by Zvi Akiva Fleisher
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SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS VA'YIGASH 5772 BS"D
Ch. 44, v. 30: "V'nafsho k'shuroh v'nafsho" - And his soul is bound with his soul - What is it that created this bond? It is the Torah they studied together. The Baal Haturim says that "k'shuroh" has the same numeric value as Torah.
Ch. 45, v. 3: "Ani Yoseif ho'ode ovi chai v'lo yochlu echov laanose oso" - I am Yoseif is my father still alive and they could not respond to him - Yoseif said, "You continuously stress that even if Binyomin is guilty, nevertheless he should be let free because his elderly father, who is completely innocent will suffer greatly. If so, here I am, Yoseif, and you felt that I was guilty, but you did not take into consideration the extreme pain that your acts would cause him! Is my father still alive after suffering so much?" (Rabbi Yitzchok Blahzer)
Ch. 45, v. 5: "V'al yichar b'eineichem" - And let it not be irritable in your eyes - Usually we find the word form "charon" connected to "af," the nose. Why here is it expressed as "yichar b'eineichem?" Possibly, when one is angry at what another did he fumes in a manner that steam escapes his nostrils. Here there was nothing to be angry with Yoseif once he explains himself. The anger is with what they SEE. They wanted to rid themselves of him once and for all. Rather than killing him they settled on selling him as a slave, who in turn would be powerless. Finding him now as the viceroy of Egypt, their extreme displeasure is expressed as being very bothered with what they SEE. (n.l.)
Ch. 45, v. 9: "Somani Elokim l'odone l'chol Mitzroyim" - G-d has placed me as a master over all of Egypt - Tell my father that although I am the viceroy over the whole land, nevertheless, I do not see this as an enviable position. I did not let this go to my head. This Heaven-sent appointment was done by Elokim, the Name of strict judgment. (n.l.)
Ch. 45, v. 13: "V'higadtem l'ovi es kol k'vodi b'Mitrayim" - And you shall relate to my father all my honour in Egypt - And you should relate to my father all the "difficulty" I had to remain G-d-fearing in the negative environment of Egypt. (Botzina Dinhora)
Ch. 45, v. 19: "Agolos l'tapchem v'linsheichem unso'sem es avichem uvo'sem" - Wagons for your children and for your wives and you shall carry your father and you shall come - Yoseif's intention was that the wagons would transport their children and wives, but their father should be carried on their shoulders. Based on this we should understand the words, "Vayisu vnei Yisroel es Yaakov avihem - on their shoulders - v'es tapom v'es n'sheihem boagolos asher sholach Paroh" (46:5). (Daas Z'keinim)
Ch. 45, v. 23: "Mituv Mitzrayim" - From the good of Egypt - Rashi explains that this means aged wine. We do not find that Egypt was renown for its high quality wine. In Yeshayohu 30:7 the Egyptians are called "rahav," meaning haughty people. The gemara B.B. 98 says that he who is haughty, his wine turns to vinegar. Even if a limited aged wine has not yet soured, vintage wine would surely sour in Egypt. Yoseif sent his father his personal wine, which did not turn to vinegar, as Yoseif was quite modest. Since aged wine was such a limited commodity in Egypt it is called "tuv Mitzrayim." (K'hilas Yitzchok)
Ch. 45, v. 27: "Va'yar es hoagolos …… vatchi ruach Yaakov" - And he saw the wagons …… and Yaakov's spirit came to life - The word "agoloh" is sources from "igul," a circle. The turning of the wheels go in continuous circles. Any given point on the wheel is up at one point and down shortly after, and this is ongoing. Although Yaakov was extremely relieved that Yoseif was alive, he was pained by his imagining that he had gone through many tribulations until he was appointed viceroy. The message of the wagons with their turning wheels was that Yaakov should take into consideration that life has its ups and downs, and Yoseif, even in this high position realizes that he can go down again. (Shem miShmuel)
Ch. 46, v. 29: "Va'yipol al tzavorov" - And he fell upon his neck - Rashi comments that Yoseif fell onto Yaakov's neck, but Yaakov did not fall upon Yoseif's and he did not kiss Yoseif. Our Rabbis tell us that Yaakov was reciting "krias shma." The gemara Yoma 19 says that he who makes signs with his eyes or with his lips during the recital of "shma" deserves the rebuke of the verse, "V'lo osi koroso Yaakov ki yogato bi Yisroel" (Yeshayohu 43:22). It is very well understood why Yaakov is invoked. He had the most compelling emotional reason to make motions and signs in the middle of reciting the "shma" given that he had not seen his most beloved son for twenty-two years, but he nevertheless stayed the course and continued with total concentration in reciting "shma." (Maharsh"o on above gemara)
The Mahar"al offers that the halacha is that one may interrupt in his "shma" recital out of fear, i.e. a king, etc. For Yoseif there was the mitzvoh of "Ish imo v'oviv tiro'u," so he interrupted. This did not apply to Yaakov, as he met his son, so he did not interrupt.
Alternatively, Yaakov had just come to Egypt, knowing that his son was the viceroy and he would no doubt benefit from his son's wealth. In "shma" we have "V'ochalto v'sovoto, Hishomru lochem pen yifteh l'vavchem v'sartem." When one has all his physical needs taken care of there is a greater fear that he will ch"v turn away from Hashem. Yaakov was so involved in his new situation and the depth of this aspect of his "shma" recital that he did not even notice Yoseif, so he did not fall onto his neck nor kiss him. Yoseif was totally used to his riches and they nevertheless did not cause him to veer off the proper path even one iota. His recitation of the "shma" was not as intense and he took note of his father's presence and he fell upon his father's neck. (n.l.)
Ch. 47, v. 14: "Va'y'la'keit Yoseif es kol ha'kesef …… bashever asher heim shovrim" - And Yoseif collected all the money …… for the grain that they are purchasing - The M.R. says that the coinage of Egypt had the forms of idols minted into them. How could Yoseif collect the coins? There is an halacha that if a non-Jew negates his idols it is effective. He had them break their coins before he accepted them, and their value was based on their metal content. (Rabbi Zvi Hersh of Ziditchov)
Ch. 47, v. 26: "Rak admas hakohanim l'vadom lo si'h'yeh l'Pharoh" - Only the land of the priests alone shall not be to Paroh - What is the intention of "rak" and "l'vadom," two exclusions? "Rak" obviously tells us that there are no exemptions for those who are not priests. "L'vadom" tells us that this exemption only applies when they are the sole owners. Otherwise everyone would make a priest a partial owner to avoid the twenty per cent fee. (n.l.)
Ch. 47, v. 26: "Rak admas hakohanim l'vadom lo si'h'yeh l'Pharoh" - Only the land of the priests alone shall not be to Paroh - Why does the Torah tell us this? In an early edition of Sedrah Selections an answer that took in the long-range affect was offered. This was arranged through Yoseif's advice to Paroh so that later when the bnei Yisroel would be enslaved their priests, the tribe of Levi, would be excluded.
The Abarbanel says that this is mentioned to teach us that we should willingly and generously offer funds to the L'viim and Kohanim to free them up for their holy calling. If the Egyptians during a time of famine were willing to go along with the priestly exemption, all the more shold we be willing to do so.
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