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Rashi doesn't say that Yaakov figured it out from seeing the wagons. What he says is: סימן מסר להם במה היה עוסק כשפירש ממנו בפרשת עגלה ערופה זהו שאמר וירא את העגלות אשר שלח יוסף ולא אמר אשר שלח פרעה He gave them a sign – with what had he been engaged when he separated from him? With the topic of eglah arufah. This is what it says "and he saw the ...


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Shadal seems to say that Yaakov wouldn't mind if he would have died (46:30) הלואי ואמות עתה, כלומר אין רע אם אמות עתה, אחרי ראותי שאתה חי, ואם עתה אמות, אמות בשיבה טובה - I wish I would die now, meaning it wouldn't be bad to die now that I see you're alive. And if I die now then my death would be at a good, satisfying time Though Rashi quotes a Midrash ...


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I'll translate what he says and perhaps that will make it clearer. It seems that Yaakov didn't believe that Yosef had actually died, as he never saw him (subsequently?) in a dream/vision. Rather, he held that it must be that Yosef became mentally ill (lit: his mind was torn up), and he lives amongst the animals. Since there's an animal called a jackal ...


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