CHAMISHOH MI YODEI'A - FIVE QUESTIONS ON THE WEEKLY SEDRAH - PARSHAS VA'YIGASH 5767 - BS"D
1) 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. Obviously
everyone comes from a father and mother. If the intention is, "Is your father
still alive" the wording should have been "ho'ode avichem chai" (see 43:27).
2) Ch. 47, v. 1: "V'tzonom uvkorom" - Everyone and everything that Paroh
mentioned in 45:19, were mentioned by Yoseif to Paroh upon their arrival, except
for the women, who were mentioned by Paroh, "v'linsheichem." Why were women
3) Ch. 47, v. 9: "M'at v'ro'im" - The gemara Megilloh 17a says that because
Yaakov complained, 33 years were subtracted from his life. He was to have
lived 180 years as did his father Yitzchok, but only lived 147 years, equal to the
amount the Torah spent on relating his complaint. Upon counting the words we
only find 21 words.
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"?
5) Ch. 45, v. 27: "Va'yar es ho'agolos" - "Agolos" were a sign of the final
matters Yaakov learned with Yoseif before he was sold into servitude. What
"agolos" laws were they?
1) 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)
2) 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.
1) The Meshech Chochmoh explains that because of the negative experience
that Soroh had with the king of Egypt (Breishis 12:12-20), Yoseif was reluctant
to even mention women.
2) Rabbi Yehudoh Kuperman shlit"a adds that it seems that a word to the wise
is sufficient, as when Paroh noticed that Yoseif did not mention women, he
likewise did not mention them in verse 6. However, Rabbi Kuperman offers a
simple reason for Paroh's mentioning women in 45:19. He was offering wagons for
transportation for men, women, belongings, etc. In our verse Yoseif advises Paroh
of the arrival of his family and its entourage. In verses 4 and 6 the
brothers and Paroh discuss work opportunities and settling into the land. These are
matters that are decided by men.
1) Rabbi Yechezkel Levenstein concludes from this that one is responsible
even for his demeanour and appearance arousing such a question in the onlooker's
2) The Maharil Diskin answers that we don't count the words, but rather the
letters, starting from "v'lo hisigu" until the end of v. 9. Although we find
34 letters, he says that possibly the first vov is not counted, or possibly
the gemara had a variation of the spelling of "hisigu" or "m'gu'rei'hem."
By the way, the Baalei Tosfos cite a medrash that gives us a different source
for the deduction of thirty-three years from Yaakov's life. Since Yaakov
said to Lovon (31:32), "The person by whom you will find your idols, "lo
yichyeh," shall not live," Yaakov caused his wife Rochel to die prematurely, he was
also punished to die 33 years earlier, the numerical value of "YiCHYeH.
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.
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
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."
12) Like the numerical value of "k'zose," 428. The Kabbalists write that
during a time of famine even a person who has sufficient provisions and eats well
will still feel hungry, as there is a pervasive hunger looming on the general
populace that also effects him. What should he do to feel satiated? They
write that he should recite the name of Hashem CHoSaCH, Ches-Sof-Chof, which is an
acronym of the final letters of the first three words of the verse in T'hilim
145:16, "Po'seiaCH eS yo'deCHo," which ends with u'masbia l'chol chai
rotzon," - and satiates all living creatures to their satisfaction. CHoSaCH
numerically equals K'ZOSE, 428, hence Rashi's explanation "k'cheshbone ha'zeh." (Ge'res
1) Rashi (M.R. 94:3) says that Yaakov and Yoseif studied the laws of "egloh
arufoh" (Dvorim 21), the calf that is axed.
2) Rabbeinu Efrayim says that when Yoseif left Yaakov, Yaakov was involved
in planting cedar trees. Yoseif asked his father why he was planting trees, and
he responded that in the future the bnei Yisroel would be commanded to make a
traveling sanctuary, the Mishkon, and the boards of the building would be
taken from the trees he was planting. When it would be disassembled and
transported, WAGONS would be used. These were Yaakov's last words to Yoseif. When
Yaakov saw WAGONS, which his sons claimed were sent by Yoseif, he realized that
Yoseif was truly alive, as they had left off their last conversation with WAGONS.
3) Baalei Tosfos say that it refers to laws of purity, the subject of
"agoloh mosheches b'korone.
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