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18

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 5700-5800, Miketz is not on Chanukah 10 times. In 5703, 5706, 5710, 5730, 5733, 5737, 5757, 5761, 5781, and 5784, Miketz fell out on the 4th of Tevet, just ...


16

Chizkuni asks this and offers two answers: The reason the Egyptians were circumcised was because of the hunger of the famine. Yosef however was rich and therefore the only reason he would circumcise himself would be if he was Jewish. Although all the Egyptians were in fact circumcised, the brothers were not aware of this this and would recognize Yosef on ...


14

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 שהוא חי אמר היאך אגלה והקב"ה אינו רוצה לגלות לו The brothers had sat in court and adjudicated that anyone who would reveal to Yaakov what happened with Yosef ...


10

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 Talpios: They drank out of "Aimas Hamalchus" (fear of the king) C: He goes on to say that the brothers considered themselves as Bnai Noach and thus together with "...


10

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 to his aid. That way he will know it is truly Binyamin. מה ששם עלילה על בנימין, לפי שלא היה מכירו, וחשב אולי הביאו אסופי מן השוק, ואם יעליל עליו ואינו ...


10

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, אבל חשב כי היה תועה בשדה והמוצאים אותו לקחוהו ומכרו אותו אל מצרים He bases himself off Genesis (50:15-7) which states that after Yaakov's death the brothers ...


9

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 could merit via circumcision. The Y'fei To'ar commentary (ad loc. and on 91:5) explains this by saying that the Egyptians were steeped in sexual immorality, of ...


9

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 יַעֲקֹ֥ב אֲבִיהֶֽם And the spirit of their father Jacob was enlivened. Is rendered by Targum Onkelos as ושרת רוח קודשא על יעקב אבוהון The holy spirit [...


8

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 no message to his father to tell him he was alive, and made no attempt to contact him. Why not? He gave the following explanation: Yosef thought that his ...


8

The Ohr Hachaim answers that either this means that there was just enough left for a return trip to Egypt which is considered "finished" because they needed more, or alternatively what they brought from the previous trip to Egypt was finished but they still had some food that Yaakov saved for times of famine.


8

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 least as a rejected possibility: Yosef wanted to take revenge on his brothers for selling him. Besides for being an unacceptable interpretation because it makes ...


7

To at least answer 3: Rashbam points out that the donkeys have the food that is needed for the survival of their families back in Canaan. "They'll take us and our donkeys" means "our families will starve to death." In that culture, it was self-understood that "donkey" -> "packages." (On a somewhat related note, the halacha that the Torah's laws of damages ...


7

See Onkelos who translates the word kohen as rabba. Thus, governor, as you write. וִיהַב לֵיהּ יָת אָסְנַת בַּת פּוֹטִי פֶרַע רַבָּא דְּאוֹן Jastrow gives the meaning of kohen as officer, especially priest. See also II Shmuel 20:23: וְגַם, עִירָא הַיָּאִרִי, הָיָה כֹהֵן, לְדָוִד. and Ira also the Jairite was chief minister unto David. Even so, the ...


7

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 slaves. Another explanation that I saw once (don't remember where) is that he wanted to lessen the animosity towards his family (he was preparing the situation ...


7

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 had been so severe that they could not even manage a seed stock. Thus, had Yosef not provided another growing season worth of food, they would have starved. Had ...


7

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 image - he was standing on the chief god of Egypt, the Nile (Bereishis 41:1)! When he related this dream to others, he wanted to hide this point, and so he ...


6

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 he'd seen, he knew it was wrong. Y'de Moshe (commentary to the Midrash Raba there) explains that this interpretation didn't fit the dream very well, to Pharaoh'...


6

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 וְלָהֶם לְבַדָּם וְלַמִּצְרִים הָאֹכְלִים אִתּוֹ לְבַדָּם כִּי לֹא יוּכְלוּן הַמִּצְרִים לֶאֱכֹל אֶת הָעִבְרִים לֶחֶם כִּי תוֹעֵבָה הִוא לְמִצְרָיִם: And they set ...


6

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 to their family with the food that Yosef had given them. This is a general statement that is expanded in the details given in the following pesukim.


6

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 masculine singular and means "[he] will be known".


5

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 notes that despite being only one (albeit very large) family, the God and customs of the children of Yaakov were well known to the Egyptians, due to the tremendous ...


5

If the brothers knew about it, they would have known the reason - that they were forced to do it in order to obtain food. Yosef, as the second in command, would not have been forced due to his position (giving out the food to everyone else). So the fact that he was circumcised would have had to have been for a different reason. ברוך שכוונתי וכו


5

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 for an interpreter who showed himself to know what the dream was and meant. Pharaoh made slight changes in his relating of the dream, and Yosef identified this ...


5

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. To understand when and why they occur, see this Wikipedia article. Briefly, if the 1st day of Rosh Hashannah occurs on Shabbat, and the year is "deficient", ...


5

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 מכר, שברו לנו מעט אוכל, לשון קנין. ואל תאמר אינו כי אם בתבואה, שאף ביין וחלב מצינו, ולכו שברו בלא כסף ובלא מחיר יין וחלב (ישעיה נה, א.):‏ See also Ibn ...


5

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 "Midrashic ideas"). There are a number of indications that these cases are different (Yosef/Brothers is a judgment rather than a curse), here is a point-by-...


4

The Chizkuni addresses this, and explains that on the first occasion they were not with Yosef for an extended amount of time and would probably not pick up on the fact that he had been crying. However, on the second occasion they would be spending an entire meal together and it was more likely that they would notice he was crying and he therefore had to wash ...


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