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 ...
Y K's user avatar
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13 votes
Accepted

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

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 ...
user6591's user avatar
  • 33.4k
11 votes

Why does Rashi's explain "bread" as Putiferah's wife?

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 Translation: Neither ...
Fred's user avatar
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10 votes

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

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 ...
msh210's user avatar
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9 votes
Accepted

Yosef sold into prostitution

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). ...
sabbahillel's user avatar
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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 ...
mevaqesh's user avatar
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8 votes
Accepted

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

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 ...
David Kenner's user avatar
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7 votes

Yosef sold into prostitution

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 ...
user6591's user avatar
  • 33.4k
7 votes

What happened to Joseph's coat of many colors

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 ...
Schmerel's user avatar
  • 4,963
6 votes
Accepted

Joseph's Technicolor Dream Coat - Hand me down?

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 ...
Jay's user avatar
  • 6,477
6 votes
Accepted

Did Tamar marry a third time, and if so whom?

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 ...
Isaac Moses's user avatar
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6 votes
Accepted

Canaanite wives of the Bnei Ya'akov (Sefer HaYashar)

According to Pesahim 50a, the very premise of the question; that Jacob's sons married Canaanite women is wrong. Indeed, the very notion is so inconceivable that that the Talmud interprets Genesis (38:...
mevaqesh's user avatar
  • 35.4k
6 votes

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

Good question. (1) We each have two parents, four grandparents, eight great-grandparents, and the numbers keep growing exponentially in powers of two. So each one of us has A LOT of ancestors – ...
Maurice Mizrahi's user avatar
5 votes

How did the spices help?

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 ...
Y K's user avatar
  • 1,723
5 votes

How did the spices help?

A good answer is provided by Rav Chaim Shmulevitz zt"l in his Sichos Mussar, Maamar 16. He describes how Yosef had experienced a great deal of trauma - he was the 'ben zekunim' (the son of old ...
Dov's user avatar
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5 votes
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Explaining Rash"i regarding Tamar's actions on Breishit 38:25

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 ...
mevaqesh's user avatar
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5 votes

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

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): ...
רבות מחשבות's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

Why does the verse say that the brothers were jealous of Yosef's "dreams"?

Rabbeinu Avraham ben HaRambam (ad loc.) says verse 8 is also including Yosef's second dream (which isn't described until verse 9) as a cause for the brothers' additional hatred. Verse 8 anticipates ...
Fred's user avatar
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4 votes

How long was Yosef in prison?

According to Ibn Ezra and Bechor Shor, Joseph may have been in prison for only two years. Ibn Ezra Genesis 41:1 ויהי מקץ. לא פירש הכתוב תחלת זה החשבון וכן ויהי מקץ ארבעים שנה וכן ובעוד ששים וחמש שנה ...
Alex's user avatar
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4 votes

Joseph's Garment- Made or hand me down?

The מעם לעז says Yaakov avinu added the sleeves, which is why it says ועשה. Yaakov made the sleeves for the cloak which originally belonged to Adam HaRishon.
Tzvi Nash's user avatar
4 votes

"What shall become of his dreams?" - Q on Rash"i on Breishit 37:20

The rhetorical usage of "Oh yeah, we'll see what will be with that" is modern, but the proper usage of ונראה is the future tense, waiting to see what will happen as a result of their actions.
DanielEvalUlai's user avatar
4 votes

Who sells Yosef? Who brings him to Egypt?

If you simply read the "pshat" as recorded, it seems to work quite nicely (partly taken from Rav Menachem Leibtag). The brothers see Yishmaelim and therefore decide to sell Yosef. Before they get to ...
andrewmh20's user avatar
  • 2,461
4 votes
Accepted

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

Rav Hirsch and others do say that the brothers did not know that he was not in the pit until Reuven came back and told them. They then tried to cover themselves (in case he escaped and came back or ...
sabbahillel's user avatar
  • 42.9k
4 votes

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

See Targum Yehonatan: וַחֲמָא רַב נַחְתּוֹמֵי אֲרוּם יָאוּת פָּשָׁר דְהוּא חָמָא פּוּשְׁרַן חֵילְמָא דְחַבְרֵיהּ וְשָׁרֵי לְמַלָלָא בִּלְשׁוֹן רוּגְזָא וַאֲמַר לְיוֹסֵף אוּף אֲנָא הַוִית חָמֵי ...
kouty's user avatar
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4 votes

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

Rabbi Frand deals with this question. The Ohr HaChaim asks the question The Ohr HaChaim asks — how could this happen? There is a principle “Harm does not come to those sent on a mission to do a ...
sabbahillel's user avatar
  • 42.9k
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 ...
רבות מחשבות's user avatar
4 votes

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

Ralbag in his commentary there follows his general practice of listing the lessons derived from the Scriptural narrative. In this case he lists 17 lessons that are derived from the story of Judah. ...
Alex's user avatar
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4 votes

What was Tamar's capital crime?

Her trial was done by the fact that she was obviously pregnant and it was known that she had not married the son of Yehuda. Thus, as the daughter of a priest who had committed znus she was subject to ...
sabbahillel's user avatar
  • 42.9k
4 votes

What was Tamar's capital crime?

None. Baal HaTurim says "burning her" meant branding, not execution. If we accept Baal HaTurim's premise that the practice pre-Sinai was to punish failure-to-keep-the-family-name-alive with branding, ...
Shalom's user avatar
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