Questions tagged [parashat-vayeishev]

The weekly Torah portion of Vayeishev (Genesis 37:1-40:23)

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What does it mean to create artificial animals from Sefer Yetzirah?

Could someone please explain this quote: The brothers would use the secrets of Sefer Yetzirah to create artifical animals and women (golems). I am not Jewish but would like to have an ...
3
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2answers
64 views

What's with the food ministers?

The United States has Secretaries for foreign affairs (called the Secretary of State), defense, agriculture, the treasury, commerce, education, and more. Similarly, Israel has ministers for foreign ...
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4answers
764 views

Why did the Davidic dynasty need to come from questionable relations?

On the one side of the family, we have the union between Tamar and Yehudah, which, while technically a fulfillment of Yibum, Yehudah thought she was a harlot. From this union came Peretz (Bereishis 38:...
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0answers
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Discrimination in Yakov's blessings to his sons

Yaakov had learned "the hard way" what his discrimination of his sons leads to. The Gemmorah (Shabbos 10b) rules that: "... אמר רב לעולם אל ישנה אדם בנו בין הבנים שבשביל משקל שני סלעים מילת שנתן ...
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1answer
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How would Yossef's story turn different if he was truly prophesying?

Following my last question "why-did-brothers-take-yossefs-dreams-seriously". How would the development of events be different if instead of simply dreaming, Yossef was having G-d's prophecy of the ...
2
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2answers
55 views

Why did brothers take Yossef's dreams seriously?

In my understanding, the whole story of the brother's revenge to Yossef started with Yossef's dreams, which he told his father and brothers. Yossef wasn't a prophet, he showed no signs of genius or ...
4
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1answer
101 views

Why is Joseph's pit mentioned amid all the Chanukah stuff in tractate Shabas?

In the middle of a lengthy discussion about Chanukah, the Bavli (the beginning of Shabas 22) sticks in this seemingly unrelated passage: And R. Kahana said: R. Nasan b. Minyome exegeted in the name ...
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1answer
57 views

Why is it important to stress the “prostitute” part of Tamar's plan regarding Yehuda?

The Torah could get around easily without "incriminating" Yehuda, by saying "ויחשביה לזונה" for example or describing that when he's looking for her (with his fellow) he uses this term of a "...
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1answer
90 views

How did Tamar know that Yehuda will sleep with a prostitute?

Following the question "understanding-Tamars-plan", how was Tamar sure Yehuda will turn to a prostitute the moment he sees her? Needless to say how bad is the transgression and how great and pious ...
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0answers
28 views

Was Josef sold in Egypt by the Midianites or the Ishmaelites? [duplicate]

In Bereishit 37:28 it says, "The Midianite traders passed by...and sold him (Josef) to the Ishmaelites..." In Bereishit 37:36 it says. "Now the Midianites had sold him (Josef) in Egypt to Potiphar..."...
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1answer
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Why does Rashi's explain “bread” as Putiferah's wife?

In Breishit 39:6 it says that Potiphar did not pay attention to anything that Yosef handled "except for the bread that he (Potiphar) eats." "וַיַּעֲזֹב כָּל־אֲשֶׁר־לוֹ בְּיַד־יוֹסֵף וְלֹא־יָדַע ...
6
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2answers
117 views

Why Did Yosef Get Punished For His Hishtadlut While Yaakov Didn't?

Putting Dinah's box situation aside, Yaakov wasn't punished for taking multiple measures in preparation of his confrontation with Esav. He should have just prayed, but he also sent gifts, separated ...
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1answer
56 views

Why didn't the brothers try to find Yosef?

Rashi on Bereishis 38:1 says [Judah’s] brothers demoted him from his high position when they saw their father’s distress. They said, “You told [us] to sell him. Had you told [us] to return him, we ...
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1answer
65 views

Shepherd and Evil Connected?

Rav Samson Rafael Hirsch often finds connections between similar words in the Torah. What is the connection between evil - רעה - and shepherd - רועה - (especially in the same verse Bereishis 37:2 - ...
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0answers
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אדנים - Singular vs. Plural

I don't know if this is more Hebrew or if it is about biblical explication. In Malachi 1:6, the text reads וְאִם־אֲדוֹנִ֣ים אָנִי֩ which is translated (on Sefaria and cChabad) as "If I am a master" ...
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5answers
177 views

Why did his brothers plot to kill Joseph?

I'm having trouble understanding his brothers' plotting to kill Joseph (Genesis 37:18–22). Yes, they hated him, but how could they do such a terrible thing? I know S'forno / Rabbi S.R. ...
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1answer
36 views

When Yosef interprets Pharoah's dream, is he also trying to fulfill his own dream?

Yosef's 2nd dream was that his brothers father and mother would eventually bow to him. Yosef interprets Pharaoh's dream to mean that there would be 7 years of famine. What I find interesting is that ...
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2answers
95 views

Were the brothers responsible for having Yosef come to Egypt?

There's some information that I find missing from this question that cites various commentaries debating of the brothers were responsible for selling Yosef to Egypt or not. We do see in Miketz that ...
2
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1answer
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Gen 36:24 Rashi and the Pit of Snakes and Scorpions — really Pshat?

In Genesis Chapter 37 Joseph’s brothers consider whether to kill him. But Reuben heard, and he saved him [Joseph] from their hand[s], and he said, "Let us not deal him a deadly blow. And Reuben ...
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2answers
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Throwing to vs. Throwing into the pit

I would need some help to answer a grammar question in order to understand the exact meaning a critical piece of the selling of Yosef. The Torah says in Bereshit 37:20 (from www.chabad.org): "...
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2answers
92 views

Why didn't Yosef have the protection of Kibbud Av when he went to Dosan?

We are taught a person on a mitzvah mission will see no harm. Yaakov Avinu askes Yosef to go to Shechem to locate " the brothers". "The brothers" are not in Shechem, rather they are in Dosan. By going ...
2
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1answer
28 views

Was a double dream necessary to convince people that the interpretation was true?

I'm working "backwards" in my assumption. Pharaoh had a double dream. When Yosef interprets it, he says, in Breishit 41:32 As for Pharaoh having had the same dream twice, it means that the ...
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1answer
42 views

Yosef running outside

In the story of Yosef and the wife of Potiphar, the Torah is excessively repetitive, and I'm wondering why. There are also slight deviations, which are noteworthy. I'm specifically interested in the ...
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2answers
120 views

What was the justification for selling Joseph into slavery?

In Parashat Vayeishev, the story is recounted about how the children of Jacob conspired to kill Joseph. The explanation is that they judged him to be guilty of several violations and deserving of ...
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2answers
226 views

Explaining Rash"i regarding Tamar's actions on Breishit 38:25 [duplicate]

I've been looking at Rash"i's explanations of Tamar's refusal to embarrass Yehuda after she was found to be pregnant and was sentence to burning. Rash"i says that from her actions, we learn that one ...
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2answers
41 views

Why did Jacob live “in his father's dwelling land”?

Parashas Vayeshev begins (Genesis 37:1, in my own translation): Jacob lived in the land of his father's dwelling: in the land of Canaan. I understand why it repeats the already-known fact (35:27, ...
2
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1answer
58 views

Why the extra words “and you didn't find her”?

In בראשית ל"ח we have Yehuda sending his pal רֵעֵהוּ הָעֲדֻלָּמִי to retrieve the items he deposited by Tamar. רֵעֵהוּ הָעֲדֻלָּמִי doesn't find her and returns to Yehuda empty-handed. The Torah ...
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3answers
148 views

Why get the baker's hopes up?

When explaining the butler and baker's dreams, Yosef opened with very similar language: בְּע֣וֹד ׀ שְׁלֹ֣שֶׁת יָמִ֗ים יִשָּׂ֤א פַרְעֹה֙ אֶת־רֹאשֶׁ֔ךָ בְּע֣וֹד ׀ שְׁלֹ֣שֶׁת יָמִ֗ים יִשָּׂ֨א ...
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2answers
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What happened to HaShem loves the righteous?

This is part of a series of questions regarding the Braisa in Avos d'Rebbi Nassan 16:2 that lists how Yosef HaTzaddik, R' Tzadok, R' Akiva, and R' Eliezer HaGadol were able to overcome their ...
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1answer
234 views

Why were Er and Onan punished?

As discussed here, wasting seed is not forbidden for a non-Jew. Rashi to Bereishis 38:7 and Semak negative commandment 292 explain that Er and Onan died for that very sin. If non-Jews are allowed ...
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1answer
44 views

דבתם רעה or דבתם הרעה?

On Berayshit 37:2, the Torah says: "וַיָּבֵא יוֹסֵף אֶת־דִּבָּתָם רָעָה אֶל־אֲבִיהֶם" According to proper grammar, shouldn't it have said dibbatam ha'ra'ah since ra'ah is modifying a definite noun?...
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1answer
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How could Peretz have had children before going to Egypt? [duplicate]

וַיְהִי בָּעֵת הַהִוא וַיֵּרֶד יְהוּדָה מֵאֵת אֶחָיו וַיֵּט עַד-אִישׁ עֲדֻלָּמִי וּשְׁמוֹ חִירָה. בראשית לח:א וַתָּסַר בִּגְדֵי אַלְמְנוּתָהּ מֵעָלֶיהָ וַתְּכַס בַּצָּעִיף וַתִּתְעַלָּף ...
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3answers
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Canaanite wives of the Bnei Ya'akov (Sefer HaYashar)

Avraham was extremely careful that Yitzchak not marry a Canaanite and as we know, he married Rivkah bas Besuel ben Nachor. Yitzchak was very careful that Ya'akov not marry a Canaanite and as we know ...
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1answer
94 views

Why didn't Yaakov rebuke his sons when he found out what they really did to Yosef?

Yaakov had previously reacted by rebuking the actions of Shimon and Levi when they destroyed Schem (Bereishit 34:30): וַיֹּאמֶר יַעֲקֹב אֶל-שִׁמְעוֹן וְאֶל-לֵוִי, עֲכַרְתֶּם אֹתִי, לְהַבְאִישֵׁנִי ...
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2answers
104 views

Why is “bor” the jail?

Yosef was taken by his brothers and thrown into habor [הַבּוֹר] (Bereishit 37:22), the pit: 22And Reuben said to them, "Do not shed blood! Cast him into this pit, which is in the desert, but do not ...
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2answers
130 views

Was Re'uven confessing along with the rest of his brothers regarding what happend to Joseph?

In Breishit 42:21, the verse begins: "Each person said to his brother, we are all guilty..." In verse 22, Re'uven chastises his brothers by telling them, "Didn't I tell you do not do sin with the ...
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1answer
133 views

Why did Yosef think the Sar HaMashkim could help?

There is criticism of Yosef for asking the Sar Hamashkim to mention him to Paroh, instead of trusting in Hashem, but what was Yosef even expecting from the Sar Hamashkim? The poor man was just ...
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1answer
68 views

How did the spices help?

Rashi (Bereishis 37:25) quotes the Midrash explaining Arab caravans ordinarily carried foul smelling cargo like tar and petroleum, yet Hashem ensured the caravan Yosef was sold to would carry pleasant ...
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1answer
161 views

Was Onan turning Yibum into Arayot?

There are many commentators that invoke the story of Onan as a source for the prohibition behind onanism, but there seems to be a distinctly different issue going on that is "evil in the eyes of ...
4
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1answer
107 views

Difference between וַהֲשִׁיבְךָ and וֶהֱשׁיבְךָ

Bereishit 40:13 בְּע֣וֹד ׀ שְׁלֹ֣שֶׁת יָמִ֗ים יִשָּׂ֤א פַרְעֹה֙ אֶת־רֹאשֶׁ֔ךָ וַהֲשִֽׁיבְךָ֖ עַל־כַּנֶּ֑ךָ וְנָֽתַתָּ֤ כוֹס־פַּרְעֹה֙ בְּיָד֔וֹ כַּמִּשְׁפָּט֙ הָֽרִאשׁ֔וֹן אֲשֶׁ֥ר הָיִ֖יתָ ...
3
votes
4answers
233 views

What is the proper translation of Breishit (Gen.) 40:16?

Beginning of Breishit 40:16: וירא שר האופים כי טוב פתר Does it mean: A - The head baker saw that he (Joseph) interpreted (the dream) well (i.e. correctly) or.... B- The head baker saw that he ...
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1answer
55 views

For how long was it customary to wear widow's garb and did Tomor follow the custom?

Tomor became a widow while Sheloh was still young Beraishis 38 (11) . Many days passed 38 (12). Tomor took off her widow's garb 38 (14) at the time that Sheloh had grown up and later put it on again ...
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votes
2answers
1k views

Why did Yaakov Avinu not ask G-d about where Yosef was?

Why did Yaakov Avinu not ask G-d about the whereabouts of Yosef during the 22 years that he was away? We know that G-d regularly spoke to Yaakov, so why wouldn't he use one of those opportunities to ...
3
votes
2answers
196 views

Joseph's Technicolor Dream Coat - Hand me down?

I had a theory, [which I subsequently found in Pirkei D'Rav Eliezer chapter 24] regarding the Coat that Yaakov gave to Yosef that engendered so much jealousy from the brothers Adam Harishon had a ...
2
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1answer
72 views

One Navi revealing themselves to another Navi

Rav Moshe Feinstein is quoted in Kol Ram asking why didn't Yosef reveal to his father that he is alive in Egypt. He answers that maybe one navi cannot reveal themselves to another navi without HaShem ...
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votes
3answers
896 views

Yosef sold into prostitution

I remember hearing of a source that states that Yosef was sold into prostitution, or some other form of sexual slavery, by his brothers, and not just plain slavery as is commonly assumed. Does such a ...
4
votes
2answers
97 views

source for Potiphar not believing his wife

I mentioned to someone a vort I once heard pointing out a difficulty in the story of Potiphar's wife. Why did Potiphar not have Yosef killed, which would be the expected punishment for attacking the ...
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votes
2answers
107 views

How is it that no one spots Potiphar's wife's lie?

There appears to be something strange about Potiphar telling people in her home that she called out in a loud voice. Genesis 39:14: וַתִּקְרָ֞א לְאַנְשֵׁ֣י בֵיתָ֗הּ וַתֹּ֤אמֶר לָהֶם֙ לֵאמֹ֔ר ...
4
votes
2answers
109 views

Who sells Yosef? Who brings him to Egypt?

Who sold Yosef to the Yishmaelim, is it the brothers or the Midyanim? And who sold him to Potifar in Egypt? The Yishmaelim or the Midyanim? (Medanim also appear in the text, but that might be the ...
3
votes
1answer
72 views

“We will say 'A bad animal ate him'” - What happened about stating that?

Genesis 37:20: וְעַתָּ֣ה ׀ לְכ֣וּ וְנַֽהַרְגֵ֗הוּ וְנַשְׁלִכֵ֙הוּ֙ בְּאַחַ֣ד הַבֹּר֔וֹת וְאָמַ֕רְנוּ חַיָּ֥ה רָעָ֖ה אֲכָלָ֑תְהוּ וְנִרְאֶ֕ה מַה־יִּהְי֖וּ חֲלֹמֹתָֽיו׃ Now, let us go and kill ...