Parsha Q&A - Miketz

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Parsha Q&A

Parshas Miketz

For the week ending 4 Teves 5757; 13 & 14 December 1996

  • Parsha Questions
  • Bonus Question
  • I Did Not Know That!
  • Recommended Reading List
  • Answers to Parsha Questions
  • Answer to Bonus Question
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    Parsha Questions

    Answers | Contents
    1. How many different dreams did Pharaoh have? (Warning: Trick question!)
    2. How did some of Pharaoh's advisors misinterpret his dream?
    3. How did Pharaoh's recollection of his dream differ from Nevuchadnetzar's recollection of his dream?
    4. What was significant about the fact that Pharoah dreamed repeatedly?
    5. What is the significance of the king giving someone his ring?
    6. Pharaoh gave Yosef the name 'Tsofnas Panayach.' What did that name mean?
    7. Whom did Yosef marry?
    8. What happened to the Egyptians' grain that was stored in anticipation of the famine?
    9. What did Yosef require the Egyptians to do before he would sell them grain?
    10. What prophetic significance lay in Yaakov's choice of the word 'redu' - 'descend' (and not 'lechu' - go), when telling his sons to go to Egypt?
    11. Under what pretext did Yosef accuse his brothers of being spies?
    12. Why did the brothers enter the city through different gates?
    13. What language did the brothers use when speaking to Yosef?
    14. Why did Yosef place Shimon in prison?
    15. Which of the brothers found money in his sack first?
    16. How did Reuven try to persuade Yaakov to send Binyamin to Egypt?
    17. When did Yehuda approach Yaakov about bringing Binyamin to Egypt?
    18. How much more money did the brothers bring on their second journey than they brought on the first journey? Why?
    19. For whom did Binyamin name his ten children?
    20. When the brothers were accused of stealing Yosef's silver goblet, they refuted the claim with the logical principle known as Kal V'chomer. What did they say?
    Bonus Question
    "And the bad-looking, thin-fleshed cows ate the sevenbeautiful, healthy cows...." (41:4)
    "And the thin stalks swallowed the seven healthy, full stalks....(41:7)
    Why, when recounting Pharaoh's dream, does the Torah use the number 'seven' to describe the good cows, but omits it when referring to the bad cows? And the same question can be asked about the stalks?

    I Did Not Know That!

    As viceroy of Egypt, Yosef made three decrees:
    1. That no one export more than one donkey laden with food at any one time.
    2. That no one send a servant to buy food for his household; rather, the head of the household must be the one to buy the food.
    3. That everyone entering Egypt write his name and his father's name in a ledger.
    Every day, these ledgers were brought to Yosef. Thus Yosef ensured that his brothers themselves would all come to Egypt and that he would be immediately aware of their arrival.
    Midrash Rabba

    Recommended Reading List

    Pharaoh's Dream
    Strategy of Dream Interpretation
    The Riddle of Recognition
    Fulfilling the Dreams
    The Guilt of a Hard Heart
    Collective Guilt
    The Magicians' Failure
    Yaakov's Suspicion
    Binyamin's Gifts
    Admission of Guilt

    Answers to this Week's Questions

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

    1. 41:25 - One. Yosef told Pharaoh that his dream was a single, repeated dream.
    2. 41:10 - They said "Seven daughters you will bear, seven daughters you will bury."
    3. 41:8 - Pharaoh remembered the contents of his dream but didn't know its meaning. Nevuchadnetzar forgot even the contents of his dream.
    4. 41:32 - It showed that the seven good years would start immediately.
    5. 41:42 - It shows that he is second in rank to the king.
    6. 41:45 - He who explains things that are hidden and obscure.
    7. 41:45 - Osnat, the daughter of Potiphar.
    8. 41:55 - It rotted.
    9. 41:55 - Become circumcised.
    10. 42:2 - It hinted to the 210 years that the Jewish people would be in Egypt: The word 'redu' has the numerical value of 210.
    11. 42:12 - They entered the city through ten different gates rather than through one gate.
    12. 42:13 - To search for Yosef throughout the city.
    13. 42:23 - Hebrew.
    14. 42:24 - To separate him from Levi, because together they posed a danger to him.
    15. 42:27 - Levi.
    16. 42:38 - Reuven said: "You can kill my two sons if I fail to bring Binyamin back to you."
    17. 43:2 - When the grain they had purchased in Egypt was finished.
    18. 43:12 - Triple. This was in order to repay the money they found in their sacks. The rest of the money was to buy more food, in case the price had doubled.
    19. 43:30 - For Yosef.
    20. 43:8 - They said "Look, the money we found in our sacks we returned; therefore, how can it be that we would actually steal from you!"

    Bonus Question
    Although destined for seven years, the famine ended when Yaakov came to Egypt and blessed Pharaoh (Rashi 47:7,19). Hence, the Torah omits the word seven in reference to the bad cows and the bad stalks. This hints that the bad years would be no more than two. Nevertheless, those two years would be severe enough to 'swallow up' any trace of the seven good years.
    Ha'emek Davar

    Written and Compiled by Rabbi Eliyahu Kane & Rabbi Reuven Subar
    General Editor: Rabbi Moshe Newman
    Production Design: Lev Seltzer
    HTML Design: Michael Treblow
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