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11

The Maharal (Gur Aryeh ibid) explains that the Gemara which says that a person will surely die in a pit full of snakes and scorpions is only when it is full of snakes and scorpions, but this pit just had a few. The Ohr HaChaim explains that the brothers felt Yosef was deserving of death because he had testified falsely about them to their father in matters ...


7

Rav Hirsch says that we can't be sure of the true reason, but he suggests that (along the lines of his general approach to the story of the Sale of Joseph) perhaps Shechem, evoking memories of protecting Dinah and family unity, awakened feelings of fraternity, which they did not wish to stir up, and Dotan evoked some (unknown) association with justice, as ...


6

The Ramban is bothered by this as well, and makes the question stronger - the shevatim were not born that far apart from each other and really all of them could be a son of old age. Rather he explains it as a son who serves the father in his old age, not who was born in the father's old age. The other brothers were off shepherding (and Binyomin was ...


6

Your idea that Yaakov does not favor Binyamin as highly because he is a reminder of Rachel's death is suggested by the Chizkuni: ואם תאמר הרי בנימין בן זקונים יותר, אלא אין אהבת בנימין קשורה בלבו של יעקב כאהבתו של יוסף, לפי שכשילדתו אמו מתה Other commentators address this question as well: R' Yosef Bechor Shor and Ralbag opine that Yosef is called בן ...


5

See Ibn Ezra on Breishit 40:4. I'm summarizing what he states: שַׂר הַטַּבָּחִים had the jail in his house, and placed Joseph there in charge of the other two people because he remembered the good job that Joesph did watching over his own home. (Combine this with what was said in @DoubleAA's comment above - he doubted that what his wife said was true.) ...


4

The Sifsei Chachamim asks this question and answers that all the sons until Yosef were born within six years, whereas Binyamin wasn't born till many years later. As such, in the family dynamics, Yosef was the Ben Zkunim and was called this even after Binyamin was born, out of habit. The Gur Aryeh seems to be the source for this and explains further that ...


3

The simple explanation of the birth of Peretz and Zerach is that Peretz was born first. After Zerach stretched out his hand the midwife tied a red string on it figuring that he would be the first born. However he put his hand back in and Peretz emerged first. 38:30 וְאַחַר יָצָא אָחִיו אֲשֶׁר עַל יָדוֹ הַשָּׁנִי וַיִּקְרָא שְׁמוֹ זָרַח: Afterwards, his ...


3

@Gershon Gold is correct that the term for cooking is בישול. Refer to the Targum and Peirush Yonatan on Breishit 43:16, where Yosef uses the term טבוח טבח. There, Peirush Yonatan says that this refers to "slaughtering" or "butchering" a goat. So, your original assumption seems correct that the Sar Hatabahim was the chief butcher. As to how the term "מטבח" ...


3

The Ibn Ezra chapter 37 verse 36 writes שר הטבחים. תמצא זה הלשון על הרג ועל בישול. ודברי המתרגם נכונים. We find the use of this word for killing and for cooking. And the words of the Targum are proper. The fancy edition brings instances of these usages. For the killing option he sends to Daniel 2 14 רב טבחיא די מלכא די נפק לקטלה לחכימי בבל. For the ...


3

The Malbim explains that the difference between עמד and יצב is that עמד just means the position of standing, as opposed to sitting or walking etc. whereas יצב is where you are actively standing, i.e. standing intentionally and against adversary. One could be standing because they were standing a moment ago and nothing has changed, or could be standing ...


3

The earliest source of what happened appears to be the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, who was familiar with both Jewish oral tradition and Scripture. In the First Century, he wrote in Book 2, Chapter 3, of his Antiquity of the Jews: (32) But Judas, being one of Jacob’s sons also, seeing some Arabians, of the posterity of Ismael, carrying spices and ...


2

Rabbi Etshalom says that the brothers were out of sight of the pit and were waiting for the Yishmaelim. They did not see the Midyanim take him out of the pit. When Reuven came and found him gone, they did not know what happened either. In fact, some commentaries say that they would have weakened even more and had he been in the pit, (and Reuven pulled him ...


2

DanF got it right. "Tabach" means "butcher." Modern Hebrew has confused that with cooking a bit, a kitchen is called a "mitbach", again, old-fashioned cooks had to slaughter their own stuff. As for the Sar Hatabachim, Ramban says we don't know if his job was butchering animals, or if he was an executioner! (The latter would make sense as the guy has his own ...


2

Yevamot 34b explains it thus: מיתיבי כל עשרים וארבעה חדש דש מבפנים וזורה מבחוץ דברי ר' אליעזר א"ל הללו אינו אלא כמעשה ער ואונן כמעשה ער ואונן ולא כמעשה ער ואונן כמעשה ער ואונן דכתיב והיה אם בא אל אשת אחיו ושחת ארצה ולא כמעשה ער ואונן דאילו התם שלא כדרכה והכא כדרכה בשלמא אונן דכתיב ביה ושחת ארצה Soncino translation, my notes in braces: An objection ...


1

Many verbs in Hebrew and English (and, I assume just about every language) have "combo" verbs that can be transitive or intransitive, depending on the sentence context. זכר means "remembered". Within the context of the verse you are talking about, assume that we substituted the phrase לא זכר שר המשקים "The chief "bartender" (OK, it's an exaggeration of ...


1

עשה ("made") can also mean acquired, as in קנין. Among other places this is stated in ספר השרשים. Interestingly the same Targum doesn't translate it that way on Bereishit 37:3. I guess he doesn't only choose one opinion for all verses, or perhaps as @Baby Seal suggested, he further tailored it in some way.


1

One important thing to realize about Rashi's commentary is how often he is citing midrash. He may very well believe that these midrashim were historical. And he cites them as אגדה המיישבת דברי המקרא דבר דבור על אופניו, as he states in his commentary to Bereishit 3:8. That is, midrash which works with peshat, and answers to peshat concerns. In this instance, ...


1

I've seen this in two places. One is in the Sichos of the Lubavitcher Rebbe who comments on Yosef's amazing sensitivity that he had towards others. This is also noted by R. Yaakov Kamenetsky, in Emes L'Yaakov (40:6) who adds that this is particularly remarkable given his own situation, that he asked others how they were doing in an effort to cheer them up. ...



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