allowed grain to be exported on donkeys, but not in wagons, so that there should be no mass removal of grain from Egypt. This was an exception. (Tur)
4) All the government's chariots had emblems of idol worship adorn them. Paroh, sensitive to their religion made an exception here and allowed for unadorned wagons. (Moshav Z'keinim)
This is contrary to a medrash that says that Yoseif had the idol sign destroyed, notwithstanding the risk of angering Paroh.
Ch. 45, v. 20: "V'einchem al tochos al kleichem" - And your eye should not be compassionate for your vessels - A strict translation of "einchem" is "(plural) your collective (singular) eye." This is most unusual, as we normally find the word "ayin" when it means your outlook or attitude, in the plural, such as "motzo chein b'einoV," in his eyeS. An explanation would be greatly appreciated.
Ch. 45, v. 22: "V'chomeish chalifos smolos" - And five sets of clothing - Why five? One set for causing Binyomin to rent his clothing along with his brothers, one simply because he was both a paternal and a maternal brother, one because he embarrassed Binyomin by setting him up as a thief, and two more because the repayment for a thief is double, "keifel."
(Chizkuni) Alternatively, Yoseif's actions were done in units of five, "V'chimeish es eretz Mitzrayim, v'nosa'tem chamishis l'Faroh," and the portions given to Binyomin were "chomeish yodos." (Seichel Tov)
Ch. 45, v. 23: "Mituv Mitzrayim" - From the good of Egypt - What was this? Rashi (gemara Megiloh 16b) says that this is aged wine from which elderly people benefit. Maharsh"o explains that in general elderly people feel cold and aged wine warms them.
Medrash Agodoh says that it was grits of beans. There were special beans in Egypt that were unique and they are tastiest when cut into grits before being cooked.
Rabbi Avrohom ben hoRambam says that it refers to very sweet fruits.
Ibn Ezra says that it refers to the clothing that was sent, that they were of the finest materials available in Egypt.
Ch. 45, v. 26: "Va'yagidu lo leimore ode Yoseif chai" - And they related to him thus saying Yoseif is still alive - The word "leimore" seems superfluous. The intention is that they did not directly tell Yaakov this wonderful news, but rather, when they came close to home they were discussing this and Serach the daughter of Osher heard their animated conversation and she ran ahead to tell Yaakov the good news. "Leimore" tells us that the news reached Yaakov through an intermediary. Yaakov was so pleased with her words that he gave her a blessing, "so too may you live." Through the power of this blessing Serach remained alive and as related in Seder Olam, she lives on. (Tosfos in the name of the medrash)
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