by Zvi Akiva Fleisher
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SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS VAYIGASH 5763 BS"D
Ch. 44, v. 18: "Ki chomocho k'Pharoh" - Because like you like Paroh - Yehudoh told Yoseif that Binyomin is innocent. He is like you and like Paroh, as neither of you has stolen the goblet. (Minchoh V'luloh)
Ch. 44, v. 18: "Ha'yeish lochem ov" - Do you have a father - These words seem to indicate that they were asked if they ever had a father. If the intention is, "Is your father still alive" the wording should have been "ho'ode avichem chai" (see 43:27). Obviously everyone comes from a father and mother. Yehudoh is relating that Yoseif intimated when chastising them that they behaved in a manner that is not in consonance with their ancestor Avrohom. Avrohom put his life on the line to save his nephew Lote, while they planned to either kill Yoseif, throw him into a pit inhabited by poisonous serpents, or sell him as a slave. (Medrash Habiur)
Alternatively, perhaps Yoseif chastised them by asking, "Do all of you have ONE father?" Your behaviour towards Yoseif was so despicable that it is hard to believe that you are sons of the same father.
Ch. 44, v. 20: "V'yeled z'kunim koton" - And a small child to his old age - Binyomin was over 20 years old at this point in time (I calculate that he was 32 years old), so why is he called a small child? These words connect with the next words, "v'ochiv meis." Binyomin was a small child of 12 when his brother supposedly died. (Imrei Noam)
Alternatively, the last child is called a small child. (Medrash Lekach Tov)
Ch. 44, v. 20: "Va'yivo'seir hu l'vado l'imo" - And he alone was left to his mother - Since Rochel died in childbirth (Breishis 35:18,19) how was he left to his mother? He was left as the only living survivor to his mother.
(Medrash Lekach Tov) Ch. 44, v. 22: "V'ozav es oviv vo'meis" - And if he will leave his father he will die - Who will die?
1) Rashi says that in this verse it refers to Binyomin, while in verse 31 it refers to Yaakov.
2) Rashbam says that Yaakov will die and this is repeated in verse 31.
3) Rabbeinu Bachyei says that it refers to Binyomin and to Yaakov as well as a result of Yaakov's being pained by Binyomin's suffering.
4) Ibn Ezra says that we have no conclusive proof whether it refers to Binyomin or to Yaakov.
5) Yoseif, who is mentioned in verse 20, will die. Although Yehudoh already related that Yoseif died, if Yaakov will have a first impression that Binyomin is not living by virtue of his brothers returning without him, Yaakov will relive the death of Yoseif. (Rabbeinu Menachem)
Ch. 45, v. 1: "Hotzi'u chol ish mei'oloy" - Remove every man from me - Yoseif could hold it in no longer. Had he commanded all his staff to leave they would have left at a leisurely pace. He therefore commanded a few of his staff to REMOVE the rest of the staff immediately, post haste. (Ibn Ezra) The Rada"k says that this included removing themselves as well, as indicated by the word "CHOL."
Ch. 45, v. 23: "U'l'oviv sholach K'ZOSE asoroh chamorim nosim" - And to his father he sent LIKE this ten donkeys carrying - What is meant by "k'zose"? 1) Ten donkeys loaded with "tuv Mitzrayim" weren't sent. Rather an equivalent to ten loads worth was sent in wagons. (Rashi)
2) Like the numerical value of what was given to Binyomin. "Chalifos" is a plural word, meaning 2 sets of clothing. "Cho'meish chalifos" makes 10 sets of clothing (This seems to go against the gemara Megiloh 16a, which clearly states that Binyomin received 5 sets of clothing.), and 300 silver coins brings us up to a total of 310 items. The items that were sent to Yaakov had a numerical value of 310 as well. Ten male and ten female donkeys equals 20. The final letters of the three clearly enumerated items, "boR, lecheM, and mozoNe" are Reish-Mem-Nun, which have a value of 290. Adding the 20 donkeys gives us 310. (Rabbeinu Efrayim)
3) Like this will happen in the future to the Egyptians, 10 donkeys, i.e. 10 plagues will visit the Egyptians who are equated to donkeys. (Ro'kei'ach)
4) Like this, i.e. in this order. Here he sent male donkeys ahead of the female "asonos," because they were beasts of burden. When his father Yaakov sent donkeys to Eisov he sent females first (Breishis 32:16), as his gift was for animal reproduction. (Ro'kei'ach)
5) Like the present Yoseif gave his brothers, articles of clothing, "mituv Mitzroyim," of the top quality that was available in Egypt. (Chizkuni)
6) Like the provisions Yoseif sent for his brothers for their trip. (Rabbi Yehudoh Chalavoh)
7) Like the provisions Yoseif sent for his brothers for their trip for Yaakov, and "mituv Mitzroyim" for the wives and children. (Ralba"g)
8) Exactly as he gave Binyomin, 5 sets of clothing and 300 silver coins. (Rabbi Yehoshua Ibn Sho'ib)
9) Similar to what he gave Binyomin, but not exactly the same. He only sent Yaakov 5 sets of clothing but no money. (Rabbeinu Menachem)
10) Don't stress the "Kof hadimyon." Understand these words to mean that Yoseif sent THIS, 10 donkeys, etc. (Ramban)
11) Like what he gave Binyomin, 5 sets of clothes, and the donkeys that carried them. "Asoroh chamorim" should be understood as if it said "v'asoroh." (Sforno)
Ch. 46, v. 9: "Uvnei Reuvein Chanoch" - And the sons of Reuvein were Chanoch - Medrash Seichel Tov says that this was an appropriate name for a firstborn, as the first child initiates his parents into parenthood. As well, this medrash says that they named him for the great tzadik Chanoch (Breishis 5:18). There is one more person named Chanoch in Breishis. Who is he?
Ch. 46, v. 23: "Uvnei Don Chushim" - And the son/s of Don was/were Chushim - The difficulty with the word "uvnei" in the plural is obvious. Ibn Ezra says that Don had two sons and one died, so he wasn't mentioned.
The medrash says that in Rabbi Meir's Torah, the verse says "U'ven Don Chushim." This can be understood as follows: The gemara B.B. 123a says that we only find 69 people listed in these verses, and the Torah says that there were 70 (verse 27). The gemara answers that Yocheved was born on the border of Egypt. She completes the count of 70. The medrash offers that Chushim the son of Don is to be considered like two people. This opinion seems to be prompted by the difficulty in our verse, the word "uvnei." Why not simply agree with the gemara that Yocheved completed the count? It must be because the medrash posits that Yocheved and her mother are counted as one, because of the opinion "ubor yerech imo," a fetus before it is born is not considered a separate entity (gemara Gitin 23b). However, Rabbi Meir posits that "ubor lav yerech imo," the fetus is a separate entity (derived from gemara T'muroh 25b), and we can easily answer that Yocheved completes the count. Thus we do not have any need to say that Chushim is considered like two people, and there is no explanation for the word "uvnei." Therefore his Torah had the word "u'ven." (Avnei Shoham)
It seems that the Avnei Shoham's understanding of Yocheved's being born on the border does not mean that once born she was the 70th person, but rather that while she was still in utero she was the 70th. This is surely not the common understanding of the gemara.
Ch. 47, v. 12: "Va'y'chalkeil Yoseif es oviv v'es echov v'es kol beis oviv lechem l'fi hatof" - And Yoseif provided sustenance for his father, his brothers, and all his fathers household bread to the mouths of the infants - Just as one feeds a little infant only the choicest and most refined food, so too Yoseif gave his family only the best. (Tosefes Chaim)
Just as when one feeds an infant bread much is wasted, as the infant spits some out, etc., so too, Yoseif gave his family members beyond what they needed. (Rabbi Avrohom ben hoRambam)
Ch. 47, v. 9: "Shloshim u'm'as shonoh m'at v'ro'im" - One-hundred and thirty years few and bad - The one-hundred and thirty difficult years of Yaakov's life were a rectification for the 130 years that Odom did not reproduce children. During that time he reproduced evil spirits, called "sheidin, ruchin," and "lilin." This is why Yaakov called the 130 years "bad."
Similarly, during the first 130 years of the bnei Yisroel's stay in Egypt the people who were born were from the source of the spirits born during the 130 year period of Odom's having sired negative spirits. The first person born after this was Moshe, and just as the first son born to Odom after the 130 year period was Sheis (Breishis 4:25), so too, Moshe had a spark of Sheis in his soul. Since Sheis replaced Hevel, Moshe's soul also contained a spark of Hevel. (Holy Zohar and Ari z"l)
More on this as brought in Sedrah Selections parshas Shmos 5761: << Ch. 3, v. 1: "U'Moshe HOYOH ro'eh es tzone" - The Ari z"l says that these words should be translated as "And Moshe ONCE WAS a shepherd," alluding to the words of the Holy Zohar that Moshe was a reincarnation of Hevel who was a shepherd as stated in Breishis 4:2, "Va'y'hi Hevel ro'ei tzone." As well, the Holy Zohar says that Moshe was also the reincarnation of Sheis (Breishis 5:3).
Ch. 4, v. 13: "Shlach noh b'yad TISHLOCH" - With these words Moshe was refusing to become Hashem's agent to bring the bnei Yisroel out of Egypt. As mentioned earlier in the name of the Holy Zohar, Moshe was a reincarnation of both Hevel and Sheis. In the end Moshe acquiesced to the will of Hashem and became the emissary of Hashem to bring the bnei Yiroel out of Egypt. Perhaps Moshe himself indicated this by allusion when he said "shlach noh b'yad TISHLOCH." TISHLOCH has the same numerical value as HEVEL SHEIS (i"h), indicating that he, the reincarnation of Hevel and Sheis, would take on Hashem's assignment.
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