Here, HaRav Zev Leff makes the claim that the quarrel between Yosef and his brothers was primarily about the legal or covenantal status of the sons of Israel. The author claims that Yosef’s brothers believed themselves to be already Klal Yisrael, while Yosef, following his father, knew them to be ‘in transition’ from the status of B’nei Noach. Unfortunately no source is provided for this claim, so I was wondering if someone could provide me with one.


3 Answers 3


This approach seems to have been innovated by R. Yehuda Rosanes (1657-1727) in the first piece of his Parashat Derakhim.


Moshav Zikeinim, a collection of thoughts on the parsha from the Baalei HaTosafos, says it (parshas Vayeishev ד"ה ד"א את דבתם). The Riva (Rav Yehudah Ben Eliezer) (ibid ד"ה ויבא יוסף) hints to it, but the Bartenura (ibid ד"ה את דבתם) says it straight out.

  • 1
    Where do they ?
    – msh210
    Commented Dec 10, 2020 at 21:03
  • Please forgive my foolishness: could you translate Mirumaz for me? I don’t have a dictionary to hand.
    – Tom W
    Commented Dec 10, 2020 at 21:20
  • 1
    @Tom w merumaz meants hints. Meaning he seems to imply it.
    – Shlomy
    Commented Dec 10, 2020 at 21:29
  • You were right about Moshav zekeinim. I took the liberty of adding the source. However, if you look closely, the bartenura says they both held they were benei Noach. No reason to assume Riva disagrees.
    – robev
    Commented Dec 11, 2020 at 7:05

The Malbim in Eretz Chemdah (HebrewBooks link) quotes this idea from Rabbi Eliyahu Mizrachi (1455 - 1525).

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