Joseph (יוסף), the son of Jacob (יעקב), from the book of Genesis.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (2)

13
votes
6answers
422 views

How did Yosef showing his circumcision prove anything?

Rashi to 45:4 says that when Yosef told his brothers to approach him, it was to show them his circumcision (presumably to prove he was Jewish). But how would that prove anything? All of Egypt had been ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

Who is Moshiach Ben Joseph and what does/did he do?

I am asking this as someone who has never heard of Moshiach Ben Joseph. I would appreciate detailed answers, or maybe links to places that explain it. I have been interested in Judaism for a long ...
13
votes
1answer
68 views

Did the brothers know about the snakes and scorpions in the pit?

Yosef's brothers took him and threw him into a pit (Bereishis 37:24). Chazal tell us that the pit had snakes and scorpions in it (see Rashi there). Reuvein seems to think he is saving Yosef by ...
10
votes
5answers
229 views

Why did Yosef tell over the dreams?

In this weeks Parsha (Vayeishev), we learn about how Yosef had his two [prophetic] dreams. We find that in each case, Yosef told his brothers about his dreams: And he said to them, "Listen now to ...
10
votes
4answers
93 views

How could the brothers drink with Yosef?

Towards the end of parshas Miketz (Bereishit 43:34), it mentions that the brothers drank with Yosef. Considering that as far as the brothers knew, they were surrounded by idol-worshipers, were they ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

If shepherds are taboo to Egyptians, what do we make of them having sheep themselves?

Yosef tells his family to say they're shepherds because that's taboo to Egypt: you must say, 'We and our fathers have dealt in livestock all our lives'. You will then be able to settle in the ...
10
votes
2answers
105 views

Why does Yosef bring his sons to Yaakov

Yaakov famously blesses Ephraim and Menashe but who tells Yosef to bring them to their grandfather? It doesn't seem that this would be a natural thing to do as they are not Yaakov's sons. Does ...
9
votes
3answers
123 views

Why does Yosef use intermediaries to ask Paro for permission to bury Yaakov, when until now he addressed Paro directly?

Bereishit 50:4, after Yaakov's death and mourning, says that Yosef spoke to Paro's house (בֵּית פַּרְעֹה) and asked them to ask Paro for leave so he could go bury his father. During the famine and ...
9
votes
2answers
502 views

Why do people keep saying 12 tribes of Israel when there are 13?

The Encyclopædia Britannica article “Twelve Tribes of Israel” says (emphasis added), Jacob’s first wife, Leah, bore him six sons: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun. Each was the ...
9
votes
1answer
160 views

Didn’t the Ishmaelites know they were buying their second cousin?

In studying bereishis I have come up with questions about Joseph and his brothers that have long bothered me. One question is in parsha vayeshev, where we read how Joseph was sold by his brothers to ...
8
votes
4answers
137 views

Did Reuven find out what had happened to Yosef?

In Bereishis 37:29: And Reuven returned to the pit and look! Yosef wasn't in the pit. But neither the verse nor Rashi, for that matter, explain if he ever found out what the brothers had done. ...
8
votes
3answers
103 views

Why isn't נִצָּבָה redundant?

In Bereshis 37:7 we read: וְהִנֵּה אֲנַחְנוּ מְאַלְּמִים אֲלֻמִּים בְּתוֹךְ הַשָּׂדֶה וְהִנֵּה קָמָה אֲלֻמָּתִי וְגַם נִצָּבָה - Behold, we were binding sheaves in the midst of the field, and ...
8
votes
3answers
171 views

Why did Yosef's brothers speak freely in the presence of the interpreter?

In Parashat Miketz, Yosef's brothers encounter him disguised as the viceroy of Egypt, and he accuses them of espionage, jails them for three days, and makes a demand that they know their father would ...
8
votes
2answers
211 views

Why does Rashi say דבתם refers to the children of Leah?

Rashi (Bereshis 37:2 sv את דבתם רעה) says: כל רעה שהיה רואה באחיו בני לאה היה מגיד לאביו - Any evil he saw in his brothers, the sons of Leah, he would tell his father However it would seem that ...
8
votes
0answers
127 views

Was Ankhmahor really Yosef?

I was reading an article today on circumcision a news website I frequent. It displayed a picture from the tomb of Ankhmahor, a high ranking Egyptian official that was, apparently, responsible for mass ...
7
votes
3answers
121 views

Why was Yosef, and not Binyamin, the favored son?

Bereishit 37:3 says that the reason Yosef was Yaakov's favorite is "because he was a son of his old age". But while Yosef is a son of Yaakov's old age, so is his younger brother Binyamin. Further, ...
7
votes
3answers
106 views

Which commentators commend Yosef for noticing his fellow prisoners' sadness?

Toward the end of Parashat Vayeishev, Yosef is imprisoned along with two of Par'oh's chief servants. Starting in Gen. 40:6, the Torah tells us that he notices that they look sad, asks why, and ...
7
votes
2answers
169 views

Poti-phera's Title/Job Description

Genesis 41:45 JPS And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphenath-paneah; and he gave him to wife Asenath the daughter of Poti-phera priest of On. And Joseph went out over the land of Egypt. ...
7
votes
2answers
77 views

Joseph and Chanukkah

The Parshiot about Joseph always fall right before or during Chanukkah. It their a relationship between the Joseph stories and the Chanukkah stories? It there something to be learned from the fact ...
7
votes
1answer
109 views

Why did Binyamin think Yosef was still alive?

Rashi (Bereshit 43:30), quoting the Talmud (Sotah 36B), tells us that Binyamin named each of his 10 sons in honor of Yosef. Many of the names indicate that Binyamin knew that Yosef was alive, in ...
7
votes
3answers
83 views

Understanding the cherem to tell Yaakov that Yosef was alive

In Bereshis 37:33 Rashi cites the midrash that the brothers pronounced an excommunication and curse on anyone who would reveal what they did. This is why God, as well as Yitzhak didn't tell Yaakov. I ...
7
votes
2answers
66 views

Why did Yaakov give the city of Shechem to Yosef?

Yaakov gives Yosef what many commentators assume is the actual city of Shechem as an additional inheritance (see Genesis 48:22, especially according to Rashi's interpretation). Why did Yaakov choose ...
6
votes
3answers
89 views

If the Torah says that Yaakov was blind, how could he see Yosef's sons?

Bereishit 48:10 begins: וְעֵינֵ֤י יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ כָּבְד֣וּ מִזֹּ֔קֶן לֹ֥א יוּכַ֖ל לִרְא֑וֹת Now the eyes of Israel were dim for age, so that he could not see. However, pasuk 8 says: ...
6
votes
2answers
191 views

Why Does Hashem Bless Us Like Efraim And Menashe?

I know there are lots of reason's why but What is the main reason Hashem made it so that we get blessed like them?
6
votes
4answers
155 views

Asara Haruge Malchut (Ten Martyrs), why were 10 Rabbis killed?

In Vayigash, Rabenu Bahya (also the Zohar) comments and says that the reason we had Asara Haruge Malchut because the brothers sold Yosef. However, Reuven didn't sell Yosef, so why should the ...
6
votes
1answer
81 views

Benyamin's reward

Benyamin, while being quite young at the time, is notably missing when Yosef is sold. Does he deserve a reward for not participating or was he simply not included and therefore is incidental in the ...
6
votes
4answers
110 views

Joseph's name doesnt seem so meaningful, Why?

BSD "So she named him Joseph, saying, "May the Lord grant me yet another son."Genesis 30:24. Rashi says the name alludes to a prophecy seen by Rachel that Jacob would only produce 12 tribes. ...
5
votes
5answers
145 views

Why didn't Yaakov and Yosef spend much time together?

It seems that Yaakov and Yosef did not spend much time together in Egypt. After the emotional reunion is there any other mention of them together? Why not?
5
votes
3answers
189 views

How long was Yosef in prison?

We know from Gen 37 that Yosef was 17 when he went out to meet his brothers and ended up on the way to Egypt, and we know from Gen 41:46 that he was 30 when Paro appointed him as second in commend. ...
5
votes
2answers
183 views

Who sold Yosef, and who knew?

I had always understood that Yosef's brothers sold him to the Ishmaelites. We know that they planned to do so, but during this week's torah reading I noticed this for the first time: כח ...
5
votes
2answers
121 views

Do any commentaries explain the charade that Yosef put the brothers through as done with bad intention?

It seems that over the last few hundred years all the commentators that have written on the subject, and all the darshanim I hear talking about it, take for granted that the entire episode concerning ...
5
votes
1answer
86 views

Significance of nine months of pregnancy and eleven stars

In the piyyut Echad Mi Yodeya, recited at the Passover seder, we discuss what relates to the first thirteen numbers. Most of these are central to Jewish belief: One is Hashem, two are the Tablets ...
5
votes
2answers
118 views

Why is Yosef's age at death given twice?

At the end of Genesis, Yosef dies at the age of 110 years. 50:22–26: וַיֵּשֶׁב יוֹסֵף בְּמִצְרַיִם הוּא וּבֵית אָבִיו וַיְחִי יוֹסֵף מֵאָה וָעֶשֶׂר שָׁנִים. וַיַּרְא יוֹסֵף לְאֶפְרַיִם ...
5
votes
2answers
184 views

Understanding Rashi's resolution of an ambiguity in Parashat Vayigash

The following is based on a question I wrote in the margin of my chumash about ten years ago. In Yehuda's speech to the Egyptian viceroy (Yosef in disguise) at the beginning of Parashat Vayigash, he ...
5
votes
1answer
33 views

The brothers telling Yosef about Yosef

Rashi to Miketz (Bereishit 42:13-14) says that the brothers told Yosef that they came to Egypt to look for their missing brother. However, in Vayigash (Bereishit 44:20) Yehudah tells Yosef that they ...
4
votes
2answers
334 views

Why does Yosef command the Egyptians to circumcise

Rashi on Bereshis 41:55 says what he tells you, do: Since Joseph had ordered them to circumcise themselves, and when they came to Pharaoh and said, “This is what he said to us,” he (Pharaoh) said ...
4
votes
1answer
45 views

Why did the brothers go from Shechem to Dosan?

In Bereshis 37:17 Yosef has traveled to Shechem where his brothers had gone to tend their sheep and he is told they went to Dosan. Rashi explains this homeletically, that they found legal pretext ...
4
votes
2answers
26 views

Why did Yaakov give Yosef Shechem 'one more than his brothers' specifically?

וַאֲנִי נָתַתִּי לְךָ שְׁכֶם אַחַד עַל אַחֶיךָ - bereshis 48:22. Yaakov previously gave Yosef an additional article of clothing, which spurred the brother's hatred of him (Yosef). Why would Yaakov go ...
4
votes
1answer
89 views

Why did Yosef wash his face after crying the second time but not the first?

In Miketz, Yosef is seen to cry twice. 42:24: וַיִּסֹּב מֵעֲלֵיהֶם וַיֵּבְךְּ וַיָּשָׁב אֲלֵהֶם He turned from them, cried, and returned to them. 43:30–31: וַיְבַקֵּשׁ לִבְכּוֹת ...
4
votes
1answer
59 views

Joseph's Garment- Made or hand me down?

Source 1: Targum Yerushalmi Bereishit 48:22 which says that Yosef coat was originally Adam's. Source 2: Bereishit 37:3 Says Yaakov made Joseph's coat How can this be resolved? Source 1: כב וַאֲנָא ...
4
votes
0answers
25 views

The age of Machir's Sons

I am trying to understand a comment written in the Stone Edition Chuash (page 288) on Bereishit 50:23. On the statement that Yosef was alive to have his great-great grandchildren through Ephraim on ...
3
votes
1answer
55 views

Seeking source of explanation of ולא יכל יוסף להתאפק

וְלֹא יָכֹל יוֹסֵף לְהִתְאַפֵּק — Yosef could not forbear (Gen. 45:1) — but had he done so, had he completed the brothers' reconciliation that he had started, then the kingdom would ...
3
votes
1answer
45 views

Why did Yosef cause so much anguish to his family?

While this question already seems to assume some answer or another (that of a 'deeper purpose'), I thought it strange that nobody has actually asked this question so far: Yosef recognized his ...
2
votes
1answer
362 views

Was Joseph considered a Tzaddik as he went down to Egypt?

Rashi on 37 (25) cites the Medrash about what the camels were carrying: and their camels were carrying, etc.: Why did Scripture publicize their burden? To let you know the reward of the ...
2
votes
0answers
46 views

Was Yosef sold at age seventeen?

While the start of Vayeshev (the start of Genesis 37) sounds as though the events all take place at one time, so that Yosef was sold (verse 28) at age seventeen (as mentioned in verse 2), it's not ...
1
vote
1answer
227 views

Did Joseph ever forgive his brothers? Did they request forgiveness?

After Yosef revealed himself to his brothers, did the brothers ever ask for Yosef's forgiveness for having sold him into slavery? And did Yosef ever formally forgive them? I'm looking for chapter ...
1
vote
2answers
122 views

Yosef Bones out of Egypt

What Happened to Yosef Bones when the Took them out of Egypt ot actually when the Found them?
1
vote
0answers
13 views

Explain how the last word of Yosef's “oath” got into the verse in Shemot 13:19

In Shemot 13:19, the verse quotes the oath that Yosef made his brothers and descendants swear about carrying his bones when they leave Egypt. Compare these words in this verse with the actual oath ...
0
votes
1answer
57 views

The butcher in Pharaoh's “jail”

In Bereshis 39:20 Joseph's master puts him in jail, there termed בית הסהר. In chapter 40 we have (v3,4) וַיִּתֵּן אֹתָם בְּמִשְׁמַר, בֵּית שַׂר הַטַּבָּחִים--אֶל-בֵּית הַסֹּהַר: מְקוֹם, אֲשֶׁר ...
0
votes
1answer
548 views

Was Joseph's bad report on his brothers evidence or simply damaging?

"Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren, being still a lad even with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father's wives; and Joseph brought evil ...