CHAMISHOH MI YODEI'A - FIVE QUESTIONS ON THE WEEKLY SEDRAH - PARSHAS VA'YIGASH 5766 - BS"D
1) Ch. 44, v. 20: "V'ochiv MEIS" - Earlier (42:13) they said "v'ho'echod
EINENU." Why the change?
2) Ch. 45, v. 3: "Ha'ode ovi choy" - Why did Yoseif ask this question since
he had already asked it earlier in 43:27, and the brothers had not been home in
3) Ch. 45, v. 22: "U'l'Vinyomin nosan sholosh mei'os kesef" - The gemara
Megiloh 16a explains why giving Binyomin five sets of clothing and his brothers
only one each did not kindle their jealousy, but what about the 300 kesef that
only Binyomin received?
4) Ch. 45, v. 24: "Va'yomar a'leihem 'Al tir'g'zu ba'do'rech'" - Why didn't
Yaakov give them the same advice before their descent to Egypt? (Actually this
question might have no basis according to some translations of the words "al
5) Ch. 46, v. 1: "LEi'lo'kei oviv Yitzchok" - Rashi quotes the M.R. 94:5
which says that we can derive from this that one has a greater responsibility to
honour his father than his grandfather. The Mahari"k in shoresh #30 says that
one's grandfather is not different from a complete stranger. Is this not
contrary to the M.R.?
Answer to questions on parshas Mikeitz:
1) Ch. 41, v. 14: "Va'y'galach" - The gemara Rosh Hashonoh 11b says that
Yoseif was released from prison on Rosh Hashonoh. How could he shave that day?
1) The Moshav Z'keinim answers that either he was released on Rosh Hashonoh,
but shaved and appeared in front of Paroh the next day
2) or that he was permitted to shave, as his life would be in jeopardy if he
appeared before Paroh in an unkempt state.
3) The Bartenura answers that he was shaved by someone else, which involved
no Torah prohibition on his part.
2) Ch. 41, v. 32: "V'al hishonos ...... pa'amoyim ...... u'm'ma'heir" - We
find that Yoseif also had two dreams (37:7,9) but they were not fulfilled for
thirteen years or for twenty-two years. Why was there no "um'ma'heir .."?
1) The Baa'lei Tosfos answer that Paroh's dreams were both in one night, but
Yoseif's were on different nights. A few other possible answers might be:
2) In a similar vein - The commentaries ask why Yoseif gave advice on how to
prepare for the seven years of devastating famine, when he was only asked to
interpret the dreams. They answer that Paroh's waking up and falling asleep
again (41:4-5) were part of the original dream, i.e. that he dreamt that he woke
up and fell asleep again and had a dream within a dream. Yoseif interpreted
the waking up as an indication that Paroh had to "wake up" and have a strategy
for coping with the famine. Since this was all one dream, we can say that the
repeat of a dream indicating its immediate fulfillment is only true when it is
repeated in the same dream.
3) Yoseif did not have a repeat of the SAME dream. The dream of the bundles
of grain was an indication that he would be a provider of food, and the dream
of the stars, etc. an indication that he would become a ruler.
4) According to the famous and controversial opinion of the Ohr Hachaim
Hakodosh (37:21) that a person has free will and can go against a
heavenly-ordained decree and even kill someone who should not have died, we can say that
Yoseif should have become a king within a short period of time after his dreams,
but his brothers intervened and kept the heavenly-ordained from happening.
Indeed, we find that the Sefer Chasidim #504 says that although Yehudoh merited to
have his descendant, King Dovid, reign at the age of thirty because Yehudoh
was instrumental in bringing about Yoseif's becoming a king at thirty, at the
same time, he says that Yehudoh might have merited to have King Dovid reign at
an even earlier age, but it was pushed off until the age of thirty, because
Yehudoh also caused a delay in Yoseif's getting married until the age of thirty.
We see from here that the brothers' intervention delayed Yoseif's marrying,
so they could also have delayed his becoming king as well. (Nirreh li)
5) There was a partial fulfillment of the dream shortly thereafter when nine
of the brothers pulled Yoseif out of the pit (37:28 as per Rashi). They
physically bent down to get him out. (Nirreh li)
6) The gemara Rosh Hashonoh 10b says that Yoseif was released from jail on
Rosh Hashonoh. Tosfos Hasho'leim says that the extra word "yomim" after
"shnosayim" in the first verse of parshas Mikeitz teaches us that the time which
elapsed since the dreams of the previous parsha was not a year and some, which can
also be called two years, but rather "shnosayim yomim," two complete years to
the day. If so, the dreams of the wine butler and baker also took place on
Rosh Hashonoh, two years earlier. The M.R. Vayikra 34:12 says in the name of
Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai that dreams dreamt on Rosh Hashonoh have their
fulfillment DURING THAT YEAR.
Paroh's dreams which took place on Rosh Hashonoh were fulfilled in the same
year, as their fulfillment began during that year. The repetition of the dream
further indicated that it would begin very shortly within that year (41:32).
Once the fulfillment has to take place during that year as indicated by the
dream taking place on Rosh Hashonoh, then the repetition indicates a quick
fulfillment. However, Yoseif's dreams did not take place on Rosh Hashonoh, so there
is no indication that anything would happen during that year, and the
repetition also does not speed things along.
7) The gemara Brochos 55b says that the fulfillment of a dream is governed
by the interpretation. Yoseif said in his interpretation of Paroh's dream that
it would take place right away. Yoseif's dream also should have, but with no
one verbalizing this, it did not happen. (Heard from R' M.M.K.)
3) Ch. 41, v. 45: "Vayi'ten lo es Osnas bas Poti Phera kohein On l'ishoh" -
Why did Paroh suddenly become a match-maker?
The Rokei'ach gives three answers:
1) So that Poti Phera should not take him back as a slave. He would never do
such a thing to his son-in-law. He adds that Poti Phera gave Yoseif a writ of
freedom, emancipating him from further slavery.
2) This would remove any vestiges of negative rumours that Yoseif was guilty
of making advances to the wife of Poti Phera. If it were true, the last thing
Poti Phera would want is to have Yoseif as a son-in-law, giving him ample
opportunity to spend time in his in-laws' home and again assault Poti Phera's
3) So that people would accept Yoseif's leadership. Since he was known as a
slave until now, it would be unbefitting for them to have him as a ruler. By
marrying the daughter of such a highly placed minister, people would realize
that Yoseif was of a high social stratum and was incorrectly sold as a slave.
4) The Oznayim laTorah offers answers 1 and 2 above and also offers another
answer; to create the aura of Yoseif's being a local citizen. He would not
readily be accepted as a person of authority if considered a foreigner. This
would be alleviated if he were married to a local woman. This is indicated by the
last words of this verse, "va'yeitzei al eretz Mitzrayim," after having
married Osnos, a girl who grew up locally, Yoseif was able to rule over the land of
4) Ch. 42, v. 15: "B'vo achichem hakoton" - Didn't Yoseif realize that the
brothers could have easily brought someone else and have him impersonate
1) The Baalei Tosfos answer that Yoseif knew that they wouldn't lie to him.
2) They also answer that the brothers had a common familial appearance, so
Yoseif would expect Binyomin to look quite similar. (This is a bit difficult,
as Binyomin was the only child left to Yaakov from Rochel, and as such might
have a different appearance by virtue of maternal input).
3) Since Shimon was incarcerated, the brothers realized that Yoseif had the
option of placing "Binyomin" in a line-up with many other young men of similar
age, and asking Shimon to pick out his brother from this line-up. This would
keep the brothers on the straight and narrow.
5) Ch. 43, v. 17: "Va'ya'as HO'ISH" - Rashi quotes the Medrash Rabboh 92:8,
which says that this refers to Menasheh the son of Yoseif. Rashi on Pirkei Ovos
5:20 says that we derive that the age of bar mitzvah is thirteen years from
34:25 where the word "ISH" is used for Levi who was just thirteen years old.
However, in our verse, the word "ISH" is used for Menasheh, who wasn't even
nine years old.
The Daas Z'keinim and other Baalei Tosfos ask this in the name of Rabbeinu
Eliezer. They give no answer.
A possible answer might be that the use of the word "ISH" has no relationship
to age, but is used because of Menasheh's position of authority, in carrying
out Yoseif's orders. (Nirreh li)
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