For the week ending 21 December 2019 / 23 Kislev 5780

Parshat Vayeshev

Become a Supporter Library Library


  1. "These are the offspring of Yaakov: Yosef...." Give three reasons why Yosef is considered Yaakov’s main offspring.
  2. What was praiseworthy about the fact that Yosef’s brothers did not speak to him in a friendly manner?
  3. How do we see from Yosef’s dream about the sun, moon and stars that all dreams contain some untrue element?
  4. Who brought Yosef down to Egypt?
  5. Where was Reuven when Yosef was sold?
  6. In addition to the brothers, who else knew that Yosef was alive?
  7. Why didn't G-d reveal prophetically to Yaakov that Yosef was alive?
  8. For how long did Yaakov mourn the loss of Yosef?
  9. Verse 37:35 states "his father wept." To whom does this refer?
  10. Who was Tamar’s father?
  11. In what merit did Tamar deserve to have kings as her descendants?
  12. Why is the word "hand " mentioned four times in connection to the birth of Zerach?
  13. Why does the Torah relate the incident with Potiphar’s wife immediately after the incident of Yehuda and Tamar?
  14. How did Potiphar "see" that G-d was with Yosef?
  15. Who in this week’s Parsha pretended to be sick?
  16. Why were the butler and the baker imprisoned?
  17. For how long were the butler and the baker in prison?
  18. How did the baker know that Yosef had correctly interpreted the butler’s dream?
  19. What prompted the butler and baker to tell Yosef their dreams?
  20. How was Yosef punished for asking the butler for help?


All references are to the verses and Rashi’s commentary, unless otherwise stated.

  1. 37:2 - (a) Yosef was the son of Rachel, Yaakov’s primary wife. (b) Yosef looked like Yaakov. (c) All that befell Yaakov befell Yosef.
  2. 37:4 - They did not act hypocritically.
  3. 37:10 - The moon represented Rachel. Since she had already died, it was impossible for that element of the dream to come true.
  4. 37:28 - A caravan of Midianites.
  5. 37:29 - He was attending to Yaakov.
  6. 37:33 - Yitzchak.
  7. 37:33 - Because the brothers had issued a ban against revealing the truth to Yaakov, and G-d, so to speak, abided by their ban.
  8. 37:34 - Twenty-two years.
  9. 37:35 - Yitzchak, who wept because of Yaakov’s suffering.
  10. 38:24 - Shem.
  11. 38:26 - In the merit of her modesty.
  12. 38:30 - To allude to his descendent, Achan, who sinned with his hand by taking four things from the spoils of Jericho.
  13. 39:1 - To teach us that just as Tamar acted with pure motives, so did Potiphar’s wife.
  14. 39:3 - Yosef mentioned G-d’s name frequently in his speech.
  15. 39:11 – Potiphar’s wife.
  16. 40:1 - The butler was imprisoned because a fly was found in the king’s goblet, and the baker was imprisoned because a pebble was found in the king’s bread.
  17. 40:4 - Twelve months.
  18. 40:5 - The baker dreamed the interpretation of the butler's dream.
  19. 40:6 - Yosef asked them why they looked troubled.
  20. 40:23 - He remained in prison an additional two years.

© 1995-2024 Ohr Somayach International - All rights reserved.

Articles may be distributed to another person intact without prior permission. We also encourage you to include this material in other publications, such as synagogue or school newsletters. Hardcopy or electronic. However, we ask that you contact us beforehand for permission in advance at and credit for the source as Ohr Somayach Institutions

« Back to Parsha

Ohr Somayach International is a 501c3 not-for-profit corporation (letter on file) EIN 13-3503155 and your donation is tax deductable.