Chamishoh Mi Yo'dei'a

subscribe.gif (2332 bytes)

by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

Back to This Week's Parsha | Previous Issues

Please send your answers and comments to: SHOLOM613@AOL.COM


1) Ch. 41, v. 14: "Va'y'galach" - The gemara Rosh Hashonoh 11b says that Yoseif was released from prison on Rosh Hashonoh. How could he shave that day?

2) Ch. 41, v. 32: "V'al hishonos ...... pa'amoyim ...... u'm'ma'heir" - We find that Yoseif also had two dreams (37:7,9) but they were not fulfilled for thirteen years or for twenty-two years. Why was there no "um'ma'heir .."?

3) Ch. 41, v. 45: "Vayi'ten lo es Osnas bas Poti Phera kohein On l'ishoh" - Why did Paroh suddenly become a match-maker?

4) Ch. 42, v. 15: "B'vo achichem hakoton" - Didn't Yoseif realize that the brothers could have easily brought someone else and have him impersonate Binyomin?

5) Ch. 43, v. 17: "Va'ya'as HO'ISH" - Rashi quotes the Medrash Rabboh 92:8, which says that this refers to Menasheh the son of Yoseif. Rashi on Pirkei Ovos 5:20 says that we derive that the age of bar mitzvah is thirteen years from 34:25 where the word "ISH" is used for Levi who was just thirteen years old. However, in our verse, the word "ISH" is used for Menasheh, who wasn't even nine years old.

Answer to questions on parshas Va'yeishev:

1) Ch. 37, v. 3: "Ben z'kunim" - Why is Yoseif considered the "ben z'kunim" if Binyomin was born afterwards?

1) The Ibn Ezra answers that Yoseif was one of Yaakov's "bnei z'kunim." The Ramban asks on this from the words "mikol bonov," indicating even over Binyomin.

2) The Ramban therefore answers that Yoseif stayed at home to care for his father, and Binyomin was too young to do so.

3) The Rashbam answers that there were seven years between the births of Yoseif and Binyomin, during which time Yoseif was the "ben z'kunim." Even after the birth of Binyomin, Yaakov's affinity for Yoseif remained.

4) Targum Yonasan ben Uziel translates "z'kunim" to mean "ziv ikuno", that their facial appearances were similar (see M.R. 84:8).

5) Targum Onkelos translates "z'kunim" to mean "bar chakim," a very wise son. Translate "zokein" as "zeh she'konoh chochmoh."

6) The Chizkuni answers that Yaakov's love for Binyomin was diminished through the death of Rochel at the time of Binyomin's birth.

7) The Kli Yokor says that "z'kunim" means the elevated position of being a first-born. The birthright was passed from Reuvein to Yoseif because of the incident with Bilhoh.

2) Ch. 37, v. 7: "V'hi'nei s'su'benoh alumoseichem vatishtacha'venoh laalumosi" - And behold your sheaves surrounded and bowed down to my sheaf - Commentators say that the brothers being represented by sheaves of grain alludes to what the future held in store, that they would come to Yoseif in pursuit of grain. However, what is the message conveyed by the sheaves "encircling" his sheaf?

Perhaps this alludes to the M.R., which states that the brothers entered the city, each through a different entrance. Thus before they came in front of Yoseif the viceroy and prostrated themselves in front of him much later (50:18), they had "encircled" him from a distance, each at a different gate of the city. (Nirreh li)

3) Ch. 37, v. 8: "Chalomosov" - Why is the PLURAL form used, as the Torah has told us only one dream so far?

1) This includes his future dream as well. (Daas Z'keinim, Tosfos Hasholeim)

2) He repeated the dream numerous times. (Daas Z'keinim)

3) This includes the dream of verse 5. The reason the Torah does not detail this dream is because what it indicated never came to fruition. (Chizkuni)

4) This includes the dream mentioned in Rashi (50:21) that ten fires cannot extinguish one fire. This might be the dream of verse 5. (Tosfos Hasholeim)

4) Ch. 37, v. 13: "Halo achecho ro'im biSh'chem" - The words of this verse seem to indicate that BECAUSE Yoseif's brothers were grazing their sheep specifically in Sh'chem was Yaakov willing to send him. Why so?

1) In Sh'chem Yaakov strongly rebuked Shimon and Levi by saying "Achartem osi" (Breishis 34:30). This rebuke carried the message that even if at first glance you feel that what you are doing is correct, you must have sufficient insight into seeing the repercussions and spin-off affects of your actions. Yaakov therefore felt safe that at least while they were in Sh'chem the brothers would do no harm to Yoseif. (Pardes Yoseif)

2) The gemara Bovo Basro 165a says that a majority of people transgress sins that are in the realm of theft, a minority transgress sins that are in the realm of adultery, and a minority of a minority transgress the sin of bloodshed. Yaakov reasoned that if his sons went to the trouble of going to Sh'chem to graze their sheep, it must be because the city was razed and the pastureland in the area became ownerless, thus they would not inadvertently transgress the sin of theft. If they were so careful with a sin that the majority of people transgress, surely they would not attempt to kill their brother, since killing is transgressed by only a very small percentage of people. (Rabbi Shlomo Zev Patzinovsky z"l)

3) Since the brothers of Dinoh displayed great caring for the honour of their sister at the risk of their lives in Sh'chem (Breishis 34:25), Yaakov felt that in Sh'chem they would do no harm to any sibling. (Rabbi Mordechai Gifter z"l)

4) Perhaps, since Shimon and Levi had killed the inhabitants of Sh'chem, Yaakov felt that the brothers of Yoseif surely realized that any further bloodshed might bring upon them the wrath of people from the surrounding communities. (Nirreh li)

5) Ch. 37, v. 31: "Va'yish'chatu s'ir izim" - Goat's blood was used, as it is similar to human blood (Rashi, from Medrash Rabboh 84:17). The gemara Gitin 57b relates that the blood of the murdered kohein Zecharia was compared to the bloods of different sacrifices including that of goats, and did not match. Is this not contradictory to Rashi?

1) The Moshav Z'keinim answers that with the passage of time other bloods mixed with Zecharia's.

2) Tosfos Hasholeim answers that the blood of Zecharia was very old, but fresh bloods match.

3) He also answers that they normally match, but Hashem wanted to punish the bnei Yisroel, so this one time it did not match, leading to much more bloodshed.

4) The Mahara"m Shiff (Gitin 57b) says that although the two bloods are quite similar, when one has both types in front of him and scrutinizes them one can notice a difference.

5) Possibly, the bloods do not match except when absorbed into a garment. (Nirreh li)



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

Back to This Week's Parsha | Previous Issues

This article is provided as part of Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Permission is granted to redistribute electronically or on paper,
provided that this notice is included intact.

For information on subscriptions, archives, and
other Shema Yisrael Classes,
send mail to
Jerusalem, Israel