Chamishoh Mi Yo'dei'a

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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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. 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.

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

3) Ch. 45, v. 23: "Bor" - What is the translation of this word?

4) Ch. 46, v. 21: "Uvnei Vinyomin Bella voVecher" - And the sons of Binyomin were Bella and Becher - Rashi on 43:30 explains that Bella alludes to Yoseif's being swallowed into the society of the gentiles, while Becher alludes to his being the first-born to his mother Rochel. Since Yoseif was a first-born upon birth and only later was swallowed into the gentiles, why didn't Binyomin name his first son Becher and his second son Bella?

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?"



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.


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)


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":


The message of Yoseif's being the first-born would be lost if Binyomin's first-born would be given the name Becher because we would say that in his own right as a "b'chor" he was called Becher. Alternatively, it is only because Yoseif had vanished that Binyomin gave names to his sons as a remembrance of Yoseif's travails. (Rabbi Y.M. Rosenbaum shlit"a Rosh Yeshivas Gur of London)


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)



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

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