by Zvi Akiva Fleisher
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SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS MIKEITZ 5767 BS"DCh. 41, v. 1: "U'Pharoh choleim" - And Paroh is dreaming - When Yoseif interpreted Paroh's dream to him, Yoseif made certain changes which were actually corrections, as Paroh did not relate every detail accurately. For example Bmidbar Rabboh 14:5 relates that Paroh said that in his dream he was standing "al s'fas ha'y'ore (verse 17), when in truth he was "al ha'y'ore," as related in our verse. Yoseif corrected him, saying "s'fas lo yodati eshmo" (T'hilim 81:6). How was Yoseif privy to the actual dream? The Medrash Hagodol and Tur say that the additional Vov before Paroh's name here alludes to another person also having the same dream, namely Yoseif.
Ch. 41, v. 1: "Choleim" - Is dreaming - Shouldn't the verse have said "cholam," he dreamt? This indicates that he dreamt the same dream continuously for two years. He did not enlist only the services of Yoseif to divine the dream. For two whole years he had many people explain the dream, but none to his satisfaction. (This explains "kol chartumei Mitzrayim" of verse 8.) With a slight variation: Every morning for two years he forgot his dream. At exactly two years of dreaming the same dream he finally remembered his dream, and Yoseif was called to divine it. (Medrash Hagodol)
This dream was continually replayed all night long, hence the present tense. (Rabbeinu Menachem)
Ch. 41, v. 7: "V'hi'nei chalome" - And behold a dream - Why wasn't this said at the end of the cows dream as well, or at least say "chalomos" here? Why bother saying these words at all?
1) Even Paroh realized that the two dreams were of one nature, hence singular. (Rabbeinu Bachyei)
Saying that this is a dream means that it is extremely removed from reality. Although cows don't swallow one another, and surely not whole, nevertheless, living creatures swallow one other. Stalks of grain don't swallow one another. (Chizkuni)
2) "V'hi'nei chalome" means that there were no more similar dreams. (Bchor Shor)
3) As long as a person is dreaming the situation seems to be real, no matter how farfetched it is from reality. It is only after he woke up that he realized that he was dreaming. (Bchor Shor)
4) As mentioned earlier in the name of the Medrash Hagodol, Paroh dreamt the same dreams for two years, but always forgot them when he woke up. "V'hi'nei chalome" tells us that this time the dream existed, i.e. was remembered, even after he woke up. (Nirreh li)
5) Some commentators say that Paroh's waking up between the dreams was part of the dream; that he woke up and fell asleep again and dreamt again. Thus the one long dream ended when he actually woke up in the morning. (Nirreh li)
Ch. 41, v. 24: "Vo'omar el hachartumim" - And I have said to the occultists - Note that in verse 8 we find Paroh calling for the help of his "chartumim" and "chachomim." Why did he not mention this to Yoseif? He did not want to show that he was desperate, having already consulted all his staff. (Rokei'ach)
Ch. 41, v. 25: "Higid l'Pharoh" - He related to Paroh - Compare this with verse 28, where it says "heroh es Paroh." The Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh answers this question. Another answer also based on the gemara cited by the Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh (Brochos 55a): The gemara says that there are three decrees that Hashem personally announces. They are an appointment to be a communal leader, a parnas, hunger, and abundance of food. Although the verse in Bmidbar 23:19 says, "Lo ish Keil vicha'zeiv," Hashem is not like man to rescind, this applies to a positive decree, but if He presents a negative decree it may be rescinded by virtue of a merit, repentance, or the like.
Once Hashem has shown Paroh that there would be seven years of abundance, which cannot be rescinded, this is called "higid," irrevocably related. However, in verse 28, relating to the years of famine, which indeed would be cut down from seven to two years, the decree of seven years is only "shown," as it could be changed or amended. Paroh, noting that Yoseif made this change of wording from "higid" to "heroh" assumed that if Yoseif fully understood Hashem's decrees of abundance and famine, he was also aware of the other decree of this triumvirate emanating from Hashem, parnas. This is the intention of his words in verse 39, "Acha'rei hodia Elokim os'cho es kol zose," abundance and famine, you likewise are aware of your becoming the "parnas" of Egypt, "Atoh ti'h'yeh al beisi v'al picho yishak kol ami." (Naftoli Sva Rotzone)
Ch. 41, v. 41: "R'ei nosati os'cho al kol eretz Mitzroyim" - See that I have placed you over all the land of Egypt - Yoseif has now not only gained his freedom, but was also simultaneously catapulted into the position of viceroy over the most powerful land in the world. The gemara R.H. 11a says that this took place on Rosh Hashonoh. The gemara on 11b says that we derive this from T'hilim 81:5,6. The earlier verse says, "Tiku bachodesh shofor ba'keseh l'yom cha'geinu." This refers to the Holiday of Rosh Hashonoh, when the shofor is sounded and the moon is not visible, "ba'keseh," as explained in the gemara R.H. 8a. The following verse relates what happened to Yoseif, "Eidus bI'hoseif som b'tzeiso al eretz Mitzroyim." How do these two seemingly disparate matters follow one another? The earlier verse discusses Rosh Hashonoh and the following verse tells us that Yoseif went out to rule over the land of Egypt on this day.
Ch. 41, v. 43: "Avreich" - King's patron - This is Rashi's first explanation, that this word is a composite of "av" a fatherly figure, and "rach," a king. Rashi, in his second explanation, cites Agodoh. Rabbi Yehudoh says that this is a composite of "av," a father, i.e. one who is like an aged wise man, and "rach," but in actuality, is a young man. Ben Darmaskis verbally thrashed Rabbi Yehudoh, saying, "How long will you twist and pervert the verses? "Avreich" is sourced from "birkayim," knees. Yoseif was appointed viceroy and all would fall on their knees to pay him homage.
Ben Darmaskis's reaction to Rabbi Yehudoh is puzzling. There are many, many insights into the verse. Why react so strongly? Secondly, what did he mean with his saying, "m'a'veis," twisting? The gemara Kidushin 32b, when describing a young person who was wise well beyond his years, says "yanik v'chakim." The order of these words indicates that in essence he is a "yanik," a young person, and the "chakim" title describes him as a very wise person. If these words were expressed in the reverse order they would mean "a wise man who has the nature of a child," a pejorative. This is Ben Darmaskis's complaint to Rabbi Yehudoh. "You are TWISTING the words around with your explanation. The verse should have said "reichav," not "avreich." (Mish'k'nos Yaakov)
Ch. 41, v. 49: "K'chole ha'yom" - As the sand of the seashore - Why doesn't the verse describe the massive storage of food as "k'chochvei hashomayim," like the stars of the heavens?
Just as sand controls the flow of water from the sea so that it not flood the land and destroy humanity, so too, Yoseif's collecting massive volumes of food kept the people from starving. (Rabbi Moshe Hadarshon)
Ch. 42, v. 7: "Mei'ayin bo'sem va'yomru mei'eretz K'naan lishbor ochel" - From where have you come and they said from the land Canaan to purchase food - Why did they offer information not requested? Yoseif only asked them from where they came, so why did they also add the purpose of their trip? Indeed, the Malbim says that these extra words gave Yoseif an excuse to claim that they were spies.
Divrei Yoseif says that in Yoseif's words lie two questions - from where are you, and what brought you here? Had he only wanted to ask the land in which they resided, he would have said "mei'ayin a'tem," not "bo'sem," as we find when Yaakov asked the people of Choron who were standing near the well, "Achai mei'ayin A'TEM" (29:4). "Bo'sem" alludes also to what is the purpose of coming, as we find when the angel asked Hogor, "mei'ayin bos" (16:8). Hogor explained that she ran away from Soroh.
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