The Meshech Chochma on Bereishis 49:26 comments:

(Source(s) from Sefaria.org)

ברכות אביך גברו על ברכות הורי וכו' תהיין וכו' נזיר אחיו הענין. דכל בניו של יעקב היו מצערים את אביהם במה שלא הגידו לו ממכירתו. אולם יוסף היה מצער עצמו כל הכ"ב שנה שלא שתה יין וכמאמרם נזיר אחיו שהיה נזיר מן היין. וזה שאמר ברכות אביך כו' לראש יוסף ולקדקד נזיר אחיו ולא לבניו הנותרים שלא נזהרו בכבוד אביהם ודו"ק.

"The blessings of your father surpassed the blessings of my parents etc. Let them be etc. the removed one of his brothers": The matter is that all the sons of Yaakov pained their father in their not telling him about (Yosef's) sale. However Yosef pained himself all those 22 years (which he did not see his brothers) that he didn't drink wine as it says (literally) "the Nazir of his brothers" that he was removed from wine (i.e. he didn't drink wine since his sale). This is what the verse means "The blessings of your father etc. upon Yosef's head and upon the head of the removed one (Nazir) of his brothers as they were not careful in Honoring their father.

My Question

If reason for Yosef receiving his unique blessing over his brothers was because Yosef afflicted himself by not drinking wine since his sale, how does the Meshech Chochma understand this reason in contrast to Rashi on Bereishis 43:34?

:(וישכרו עמו וּמִיּוֹם שֶׁמְּכָרוּהוּ לֹא שָׁתוּ יַיִן, וְלֹא הוּא שָׁתָה יַיִן, וְאוֹתוֹ הַיּוֹם שָׁתוּ (בראשית רבה

And they became imbibed with him: but from the day they sold him they had not drunk wine nor had he drunk wine. That day, however, they drank wine (Genesis Rabbah).

  • @mevaqesh, in this case, the midrashim note one another, see the answer below. Commented Dec 31, 2017 at 3:54

1 Answer 1


Looking up the Meshech Chochma's source gives the answer to this question.

Gemara Shabbos 129a says:

ואמר רב מלאי משום רבי יצחק מגדלאה: מיום שפירש יוסף מאחיו לא טעם טעם יין, דכתיב ולקדקד נזיר אחיו. רבי יוסי ברבי חנינא אמר: אף הן לא טעמו טעם יין, דכתיב וישתו וישכרו עמו מכלל דעד האידנא לא (הוה שיכרות). ואידך - שיכרות הוא דלא הוה, שתיה מיהא הוה.

The implication of the Gemara is that Yosef did not drink until that point, but his brothers did. Hence, ואידך - שיכרות הוא דלא הוה, שתיה מיהא הוה, that the other Man Deamar, namely רב מלאי משום רבי יצחק מגדלאה, who is arguing on רבי יוסי ברבי חנינא.

This is what mevaqesh was referring to in the comments below as well.

Another straightforward answer is that what the Shevatim should have done to make up for this, was tell their father, not stop drinking, whereas until that point, all Yosef could have done to show his tzaar was not drink. Therefore, he is praised as the Nazir.

  • Thats not what I'm asking at all. I'm asking why Yosef was blessed over his brothers because he didn't drink wine. Please reread Rashi in my question Commented Dec 31, 2017 at 4:50
  • I'll note your edit though Commented Dec 31, 2017 at 4:55
  • @TrustMeI'mARabbi Doesn't יכרות הוא דלא הוה, שתיה מיהא הוה answer your question?
    – mevaqesh
    Commented Dec 31, 2017 at 5:01
  • @TrustMeI'mARabbi Whoops, I had misunderstood the question. I still think there is an answer though, I'll update Commented Dec 31, 2017 at 5:01
  • @mevaqesh please elaborate because it does not as noted by Rashi in my question. Commented Dec 31, 2017 at 5:02

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