Parsha Q&A - Vayigash

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Parsha Q&A

Parshas Vayigash

For the week ending 11 Teves 5757; 20 & 21 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. Why did Yehuda say his missing brother died?
    2. Why did Yosef send everyone away before revealing his identity to his brothers?
    3. Why did Binyamin weep on Yosef's neck?
    4. Where did Pharaoh offer to settle Yaakov and his family?
    5. Why did Yosef send old wine to Yaakov?
    6. What did Yosef mean when he told his brothers "Don't dispute along the way?"
    7. What was the last subject Yaakov taught Yosef before Yosef was sold?
    8. Why did Hashem tell Yaakov, "Do not fear going down to Egypt" (46:9)?
    9. Hashem told Yaakov that He would bring him out of Egypt (46:4). To what did this allude?
    10. What happened to the property that Yaakov acquired in Padan Aram?
    11. Name Yaakov's two granddaughters.
    12. Shaul ben HaCanaanis is listed as one of Shimon's sons. Who was his mother?
    13. Where was Yocheved born?
    14. Yosef himself harnessed his own chariot, instead of letting a servant do it. Why?
    15. What did Yaakov do when Yosef appeared before him?
    16. Why were shepherds an abomination in the eyes of the Egyptians?
    17. What blessing did Yaakov give Pharaoh when he left his presence?
    18. How many years did the famine last in Egypt?
    19. Yosef resettled the land of Egypt, forcing the inhabitants to move from city to city. What were his two motives for doing so?
    20. Who were the kohanim whose fields were not bought by Yosef (47:22)?

    Bonus Question
    Last week we read that Yehuda said: "Behold, we are slaves to my lord; we, as well as the person in whose hand the goblet was found." Yosef replied: "G-d forbid I should do such a thing! Only the person in whose hand the goblet was found shall be my slave'."

    This week we read:"And Yehuda approached'."(44:16-18)

    Yehuda first offers all the brothers - including Binyamin - as slaves. But when Yosef declares his intention to free all of them except Binyamin, Yehuda protests, even speaking harshly. What accounts for this change in Yehuda's attitude?

    I Did Not Know That!

    "And Yosef provided his father, his brothers and his father's entire household with food enough for even the little children."(47:12)
    Little children need lots of food, because they crumble up more than they actually eat!

    Recommended Reading List

    Yehuda's Diplomacy
    Egyptian Reaction to Yosef's Brothers
    Yaakov's Disbelief
    The Lifetime Secret
    Hidden Miracles
    Who Cried?
    Yaakov's Age
    The Seven Lean Years
    Pharaoh's Invitation
    The Advantage of Exile

    Ohr HaChaim HaKadosh
    Why Yosef Didn't Tell Yaakov
    The Shechina in Mitzrayim

    Answers to this Week's Questions

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

    1. 44:20 - Yehuda was afraid that if he said that his missing brother was alive, Yosef would demand that he be brought to Egypt.
    2. 45:1 - He didn't want his brothers to be shamed publicly.
    3. 45:14 - Binyamin wept for the destruction of Mishkan Shilo built in Yosef's territory.
    4. 45:17 - In Goshen.
    5. 45:23 - Elderly people appreciate old wine.
    6. 45:24 - He warned that if they engage in halachic disputesthey might not be alert to possible travel dangers.
    7. 45:27 - The laws of the eglah arufa (the calf that has its neck broken).
    8. 46:3 - Because Yaakov was grieved to leave Eretz Canaan.
    9. 46:4 - That Yaakov would be buried in Eretz Canaan.
    10. 46:6 - He gave it to Esav in exchange for Esav's portion in the Cave of Machpelah.
    11. 46:7 - Serach bas Asher and Yocheved bas Levi.
    12. 46:10 - Dina bas Yaakov.
    13. 46:15 - Yocheved was born in Egypt.
    14. 46:29 - Yosef wanted to hasten to honor his father.
    15. 46:29 - He recited the Shema.
    16. 46:34 - Because the Egyptians worshipped sheep.
    17. 47:10 - That the waters of the Nile should rise to greet Pharaoh when he approached the river.
    18. 47:19 - Two years.
    19. 47:21 - In order to remind them that they no longer owned the land, and to help his family by removing the stigma of being 'strangers.'
    20. 47:22 - Egyptian priests.

    Bonus Question
    At first, Yehuda thought Hashem was punishing the brothers for their part in selling Yosef 22 years earlier. He reasoned that although Binyamin took no part in that sin, yet he was nonetheless included in the punishment being part of the group. Seeing Yosef's actions as part of a Heavenly decree, Yehuda felt intervention was useless.

    But when Yosef declared his intention to free everyone except for the innocent Binyamin, Yehuda realized Yosef's actions could not possibly be the result of a Heavenly decree, but rather were a direct result of Yosef's free will. Therefore, Yehuda took action.

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