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 story? The only way I can figure to determine the answer to this question is to determine if he in fact did receive a reward. Therefore...Did Benyamin receive a reward for not having participated sale of Yosef?

  • To strengthen your question...I believe Gra says that one refrains from an Avera get's reward like he did a Miswa. – Hacham Gabriel Jan 1 '12 at 0:02
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    Why should he get a reward for not participating? @HachamGabriel: That's probably only if one has the opportunity to sin and doesn't. Binyamin wasn't even there, and therefore didn't have the opportunity – Menachem Jan 1 '12 at 2:30
  • @Menachem you're right. My mistake. – Hacham Gabriel Jan 1 '12 at 2:37
  • The Beis Hamikdosh was built in the land apportioned to sheivet Binyomin – Raffy Van der Vaart Dec 2 '12 at 19:24
  • @RaffyVanderVaart - Chazal explain that this was because the other brothers bowed down to Eisav and so the Beis Hamikdash could not be built in their portion of the land. Again, this was not a reward for non-participation, but because due to the other brothers' action no other possibility remained. – user4523 Nov 21 '13 at 14:58

According the Chida, who says it in the name of the Rokeach (Brought in Vedibarta Bam):

According to an opinion in the Gemara (Gittin 43a), when one sells a Jew as a slave to a non-Jew, he is fined to redeem him for up to 100 times his value. In the Torah we find a slave to be valued at 30 silver pieces (Shemot 21:32). Since Yosef was sold as a slave to an Egyptian family, it would cost as much as 3000 silver pieces to redeem him.

Since 10 brothers played a part in his becoming a slave, each one would have to pay 300 silver pieces. Consequently, when each of the brothers was deprived of 300 silver pieces, it was as though they paid their fine. Binyamin took no part whatsoever in the selling, so Yosef gave him 300 silver pieces.

So, while it wasn't a reward, Yosef gave only Binyamin 300 silver pieces, so that the other brothers, who did sell him, would lose out on 300 silver pieces. This would take place of the fine they halachically owed.

As @Alex pointed out in the comments, the Torah Sheleimah brings this idea down in the name of many Rishonim.

  • Is this in Rosh Dawid, Hadre Beten or any other of his books? – Hacham Gabriel Jan 1 '12 at 1:07
  • @HachamGabriel: No idea. That's all the information it gives – Menachem Jan 1 '12 at 1:27
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    It must be a rather popular explanation! Torah Sheleimah cites it from Rosh, Riva, Tur and Rabbeinu Bechayei. – Alex Jan 1 '12 at 3:26
  • @Alex slight correction. Rabenu Bahya is on the Torah and Kad HaKemah. Rabenu Behaye is Hobot HaLebabot. – Hacham Gabriel Jan 2 '12 at 1:13
  • @HachamGabriel: I know they're not the same person, but aren't they namesakes? Both of their names are spelled the same in Hebrew (בחיי). – Alex Jan 2 '12 at 2:22

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