Chamishoh Mi Yo'dei'a

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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CHAMISHOH MI YODEI'A - FIVE QUESTIONS ON THE WEEKLY SEDRAH - PARSHAS VA'YIGASH 5768 - BS"D

1) Ch. 44, v. 22: "V'ozav es oviv vo'meis" - And if he will leave his father he will die - Who will die?

2) Ch. 45, v. 23: "Bor vo'lechem umozone" - What is the translation of these three words?

3) Ch. 45, v. 26: "Ode Yoseif chai v'chi hu mosheil b'chol Eretz Mitzroyim va'yofog libo ki lo he'emin lohem" - Why didn't Yaakov believe his sons?

4) Ch. 46, v. 1: "Va'yisa Yaakov v'chol asher lo va'yovo Beiroh Shova" - Yoseif sent wagons for the transport of Yaakov's household and belongings (45:19). We find that Yaakov used them, as mentioned later in verse 5, "Va'yisu es Yaakov bo'agolos." Why was no mention of the wagons made in our verse?

5) Ch. 46, v. 31: "E'eleh v'agidoh l'Faroh" - I will ascend and I will relate to Paroh - What is the meaning of "I will ascend"?

ANSWERS:

#1

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)

#2

Grain and bread and side dishes - This is the translation according to Targum Onkelos according to Rashi, who refers us to Targum. (We find "bor" earlier, in 41:35 and 42:25. There Rashi says nothing. It seems that Rashi's thrust in our verse is to accentuate the translation of "lechem," literally as bread, and not as food in general. However, the inclusion of "bor" in Rashi's d.h. would be problematic. Minchoh V'luloh says that the d.h. we have in our text is incorrect, and the correct d.h. is "mozone." Rashi says that it means "lifton" as per the Targum.) Some other translations of "bor":

1) High quality grain or flour (Rabbi Avrohom ben hoRambam)

2) Grain that has had straw and other impurities removed, from the word "m'voror" (Rabbeinu M'yuchos and Rabbeinu Menachem)

3) Grain that is especially suited for the consumption of donkeys (Rada"k) The use of this word in 41:35 seems somewhat problematic.

4) Wheat kernels (Medrash Hagodol on 42:25) Some other translations of "lechem":

1) Grain that is clean and suited for the consumption of people (Rada"k, in consonance with his translation of "bor")

2) Bean meal that is used to make bread (Rabbeinu Bachyei)

3) Dry bread that has been baked in the shape of a horn (Rabbi Avrohom ben hoRambam) Some other translations of "mozone":

1) Food that is filling, such as dates, figs, raisins, beans, and millet (Ibn Ezra and Rada"k)

2) Food that is usually sent to eat on a trip (Shaa'rei Aharon) His proof is from Targum Onkelos who says "z'vodin." This word is used for baggage that accompanies a person on a trip, (modern Hebrew for luggage is "mizvodoh.") However, from 42:25 it seems otherwise. The verse mentions giving the brothers "bor" and "tzeidoh la'derech."

#3

The Holy Alshich answers that he did believe them that Yoseif was still alive, but not that he was still righteous, considering that he was alone in Egypt, the centre of all demoralized behaviour, without a support group from the age of 17 years old. (Possibly, their saying "v'chi hu mosheil b'chol Eretz Mitzroyim" was their relating his righteousness, that he mastered over the land, and not it over him.)

This is why Yaakov said "eilchoh v'er'enu" (verse 28), because Yaakov was able to see the inner capacity of a person by looking at his face, as we find, "Ro'eh ani es pnei avi'chen" (Breishis 31:5). Only when he would look upon Yoseif's countenance could he be sure that Yoseif was still righteous.

#4

The Mahari"l Diskin answers that Yaakov began his journey to Mitzrayim without delay. However he stopped at the southern end of Eretz Yisroel, as he was reluctant to leave Eretz Yisroel without receiving permission from Hashem to do so. Hashem appeared to him and told him to descend (verses 2-4). On his trip to Beir Sheva he was not sure that he would go to Egypt, so he had no permission to make use of the transportation offered by Paroh, as it was only given to bring him to Egypt, which he was not yet sure that he would do. Only after receiving permission from Hashem did he make use of the wagons.

#5

1) In verse 29 we see that Yoseif went to meet his family entourage by chariot. We must conclude that he descended from his chariot to greet his father. He now said that he would ascend onto his chariot to tell Paroh the news. (Tur)

2) Paroh's palace was built on an elevated parcel of land. (Tur)

3) The capital city was located on a higher elevation than Goshen. (Tur)

4) Although Yoseif was viceroy and as such he wore kingly regalia, but he never enjoyed or felt a rise in his status by wearing them. This was because of the sorrow he experienced by being separated from his father. Now that they were reunited he said that upon going to Paroh dressed in royal garb he would feel elevated. (Tosfos Hasho'leim)

5) Yoseif said that he would go to Paroh in an elevated state of mind. Although the viceroy of the country, he always felt that people thought negatively of him, a waif, a jailbird. Now that his most esteemed family came to Egypt he felt elevated and proud of his lineage. (Moshav Z'keinim)


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See also Sedrah Selections, Oroh V'Simchoh - Meshech Chochmoh on the Weekly Parsha and Chasidic Insights


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