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Biography of Yehuda Katz | Archives | This Week's Parsha


"So Pharaoh sent and summoned Joseph, and they rushed him from the dungeon , ...........and changed his clothes.................(41:14)

The Tractate Rosh Hashanah (11a) states that Joseph was released from prison on Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year, or Day of Judgment).(Please refer there for further details.) The Sages seem to emphasize this fact. A question can be asked, Why is the date of Joseph's release so important for us to know? There seems to be a connection between Joseph's release, and Rosh Hashanah! I would like to propose the following original answer, Bezrat Hashem, as follows: When Joseph appeared before Pharaoh , he was for all intensive purposes being judged by Pharaoh. Will Joseph be able to discern Pharaoh's dreams effectively! Yet, 2 very curious events happened before Joseph's appearance before Pharaoh, namely (1) he was hastened from the pit, and (2) his clothes were changed. These events are very significant in that it can similarly teach us how to properly prepare for our own personal judgment day before G-d. How so? King David taught us the very important concept of "Depart from evil and do good" , as found in Psalms 34:15. Just as Joseph had to depart from the pit and change his clothes before Pharaoh's judgment, we too must leave the pit of "evil" and change our actions by doing good (as represented by Joseph's changing of clothing) before being judged by G-d. Its not enough just to leave our evil ways, the vacuum it creates must now be filled with goodness.What happened to Joseph before his judgment is of paramount importance to us by teaching us how to properly prepare ourselves for judgment. The Sages are ,therefore, adamantly teaching us that Rosh Hashanah is the very date of Joseph's release from prison .

But, why do we have to think about it now if Rosh Hashanah seems so distant? Therefore, the Torah tells us further that Joseph was hastened to Pharaoh to emphasize that there's no time to delay when positive changes have to be made in spiritual matters for Judgment Day is near. Now is the time to correct that which is ailing us spiritually in ample time before Rosh Hashanah...........................

Have a good Shabbos


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