Chamishoh Mi Yo'dei'a

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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1) Ch. 41, v. 1: "Omeid AL ha'y'ore" - He is standing above the river - Paroh dreamt that he was standing above the river. Why indeed did he dream that he was standing above the river?

2) Ch. 41, v. 32: "V'al hishonos hachalome el Paroh paamoyim ki nochone hadovor um'ma'heir hoElokim laasoso" - And regarding the repetition of the dream to Paroh twice because it is ready .. and Hashem is hastening to do it - Aren't "hishonos" and "paamayim" themselves repetitive and saying the same thing twice? Technically, when we say that something was "repeated" twice we are saying that it happened three times, thus exacerbating the difficulty.

3) Ch. 41, v. 45: "Tzofnas Paa'nei'ach" - What is the literal translation of this name given to Yoseif?

4) Ch. 43, v. 34: "Va'yishtu va'yish'k'ru imo" - And they drank and they became inebriated with him - The brothers had not consumed any wine from the time they sold Yoseif. Why did they deviate from their behaviour now?

5) Ch. 44, v. 10: "Va'yomer gam attoh ch'divreichem ken hu" - And he said also now according to your words it is so - What is added with "gam attoh?"



This is because Paroh had illusions of grandeur. He claimed that he created himself and that the Nile was his, "Li y'o'ri vaani asisini" (Yechezkel 29:3). His dream disclosed his innermost thoughts. (Rabbeinu Bachyei)

When he related his dream to Yoseif he added the word "sfas," "hin'ni omeid al SFAS ha'y'ore" (verse 17) - on the edge of the river. When he related the dream to Yoseif, whom he perceived as a holy person he came down a notch and inaccurately related that he was only standing at the side of the river, ashamed to admit his grandiose allusions. (Rabbeinu Menachem)


The Paa'nei'ach Rozo and the Tur answer that "hishonos" is to be translated as CHANGED. Yoseif told Paroh that he realized that he made changes in relating the dream and that this was done to test Yoseif, to see if he had a supernatural level of understanding the dream properly even when it was inaccurately related to him. Read these words as: And regarding the CHANGE from the original dream that appeared to Paroh that you posed as a test, I draw the conclusion that "nochone hadovor," the interpretation is accurate, and also regarding the repetition of the dream, I draw the conclusion that it will take place shortly.

The question that was raised earlier, the use of both "hishonos" and "paamoyim," is answered differently by others. The repetition is indeed double talk according to the Rada"k, but Yoseif said this to be exceptionally clear in his response to Paroh. The word "hishonos" is understood by the Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh to mean "change," as the Paa'nei'ach Rozo and Tur posit. However, he says that the change is not Paroh's changing the details of the dream when relating them to Yoseif, but rather, the change of details from one dream to the next, although the theme is the same.

A novel interpretation of our verse, which would incorporate an answer to the question raised earlier in verse 8: Why was the dream of Paroh to be fulfilled in the immediate future, as indicated by its being repeated and Yoseif's repeated dreams took 22 years to fulfill? As offered in Sedrah Selections parshas Mikeitz 5759, the Baa'lei Tosfos answer that Paroh's dreams were both dreamt in one night, but Yoseif's were on different nights. We can thus say that "hishonos" means "sleeping," from the word source "sheinoh." Because Paroh had slept "paamoyim," twice, i.e. he slept and had his first dream, woke up, fell asleep again, and had his second dream, thus having dreamt both dreams in one night, this is proof that the fulfillment will begin immediately.


1) Rashi and Rabbeinu Bachyei say that these are words in Loshon Hakodesh and mean "he clarifies hidden." N'vei Sholo'm points out that that Rashi is switching the order of the words with his explanation. A literal translation would be "hidden he clarifies."

2) The M.R. 90:4 brings in the name of Rabbi Yochonon that the word "Paa'nei'ach" is a composite of "pa," as in the word form "hofia," meaning "appears," and "nach," as in the word form "noach," eases. This means that when his explanation of a hidden matter appears, it is readily acceptable and eases the minds of those who hear it.

3) Rabbeinu Menachem Azarioh says that this composite word's first component comes from the word form "efeh" (Yeshayohu 42:14), I will raise my voice. "Nach" is the same as before. Thus, Paa'nei'ach means he raises his voice and announces (his explanation), and this eases However, this is only according to the translation of the Ibn Ezra in Yeshayohu. Targum translates "efeh" as "uncovers."

4) The Rada"k says that this is an Egyptian name.

5) Rabbi Sheis Horofeh (a Rishon) says that these are Egyptian words and we do not know their meaning and this is why Targum only repeats these words. However, our Targum does translate these words as Rashi explains.

6) Rabbi Shlomo Ashtruk says that these words mean "governor," one who supplies the needs of the masses.

7) The Ralba"g says that this was the name of Paroh's god, very small g.

8) The Baa'lei Tosfos say that this is an acronym for Tzadik Pitpeit Neged Taavoso Ino Nafsho Chinom.

9) The Baal Haturim says that this is an acronym for "Tzofeh, Podeh, Novi, Tomeich, Poseir, Onov, Novone, Chozeh." He also says that "Tzofnas Paa'nei'ach" has the numerical value of "M'ga'leh nistoros."

10) The Shiltei Hagiborim near the end of 1:46 says that possibly this has the same meaning as "satrafo," a Persian word that is also used in the Greek and Latin languages, meaning a master.


Yoseif accused them of being spies. If they would not be afraid to become drunk, which carries with it the risk of letting out all one's secrets, "nichnas yayin yotzo sode" (gemara Eiruvin 65a), this would be a solid proof that they were innocent. (Zichron Moshe)


In verse 5 we find that Yoseif's messenger said, "ha'rei'o'sem asher asi'sem," that you have acted badly. He did not mention theft. Perhaps his complaint, when clarified, would be that they damaged the goblet or the like. They proceeded to say that they did not steal it (verse 8). By saying that they did not steal it even before they were thus accused, this alone proves that "gam attoh," also now, even before we search through your parcels, "ch'divreichem," as per your words that you mentioned theft, "ken hu," it is truly so. You have been self-incriminating. (Hadoroh Shel Torah)

n.b. - A correction on last week's parsha - on 40: where it was - The narrative of the minister of baing is replete with action, "And I squeezed, and I placed," indicating life. However, the wine butler related that he was standing with three baskets on his head that contained bakery goods, not that he baked them, that he placed them into baskets - should read: The narrative of the wine butler is replete with action, "And I squeezed, and I placed," indicating life. However, the minister of baking related that he was standing with three baskets on his head that contained bakery goods, not that he baked them, that he placed them into baskets. v'itchem haslichoh



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

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