Chasidic Insights

on the Weekly Parsha

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 37, v. 1: "M'gu'rei oviv" - Yaakov always lived with the fear of not having honoured his father during the years he was away. (Sha"ch in the name of the Holy Zohar)

Ch. 37, v. 2: "Eileh toldos Yaakov Yoseif" - The good actions of one who is modest (Yaakov=eikev), are that he continuously adds (Yoseif) to his repertoire of proper behaviour, taking on new things one at a time. (Noam Elimelech)

Ch. 37, v. 2: "V'hu naar" -This is a great praise of Yoseif. He was always youthful, always energetic and enthusiastic, even in his old age, as per the interpretation of the words "Naar hoyisi gam zokanti" (T'hilim 37:25), that I was youthful also when I became old. (Rabbi Aharon of Karlin)

Ch. 37, v. 4: "V'lo yochlu dabro l'sholo'm" - Because they bore hatred in their heart they did not speak kindly to Yoseif, as this would be "echod b'feh v'echod b'lev," a dichotomy of heart and mouth. Not only did they not do this, but "lo yochlu," this trait of honesty was so ingrained that they COULD NOT do it. (Shaa'rei Aharon)

Ch. 37, v. 15: "Va'yimtzo'eihu ish" - Rashi says that this was the angel Gavriel. A person came to Rabbi Chaim of Tzanz and requested financial help for his daughter's upcoming marriage. Rabbi Chaim gave him a letter of approbation and advised him to give it to a relative of Rabbi Chaim. It contained a request to collect funds for this person. When delivered, the person responded that he had no time, as he was totally occupied with Torah study. This response came to the ears of Rabbi Chaim.

A while later, this person came to Rabbi Chaim, who received him coldly. Rabbi Chaim asked, "Rashi says that "ish" is Gavriel, while in 32:24 he says that "ish" was the archangel of Eisov. Why not interpret both words "ish" as the same angel? The answer is that when one is requested to help, as here, where Yoseif needed guidance to find his brothers, and the "ish" helps, it is Gavriel. When the "ish" responds, "I cannot bless you. I have no time because I must sing praises of Hashem," it is the archangel of Eisov.

Ch. 37, v. 25: "Va'yeishvu le'echol lechem" - This shows that they felt that throwing Yoseif into the pit did not constitute a death penalty, as otherwise they would not eat that day. The gemara Sanhedrin 63 says that on the day a court administers the death penalty its members should fast. (Rabbi Chaim of Tchernovitz in B'eir Mayim Chaim)

Ch. 38, v. 24: "Hotzi'uhoh v'siso'reif" - This is an allusion to the lights of Chanukah, and that they be brought outside, into the public domain, so that the Chanukah miracle will be publicized. Tomor has the same numerical value as "shemen ner." Rabbi Simchoh Bunim of Parshizcha in Kol Simchoh)

Ch. 39, v. 8: "Va'yomer el eishes adonov" - Why not simply say "va'yomer ei'lehoh"? Yoseif wanted to mentally distance himself from her and the verse tells us that he put a barrier between them by not thinking of her directly, but rather, that she was the wife of his master, one step removed. (Toras Bnei Yisos'chor)


See also Sedrah Selections and Oroh V'Simchoh

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