There is the famous verse in Bereishit 8:10:

וַיָּ֣חֶל ע֔וֹד שִׁבְעַ֥ת יָמִ֖ים אֲחֵרִ֑ים וַיֹּ֛סֶף שַׁלַּ֥ח אֶת־הַיּוֹנָ֖ה מִן־הַתֵּבָֽה׃

And he stayed yet other seven days; and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark.

However, in contrast with the traditional reading, the leading scholar, R' Schlachmones שליט"א, the prospective av beit din of Chełm, based on an obscure baraita claims that אל תקרי ויסף אלא וְיֹסֵף. Therefore, at least according to him, the proper translation should be:

And he stayed yet other seven days; and Joseph sent forth the dove out of the ark.

I know that אין מוקדם ומאוחר בתורה and indeed there are some hints about time travel in Judaism, yet it seems quite difficult to reconcile it with my earlier studies. Should I accept this interpretation? Were there really wormholes or time machines in the dungeon of the pharaoh, where Joseph could travel to Noach's Ark? Please bring sources!

This question is Purim Torah and is not intended to be taken completely seriously. See the Purim Torah policy.


3 Answers 3


Joseph came into contact with a known wormhole, namely Hebron (Genesis 37:14). Wrinkles in space-time are known to exist in Hebron: Numbers 13:22 tells us that Hebron was built seven years before Zoan of Egypt. Rashi comments that it's impossible for Hebron to have been built before Zoan, but because Hebron is seven times as beautiful as Zoan, the Torah says it was built seven years before Zoan.

From this we can derive the Beauty-Time Theorem: Beautiful things are sent into the past, while ugly things are sent into the future.1

After he was sent from the Hebron Wormhole, Joseph got lost (Genesis 37:15), no doubt in a time warp. Now, since Joseph was beautiful or form and figure (Genesis 39:6), so much so that girls climbed walls to look at him (Genesis 49:22), any time warp would have taken him very far into the past. Joseph was used to this by now, and he could usually just get back by asking people what the year was.

However, the year of the Flood posed a special problem, because there is a dispute (Zevachim 113a) whether Israel was affected by the flood. Since both opinions are correct, Joseph was simultaneously being rained on and not being rained on.

Luckily for Joseph, he happened to have a box with a dove in it. He knew that if the Flood affected Israel, the bird would have already died; but if it didn't, the bird would be alive. Since the Flood both happened and didn't happen, the bird in the box was simultaneously alive and dead. Therefore, וַיֹּ֛סֶף שַׁלַּ֥ח אֶת־הַיּוֹנָ֖ה מִן־הַתֵּבָֽה: Joseph sent the dove out of the box to force one of the possibilities to be true. Once the paradox was disposed of, he was able to return to his own time.

1 Thus, for instance, the stay in Egypt was supposed to be 400 years long (Genesis 15:13), but the Holy One Blessed Is He calculated the yuck factor (חִשַּׁב אֶת־הַקֵּץ, as in קַצְתִּי בְחַיַּי) and sent us 190 years into the future (rolling around in your blood alone is worth at least half a century of ugliness!).

  • 2
    There is a certain timey-wimey merit to this answer. Feb 27, 2020 at 15:56
  • We know from the Pesukim that the dove survived the encounter; what would history have looked like in the other collapse of the superposition, wherein the dove died, and Eretz Yisrael had been rained on?
    – DonielF
    Feb 27, 2020 at 17:36
  • @DonielF You're confusing the dove in Noah's ark with the dove in Joseph's box. The dove in Noah's ark lived, but the dove in Joseph's box would have died because every living creature that Noah didn't bring died
    – b a
    Feb 27, 2020 at 18:00
  • Ok, so this has become my most upvoted post, and your third most upvoted one. Makes me think... Mar 9, 2020 at 9:58

Yosef and Noach were the same person, as Rikanti explains in Vayeshev.

ועוד אמרו רבותינו זכרונם לברכה אמר רבי יהודה ברבי שלום אין אתה מוצא שנקרא צדיק רק שנים שעמדו בעולם נח ויוסף. נח שנאמר נח איש צדיק. יוסף שנאמר על מכרם בכסף צדיק.


As a follow up to Dr. Shmu'el's answer, we can find further support to this claim as well as the entire concept of "imaginative time" (such as the idea that time moves "faster" or "slower" based on one's emotions and perceptions. This is not the place to expand on this topic.)

Breishit 40:23:

וְלֹֽא־זָכַ֧ר שַֽׂר־הַמַּשְׁקִ֛ים אֶת־יוֹסֵ֖ף וישכחהו

The cup-bearer didn't remember Joseph, and he forgot about it.

When you read this, you didn't wonder how this is possible? He poured his heart out to Joseph, told him his dreams, and had Joseph interpret all this. And, he didn't remember who Joseph was??

This is because of a wrong translation of what it means that he didn't remember Joseph. It is not a reference to what ocurred after Joseph interprets his dream. It means that he didn't remember who Joseph was all along even at the beginning of the story. That's because Joseph was really Noach who lived a long time ago, but the cup-bearer didn't remember that story, even though, everyone in the world had heard of Noach. But he didn't remember the Noach was actually Joseph.

So, what's the case about Joseph interpreting the cup-bearer's dream? That, too was a dream! The whole story is a dream! He dreamt that he had a dream about squeezing the grapes for Pharaoh, as well as Joseph / Noach appearing from the past to interpret his dream, as well.

Thus, at the end of the verse, when it says וישכחהו, it doesn't mean that he forgot Joseph. It means that he forgot about this entire dream.

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