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13

Chizkuni asks this and offers two answers: The reason the Egyptians were circumcised was because of the hunger of the famine. Yosef however was rich and therefore the only reason he would circumcise himself would be if he was Jewish. Although all the Egyptians were in fact circumcised, the brothers were not aware of this this and would recognize Yosef on ...


10

It had been decades (22 years, IIRC) since they had last seen him. When they had last seen him, he had been a teenager, and now he was an adult. Peoples' appearances and mannerisms change over time. Yosef, in his position of power, dressed and acted like an Egyptian, and not like a Hebrew. (As noted by the mefarshim, different clothes, hairstyles, ...


9

Seder Hadoros puts the births of both of them in the same year (2233), and also cites Nesiv Hayashar quoting Birkas Shmuel that they were indeed twins.


8

Yosef's father also rebuked him for the dreams, and Yosef had no idea that אביו שמר את הדבר. When Yosef's brothers sold him, he thought his father was in on it also. Thus, he had no reason to think that contacting his father was worthwhile. When Yosef heard his brothers speak about how much it pained his father that he was gone, Yosef realized he was wrong ...


8

Good question about critique. I know of one Holocaust survivor who asks this question every year, and is never satisfied with the answers provided (echoing his own life's experience trying to connect with his family after the war). Some (I believe Netziv) indicate that Yosef saw his dreams as a prophecy he was ordered to fulfill, and thus was obligated to ...


8

The Ohr Hachaim answers that either this means that there was just enough left for a return trip to Egypt which is considered "finished" because they needed more, or alternatively what they brought from the previous trip to Egypt was finished but they still had some food that Yaakov saved for times of famine.


7

The Lubavitcher Rebbe zt"l explains (in Likkutei Sichos 15:339ff; English adaptation at Chabad.org) that there was one detail in the dreams that threw off the magicians. The Torah describes the first seven cows coming out of the river, and then the second seven cows, "and they stood next to the cows at the riverbank." Now, times of plenty and of famine come ...


6

A link between Chanukah and Parshat Mikeitz can be found in Pharoh’s dreams. In his first dream, Pharoh saw 7 bad looking cows eating 7 good looking cows. In the second dream he saw 7 good ears of grain getting swallowed up by seven thin ears of grain. Similarly, in the days of Matisyahu the Chashmonaim and his sons, Bnai Yisrael although a weaker nation, ...


6

Sefer Hayashar says that during the banquet (described at the end of Parshas Miketz) Binyamin discovered Tzofnas Paaneach's identity, and that Yosef confirmed it but then asked him to keep it a secret and play along during the accusation about the goblet, in order to see what the brothers would do (whether they'd be willing to fight to save Binyamin, or - ...


6

To at least answer 3: Rashbam points out that the donkeys have the food that is needed for the survival of their families back in Canaan. "They'll take us and our donkeys" means "our families will starve to death." In that culture, it was self-understood that "donkey" -> "packages." (On a somewhat related note, the halacha that the Torah's laws of damages ...


6

The sefer אוצר השמות חלק ח here in his discussion of the name Potiphera says that there is a dispute amongst the Rabbis whether Potiphar (Bereishis/Genesis 39,1), the chief executioner of Pharaoh, and Potiphera are the same person or not. According to the opinion that they are two different people the question is easily answered - the Torah says that ...


5

יעקב אש ויוסף להבה Ya'akov is fire and Yosef is flame. I don't know if "flame" is the best translation, but it's the part of the fire that is not necessarily attached to the source/fuel and therefore has the potential to travel, thereby spreading the very material of the original source to everything it touches. The "fire", on the other hand, lacks ...


5

In the הסכמות to the sefer נחמד מזהב, Rav Shmuel Yaakov Koppel Katz says that from the time that Avraham was commanded to do Bris Milah until Har Sinai, all of Bnei Noach were commanded in this mitzvah, but they were not commanded to do priah (the uncovering). But Tosfos writes that Avraham himself did do priah since Yisrael were to be commanded to do so in ...


5

If the brothers knew about it, they would have known the reason - that they were forced to do it in order to obtain food. Yosef, as the second in command, would not have been forced due to his position (giving out the food to everyone else). So the fact that he was circumcised would have had to have been for a different reason. ברוך שכוונתי וכו


4

The Chizkuni addresses this, and explains that on the first occasion they were not with Yosef for an extended amount of time and would probably not pick up on the fact that he had been crying. However, on the second occasion they would be spending an entire meal together and it was more likely that they would notice he was crying and he therefore had to wash ...


4

Many mefarshim say that the Egyptian chachamim messed up because they did not understand that they were the same dream. For example, see Seforno (41:8) who indicates that were trying to relate the dreams to one another through cause (the cow dream) and potential effect (the grain dream). The basic dream was planting (though plowing) + water (the yeor) = ...


4

One simple answer from Targum Yonasan ben Uziel - Hashem did not want them to. http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=9597&st=&pgnum=529


4

I read in Sefer Minhat Yehuda by HaMekubal HaEloki Rabbi Yehuda Fetaya, and he says that one shouldn't ask why he didn't send a letter to his father telling him the situation. INTRO: First of all, I think he is going on the premise that he can't just get up and leave- was sold. ANSWER: He thought his father had died from the pain of losing him. And this ...


4

I just saw a very nice connection in "The Weak in the Hands of the Strong," by Rebbetzin Yocheved Krimsky of the Young Israel of Stamford, in the "Collected Insights" (PDF) section of this year's YU Chanuka To-Go. It's a page-long devar Torah, worth reading in its entirety, but in essence: Par'o woke up from a dream in which weak cows swallowed up strong ...


4

The sefer Binyan Ariel explains that since the gemara in Sotah implies that Pharaoh did know Hebrew (Loshon Hakodesh), it was not the language of the land of Canaan, and so they were safe in assuming that the interpreter also only understood the Canaan language (the language which they had been using to speak to Yosef) but not Hebrew. Therefore they were not ...


4

The Sifsei Chachamim on that Rashi explains that the interpreter had been there in previous conversations, but right now wasn't present. I think that's what Rashi meant -- the interpreter had been there for all conversations WITH YOSEF -- but as those conversations had ended, he wasn't there now.


3

The Vilna Gaon mentions that there is a a Remez about Chanuka in Parshas Mikeitz. At the end of Parsha, the Masora gives the number of Pasukim, but strangely for Mikeitz it also gives the number of words - 2025. The Vilna Gaon says that it is to teach us if Poti Phera is one word or two. Secondly, 2025 is a Remez to Ner Chanukah. The gemara in Shabbos ...


3

Perhaps it's also because in v. 22, the phrasing "he cannot leave his father" seems to suggest that the concern is more about Binyamin's potential fate than Yaakov's. If the meaning is that Yaakov might die from grief, then we might have expected Yehudah to word it differently: "our father cannot allow him to leave..." - and then Yaakov's potential death ...


3

I always identified the symbolism of Yosef coming up out of the darkness of prison into the light of freedom with the redemption of the Jewish people at Chanukah. (me'afeila l'orah; mishibud l'geula)


3

The brothers did not recognize him because Hashem withheld that ability from them. Hakol bechazkas sumin ad she'hskadosh Baruch Hu Meir es einayhem. A person is blind unless Hashem opens his eyes to see what has been hidden. I believe Rav Bloch gives this answer.


3

The MaHaral says that the number 7 is the number of natural occurrence, while the number 8 is for supernatural. Therefore a baby has his Bris on the 8th day to show that we are L'Maalah M'Derech Hatevah. There are many things in the Torah with the number 7. 7 days of the week, 7 years in a Shemita cycle, 7 Shemitas then a Yoveil, and many other examples of ...


3

The Vilna Gaon explains (full text here) that the reason why each set of cows are described with two descriptions is because there are two different types of famine - רעב and כפן. The former word refers to a time when the fields are not producing good produce, whereas the latter is when the fields are producing good produce but Hashem does not place in the ...


3

The Medrash Rabbah (91:10) says on this verse: מעולם לא אמר יעקב אבינו דבר בטלה אלא כאן. The medrash does indeed consider this to be a remark unworthy of Yaakov (see the entire medrash for more detail). We might speculate that Yaakov said this because of his intense state of suffering for the loss of Yosef but the medrash does not accept this as an excuse.


3

It seems to me that the first (נשני) is an active forgetfulness, and the second (שכחה) is passive. This we see from the gemora in Sanhedrin 102b which expounds that the name Menashe (ben Chizkiyohu) signifies that he caused Yisrael to forget Hashem. And even according to the Maharsha who disagrees with Rashi that נשני is an expression of forgetfulness and ...



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