The Maharal (Gur Aryeh ibid) explains that the Gemara which says that a person will surely die in a pit full of snakes and scorpions is only when it is full of snakes and scorpions, but this pit just had a few.
The Ohr HaChaim explains that the brothers felt Yosef was deserving of death because he had testified falsely about them to their father in matters ...
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 ...
See the gemara in Yoma 22b.
This was orchestrated in order to ensure the longevity of his kingdom.
As Rabbi Yoḥanan said in the name of Rabbi Shimon ben Yehotzadak: One appoints a leader over the community only if he has a box full of creeping animals hanging behind him, i.e., he has something inappropriate in his ancestry that preceded him. Why is that? ...
I assume that the answer lies three p'sukim later:
אֵינֶנּוּ גָדוֹל בַּבַּיִת הַזֶּה מִמֶּנִּי וְלֹא-חָשַׂךְ מִמֶּנִּי מְאוּמָה כִּי אִם-אוֹתָךְ בַּאֲשֶׁר אַתְּ-אִשְׁתּוֹ
Neither has he kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife.
39:6 says Yosef had access to everything but Potifar's bread, and 39:9 says Yosef had ...
In Beraishis 41 (45) Osnat is mentioned as the daughter of Potifera. Rashi comments there on the change of name. He says:
Poti-phera: He is Potiphar, but he was called Poti-phera because he
became emasculated since he desired Joseph for homosexual relations. —
[from Sotah 13b].
So we see that he was not emasculated until he desired Joseph.
This immediately follows another statement of R. Kahana's, which also quoted an exegesis of R. Nasan b. Minyome's in the name of R. Tanchum. Quoting another statement from the same people is pretty common in the Bavli.
But there can be a deeper explanation also:
Tora T'mima (ad loc.) shows that the brothers must not have known that the pit had snakes and ...
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 [...
It would seem that at the time of Yosef's employment Potiphor was NOT a eunich based on the pasuk and Rashi Breshit Chapter 39 Pasuk 19
:וַיְהִי כִשְׁמֹעַ אֲדֹנָיו אֶת דִּבְרֵי אִשְׁתּוֹ אֲשֶׁר דִּבְּרָה אֵלָיו לֵאמֹר כַּדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה עָשָׂה לִי עַבְדֶּךָ וַיִּחַר אַפּוֹ
Now it came about when his master heard his wife's report that she spoke to him, ...
Your idea that Yaakov does not favor Binyamin as highly because he is a reminder of Rachel's death is suggested by the Chizkuni:
ואם תאמר הרי בנימין בן זקונים יותר, אלא אין אהבת בנימין קשורה בלבו של יעקב כאהבתו של יוסף, לפי שכשילדתו אמו מתה
Other commentators address this question as well:
R' Yosef Bechor Shor and Ralbag opine that
Yosef is called בן ...
פרקי דרבי אליעזר לז
See here: http://he.wikisource.org/wiki/%D7%A4%D7%A8%D7%A7%D7%99_%D7%93%D7%A8%D7%91%D7%99_%D7%90%D7%9C%D7%99%D7%A2%D7%96%D7%A8_%D7%A4%D7%A8%D7%A7_%D7%9C%D7%97
And a slightly different version cited by R' Kasher: http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=51482&st=&pgnum=168
Rav Hirsch says that we can't be sure of the true reason, but he suggests that (along the lines of his general approach to the story of the Sale of Joseph) perhaps Shechem, evoking memories of protecting Dinah and family unity, awakened feelings of fraternity, which they did not wish to stir up, and Dotan evoked some (unknown) association with justice, as ...
The Ramban is bothered by this as well, and makes the question stronger - the shevatim were not born that far apart from each other and really all of them could be a son of old age.
Rather he explains it as a son who serves the father in his old age, not who was born in the father's old age. The other brothers were off shepherding (and Binyomin was ...
Rashi (according to the Medrash he brings on posuk hey (Gen. 40:5) says "tov" here means "correctly". This is because each one dreamt his own dream (without its interpretation) and the correct interpretation of his friend's dream as well.
The Ramban says both pshatim. He brings Targum Unkelos who translates "tov" as "nicely". That means to say that the ...
Presumably, it was buried, because there is a Chiyuv D'Oraisa (biblical obligation) to bury the dead. It is a question in the Poskim of how much remains of the dead requires burial, but a significant amount certainly requires burial.
Yaakov was under the impression that the Kesonos Pasim had absorbed a lot of blood from the dead Yosef. That being case, he ...
Siftei Chachamim elaborates on both possibilities listed in this comment of Rashi:
יש אומרים לא הוסיף ויש אומרים לא פסק. ה"פ מ"ד לא הוסיף סבר דעתו של יהודה לא היה שיבא אליה אלא כדי להקים זרע על שם המת וכיון שקיים לא בא עליה עוד. ומ"ד לא פסק סבר כיון שראה יהודה שמתאוותה להוליד בנים ממנו והיה כוונתה לש"ש לכך לא פסק מלדעת:
Some say he did ...
The Sifsei Chachamim asks this question and answers that all the sons until Yosef were born within six years, whereas Binyamin wasn't born till many years later. As such, in the family dynamics, Yosef was the Ben Zkunim and was called this even after Binyamin was born, out of habit.
The Gur Aryeh seems to be the source for this and explains further that ...
The Jewish Virtual Library on Homosexuality states that
the Talmud records that the Egyptian Potiphar purchased Joseph "for
himself " (Sotah 13b), that is, for homosexual purposes (Rashi).
ArtScroll Gemara Sotah 13b2 and 14a1
Potiphar, a courtier of Pharoah, purchased him Rav said: This means that [Potiphar] bought [Yoseph] for himself, i.e. for ...
Pirkei Drebbi Eliezer (end of chapter 24) writes that Yaakov buried the coat after receiving the blessing from his father, in order to prevent it from returning to the hands of Eisav. I would assume that was the end of the line for the coat, though it could be argued that some time later he retrieved it at a time when he felt confident that Eisav wouldn't ...
Not that they sold him into the sex trade, but that they thought that is where he ended up due to his beauty. See Bereishis Rabba 91 6 here, when the brothers came to Mitzraim for food, they were also keeping their eyes out to find Yosef. They headed to the area where the prostitutes were, saying our brother Yosef is is beautiful, perhaps he is there. And as ...
Rashi doesn't say anything about the spices being helpful for getting over emotional trauma.
וגמליהם נושאים וגו' - למה פרסם הכתוב את משאם להודיע מתן שכרן של צדיקים שאין דרכן של ערביים לשאת אלא נפט ועטרן שריחן רע ולזה נזדמנו בשמים שלא יוזק מריח רע
He explains that they brought spices so that bad smell of their usual wares wouldn't bother him.
The source is the Talmud: Berakhot (43), Bava Metsia (59a) Ketubot (67b), Sotah (10b).
Regarding the question of protecting one's life overriding other concerns, the question is obviously whether this is one of the cardinal sins. The simple approach is that it isn't. Rambam, for example, doesn't mention this teaching at all. Apparently, like Meiri in Sotah ...
According to a Midrash here, he in fact passed her by, at which point she prayed to God that he should in fact sin with her. As summarized in the Da'as Zekeinim here (alhatorah.org translation):
ויחשבה לזונה – וכי מה איכפת ליה אלא בקש לילך לו נשאה עיניה למרום ואמרה רבון העולמים וכי לא אני זוכה להוציא חכם מגופו של צדיק זה מיד שלח לו הקב״ה מיכאל והחזירו כתיב ...
According to the Zohar (it is about a fifth of the way through the section read at a Brit Yitzhak, - you can see it here, the line starting with the words אבל תשכח דא כגון בר נש), the child is actually a reincarnation of the deceased brother.
The Malbim explains the story of Ovad's birth in this way:
וַתִּקַּח נָעֳמִי אֶת-הַיֶּלֶד וַתְּשִׁתֵהוּ ...
There may or may not be a practice to name the child of a Yibbum after the deceased brother; however, I don't think that the child is considered to be the child of the deceased brother in any way, shape or form.
וְהָיָה הַבְּכוֹר אֲשֶׁר תֵּלֵד יָקוּם עַל שֵׁם אָחִיו הַמֵּת וְלֹא
יִמָּחֶה שְׁמוֹ מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל
And it will be, that the ...
The Ibn Ezra chapter 37 verse 36 writes
שר הטבחים. תמצא זה הלשון על הרג ועל בישול. ודברי המתרגם נכונים.
We find the use of this word for killing and for cooking. And the words of the Targum are proper.
The fancy edition brings instances of these usages.
For the killing option he sends to Daniel 2 14 רב טבחיא די מלכא די נפק לקטלה לחכימי בבל.
For the ...
DanF got it right. "Tabach" means "butcher." Modern Hebrew has confused that with cooking a bit, a kitchen is called a "mitbach", again, old-fashioned cooks had to slaughter their own stuff.
As for the Sar Hatabachim, Ramban says we don't know if his job was butchering animals, or if he was an executioner! (The latter would make sense as the guy has his own ...
See Ibn Ezra on Breishit 40:4. I'm summarizing what he states:
שַׂר הַטַּבָּחִים had the jail in his house, and placed Joseph there in charge of the other two people because he remembered the good job that Joesph did watching over his own home. (Combine this with what was said in @DoubleAA's comment above - he doubted that what his wife said was true.)