Chamishoh Mi Yo'dei'a

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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1) 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.

2) 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).

3) 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 the second reason since the first in its own right is very compelling?

4) Ch. 46, v. 21: "Uvnei Vinyomin Bella voVecher" - And the sons of Binyomin were Bella and Becher - Rashi on 43:30 explains that Bella alludes to Yoseif's being swallowed into the society of the gentiles, while Becher alludes to his being the first-born to his mother Rochel. Since Yoseif was a first-born upon birth and only later was swallowed into the gentiles, why didn't Binyomin name his first son Becher and his second son Bella?

5) Ch. 47, v. 6: "B'meitav ho'oretz hosheiv es ovicho v'es achecho yeishvu b'eretz Goshen" - In the prime of the land place your father and your brothers they shall reside in the land of Goshen - Did Paroh offer that Yoseif's father and brothers reside in one land or in two?



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, "Hanimtza 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intimated to Yoseif that he was his equal, Paroh's excuse falls away and Yoseif's being appointed viceroy should be rescinded.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. Rashi and the Baal Haturim can agree. (Migdal Dovid)


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 son.

Malbim explains that "yesser" means remaining by chance, and "shair" intentionally. There is more on this in the writings of the commentators on Megilas Rus.


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)


The message of Yoseif's being the first-born would be lost if Binyomin's first-born would be given the name Becher because we would say that in his own right as a "b'chor" he was called Becher. Alternatively, it is only because Yoseif had vanished that Binyomin gave names to his sons as a remembrance of Yoseif's travails. (Rabbi Y.M. Rosenbaum shlit"a Rosh Yeshivas Gur of London)


The cantillation "esnachto" for the word "achecho" seems to clearly indicate that these words mean "In the prime of the land place BOTH your father and your brothers. They shall reside in Goshen (which is the prime land)." However, the Chizkuni, in spite of noting the "esnachto," says that we are to explain the verse otherwise. Your father shall be placed into a prime location, with the verse not disclosing its name, a land that has pristine clean air and is a quiet place. Your brothers shall live in Goshen, a place most suited for pasture and grazing of sheep. He makes the "tipcho" cantillation the main mid-verse stop.



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

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