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18 votes
Accepted

What's the point of a haftorah for Miketz if it's always Shabbat Chanukah?

Actually, Miketz does not always fall out on Chanukah. It appears that whoever told me that was mistaken. :) I ran some code (using my JavaScript Hebcal API) and discovered that in the 100 years from ...
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14 votes
Accepted

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

Rashi on Bereishis 37:33 says חיה רעה אכלתהו - נתנצה בו רוח הקדש (ב"ר) סופו שתתגרה בו אשת פוטיפר ולמה לא גלה לו הקב"ה לפי שהחרימו וקללו את כל מי שיגלה ושתפו להקב"ה עמהם (תנחומא) אבל יצחק היה יודע ...
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11 votes

Do any commentaries explain the charade that Yosef put the brothers through as done with bad intention?

Rav Chaim Yaakov Goldvicht ZT"L (Rosh Yeshiva of Kerem B'Yavneh) had an interesting explanation. For 20 years he was bothered by the question - for years, Yosef served as viceroy of Egypt, and sent ...
11 votes

Why not send a substitute for Benyamin (sources)?

Chizkuni 44:2 says that actually Yosef was unconvinced it was Binyamin and felt that perhaps it was a stranger from the street. Therefore he hid the goblet by Binyamin to see if the brothers will come ...
10 votes
Accepted

How could the brothers drink with Yosef?

Imrei Baruch says the following answers to your question. A: Chizkuni - The brothers drank since at that moment there was no Gezaira (decree) yet for Stam Yainom (non-Jewish wine). B: Medrosh ...
10 votes
Accepted

Did Jacob ever figure out what the Brothers did to Joseph?

Ramban (Genesis 45:27) writes that according to the peshat, it does not appear that Yaakov ever found out what happened to Yosef: יראה לי על דרך הפשט שלא הוגד ליעקב כל ימיו כי אחיו מכרו את יוסף, ...
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9 votes

Why does Yosef command the Egyptians to circumcise

B'reishis Rabba (90:6) indicates that Yosef's decree was designed to provide the Egyptians not only with life in this world, via physical sustenance, but with life in the World to Come which they ...
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9 votes

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

According to the Hazal, Yaakov lost his prophecy the entire time that Yosef was gone. The verse describing Jacob's reaction to being told that Joseph was alive (Gen. 45:27): וַתְּחִ֕י ר֖וּחַ ...
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8 votes

Why did Yosef cause so much anguish to his family?

Like with so many of these questions, there are several approaches as to how to deal with this issue: While this approach is rejected by every commentator I've seen, I think it's worth mentioning at ...
7 votes

Why does Yosef command the Egyptians to circumcise

One explanation, given by the Lubavitcher Rebbe, paraphrased here, is that he thought his position as viceroy made them in a subservient position and obligated in circumcision just like all Jewish ...
  • 31.5k
7 votes
Accepted

Joseph's interpretation of 7 years of famine - was his prediction false?

Even though the famine ended when Yaakov gave the bracha to Par'o (Ramban) they still needed food during the growing season and they needed seeds to plant for the new season. Up until now, the famine ...
  • 42.2k
7 votes

Why did Pharaoh believe Joseph's dream interpretation?

I heard the following explanation from R' Rivlin, Mashgiach of Kerem B'Yavneh (although I'm sure it's found in earlier sources somewhere): Pharaoh had a dream in which there was a startling heretical ...
6 votes

How could the brothers drink with Yosef?

Update: The answer below deals with yayin nesech and does not speak about "Stam Yanom" because it did not apply at thet time. Note that it says in 43:32 it says וַיָּשִׂימוּ לוֹ לְבַדּוֹ ...
  • 42.2k
6 votes

Why didn't Yosef's brothers recognize him?

The Gemara itself asks this question (Kesuvos 25b) and answers that Yosef didn't have a beard when he left them, but had grown a full beard in the time since. Regarding those Gemaras, R. Hirsch ...
6 votes

Why was Pharaoh displeased?

The Y'fe Soar (commentary to the Midrash Raba 89:6) explains that Pharaoh saw the interpretation of the dream in the dream itself but forgot it. Since this interpretation didn't remind him of the one ...
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6 votes

What did the brothers do in Gen. 42:20?

Rav Hirsch comments they had no choice, they could not do otherwise That is, this is a general statement that the brothers realized that they could do nothing except leave Shimon behind and return ...
  • 42.2k
6 votes
Accepted

What is the dot in this vav?

It's a Dagesh Forte which indicates gemination of the consonant "w". So the word would be read something like Yiwwadha' with a prolonged /w/ sound. The word is in passive future third-person ...
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5 votes

Why was Pharaoh displeased?

I heard the following approach from R' Rivlin, Mashgiach of Kerem b'Yavneh. Pharaoh was looking for more than just a clever interpretation based on the art of dream interpretation - he was looking ...
5 votes

What's the point of a haftorah for Miketz if it's always Shabbat Chanukah?

Supplemental to the answer, above, that lists the specific years, here's the general scenario: The months of Cheshvan and Kislev can have either 29 or 30 days, each, and there are 3 configurations. ...
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5 votes
Accepted

Why is food in Parashat Miketz called shever

Food is not called shever, as production or benefit may be grain, despite that grain is not called production or benefit. See Rashi Genesis 41, 56: שבר לשון מכר ולשון קנין הוא, כאן משמש לשון ...
  • 22.4k
5 votes

Why didn't Binyamin die?

Excellent question. Note that R' Yosef Ibn Caspi makes the connection between these two Pesukim as well (although he doesn't mention the same idea as Rashi, nor does he generally subscribe to similar ...
5 votes

Yossef's brothers - not learning from previous experience?

The Malbim 44:3 does note that Yosef was concerned that they would check their bags, so he decided to have their bags filled during the night and set them off in the early morning when they wouldn't ...
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4 votes

How did Yosef showing his circumcision prove anything?

The Taz asks this question in his Divrei Dovid and answers that Yosef had not actually attempted to have the Egyptians circumcise themselves, he was merely proving to them to what extent they were ...
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4 votes

How was Yosef allowed to practice divination?

The Midrash tells how Yosef used the knowledge he had of his brothers to fool them into thinking he was an expert diviner. He would look into his cup as if he was divining and tell them personal facts ...
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4 votes
Accepted

If Yosef didn't recognize each individual brother, how did he know who Shim'on was?

In the verse immediately following, the Sforno Genesis 42:8 says that after that he did recognize each individual brother. ויכר יוסף את אחיו. אחד לאחד אחר כך
4 votes

Joseph and imprisoning his brothers - Is he changing his mind?

According to Rav Hirsch and others the entire setup (including the apparent change of mind) was part of his plan. Rav Hirsch points out that he did this to impress on them the seriousness of their ...
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4 votes

Why is food in Parashat Miketz called shever

Note that there are meforshim who explain this as "goods food sold at retail". which is why Yosef is called hamashbir (the retail distributor) which is the name of a supermarket chain in Israel. That ...
  • 42.2k
4 votes

Dream interpreting - Why did Paroh need Yosef?

Medrash Hagodol - Mikeitz - page 625 says that Yosef asked Paroh how did he know that the advisors did not interpet the dream properly? Paroh told him that he saw the interpretation in the dream and ...
4 votes

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

After a quick look through the Mefarshim (Bereishis 41:33), I don't believe any of them would hold like what you suggest. Almost all commentaries understand Yosef's suggestion to Pharaoh as part of ...
4 votes

Why did one brother find the money en route, and not the others?

The question becomes even more complex when we examine Ber. 43: 19-21: "So they drew near the man who was over Joseph's house, and they spoke to him at the entrance of the house. And they said, "...
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