by Zvi Akiva Fleisher
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OROH V'SIMCHOH - MESHECH CHOCHMOH ON PARSHAS VA'YEISHEV 5766 BS"D
The MESHECH CHOCHMOH answers that Potifar actually knew that Yoseif was innocent, and would have readily sided with him. However, he would then have suffered great shame from the resultant guilt of his wife. He therefore decided to go along with her, but not have Yoseif killed as he was aware of his innocence. Potifar decided to place Yoseif into jail, but this presented a new problem. Once in jail, Yoseif would speak with other incarcerated people and tell them of his innocence, which Potifar knew would be quite convincing. Therefore, rather than place Yoseif into a common jail, where many jailbirds slept in a ward, he sent him off to the federal penitentiary, "m'kome asher asi'rei ha'melech asurim," where the "bessereh menshen" go, which had private single occupancy suites, so that when they retired Yoseif would have no one to tell of his innocence, and by day they were all guarded and under control.
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