Chamishoh Mi Yo'dei'a

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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1) Ch. 37, v. 15: "Leimore mah t'va'keish" - Saying what do you seek - The word "leimore" seems superfluous.

2) Ch. 37, v. 23: "Es kutonto es k'so'nes hapasim" - His tunic with the colourful tunic - Since "kutonto" refers to his lower garment, why does the verse mention the removal of his undergarment ahead of his over garment, since the over garment was obviously removed earlier?

3) Ch. 37, v. 28: "B'esrim kesef" - What was the actual sale price for Yoseif?

4) Ch. 38, v. 24: "Va'yomer Yehudoh hotziuho v'siso'reif" - Who judged Tomor?

5) Ch. 39, v. 20: "Va'yitneihu el beis hasohar" - Why wasn't Yoseif put to death?



1) Rabbeinu Menachem says that it means that he spoke in a loud voice.

2) In a manner of drush, perhaps we can say that since the angel knew that this was the beginning of Yoseif's odyssey, and that he would be plunged into the darkest of situations, he gave him advice that would stand in his good stead. Yoseif was to be sold into slavery and eventually end up in jail. He would be brought in front of the Egyptian king. The advice was that in spite of his deplorable situation, he should not mope and be enveloped in his sorrowful situation, but rather, he should seek out the welfare of all those with whom he came into contact. When enslaved in the house of Potifar, he was so loyal that he was entrusted with almost all household matters. When in jail for numerous years he saw the doom and gloom on the face of the wine-butler and the baker. Instead of just ignoring them, after all, there is ample reason to be gloomy when incarcerated, he asked why they were long-faced. This was the vehicle that brought about not only his release, but even giving him an audience with the king and being elevated to the position of viceroy. This is "leimore mah t'va'keish." Always say, "mah t'va'keish." What is it that YOU seek? (Nirreh li)


1) Paa'nei'ach Rozo answers that the brothers removed his garments in a quick rough manner, not slowly taking the garments off layer by layer, but rather, grabbing all the layers and quickly stripping them off at once. Thus the garments turned inside out, and the undergarments came off ahead of the outer ones.

2) Alternatively, since Yoseif traveled a distance to meet his brothers, he wore his regular simple tunic above his fancy one, to protect it while traveling.


1) Twenty silver coins in total.

2) Twenty silver coins for each brother, including Reuvein, although he was not present, totaling 200 silver coins.

3) Twenty silver coins for Yoseif, and shoes for a garment to cover him.

4) Twenty silver coins originally agreed upon, and when Yoseif was elevated from the pit and his healthy colouring returned, shoes were added to the sale price.

5) Twenty silver coins was only a partial payment, which covered the cost of their meal (v. 25).


1) The Ramban says that Yehudoh alone judged her.

2) The Baal Haturim and Rabbeinu Bachyei cite a M.R. Shmos 30:19 that Yitzchok, Yaakov, and Yehudoh sat in judgment.

3) The Baal Haturim also brings a Medrash Tanchuma Yoshon on our parsha #7 that says that Shem judged Tomor. The Baal Haturim says that this is impossible because Shem had already died.


1) The M.R. 87:10 says that Potifar told Yoseif that he knew of Yoseif's innocence, but had to jail him to cover up for Potifar's wife's lies.

2,3,4) The Ramban offers three answers: Potifar loved Yoseif, so he had mercy on him - It was indeed a miracle - He doubted his wife's story.

5) The Targum Yonoson ben Uziel on this verse, and the Baalei Tosfos on 47:22 (with a variation of some details), say that the priests of Egypt were judges, and ruled that Yoseif was not guilty by virtue of some clear circumstantial evidence.



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

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