Parsha Q&A - Parshat Miketz

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Parsha Q&A - Parshat Miketz

Parsha Q&A

Parshat Miketz

For the week ending 4 Tevet 5760; 10 & 11 December 1999

Contents:
  • Parsha Questions
  • Kasha
  • I Did Not Know That!
  • Recommended Reading List
  • Answers to Parsha Questions
  • Back issues of Parsha Q&A
  • Subscription Information
  • Ohr Somayach Home Page

  • This publication is also available in the following formats: [Text] [Word] [PDF] Explanation of these symbols


    Parsha Questions

    Answers | Contents

    1. What did the fat cows being eaten symbolize?
    2. How did Pharaoh's recollection of his dream differ from Nevuchadnetzar's recollection of his dream?
    3. What was significant about the fact that Pharaoh dreamed repeatedly?
    4. What does "Tsafnat Panayach" mean?
    5. What happened to the Egyptians' grain that was stored in anticipation of the famine?
    6. What did Yosef require the Egyptians to do before he would sell them grain?
    7. Did Yaakov and his family still have food when he sent his sons to Egypt? If yes, why did he send them?
    8. What prophetic significance lay in Yaakov's choice of the word "redu" "descend" (and not "lechu" "go")?
    9. Why does the verse say "Yosef's brothers" went down to Egypt (and not "Yaakov's sons")?
    10. When did Yosef know that his dreams were being fulfilled?
    11. Under what pretext did Yosef accuse his brothers of being spies?
    12. Why did the brothers enter the city through different gates?
    13. Who was the interpreter between Yosef and his brothers?
    14. Why did Yosef specifically choose Shimon to put in prison?
    15. How does the verse indicate that Shimon was released from prison after his brothers left?
    16. What was Yaakov implying when he said to his sons: "I am the one whom you bereaved?"
    17. How did Reuven try to persuade Yaakov to send Binyamin to Egypt?
    18. How long did it take for Yaakov and family to eat all the food that the brothers brought back from Egypt? Give the answer in terms of travel time.
    19. How much more money did the brothers bring on their second journey than they brought on the first journey? Why?
    20. How did the brothers defend themselves against the accusation of theft?


    Kasha

    (kasha means "question")

    How would you answer this question on the Parsha?

    Sue (Shoshana) Zakar wrote:

    When Rachel was hiding the idols she took from Lavan's house, and Lavan came looking for them, Yaakov said that whoever they were found with would die. Since Rachel indeed did die early, this is used as proof that the curse of a tzaddik (righteous person), even if unintentional, has an effect. A similar situation occurred when Yosef planted his goblet in Binyamin's sack and Yehudah said that the person in whose possession it was found would not live. Did Binyamin die at an early age? If not, then what was the difference between the two situations? I've asked a number of people, including several rabbis, about this and no one has found a definitive answer. I'm hoping you can help.

    Answer:

    Dear Sue (Shoshana) Zakar,

    Rachel actually took her father's idols, whereas Binyamin had not taken the goblet – it had been placed in his sack without his knowledge. Yehuda's intention was only for whoever took the goblet. Another difference between the two cases is that immediately after Yehudah uttered his curse, Yosef's servant refuted it by saying it should not come to fruition. This is in keeping with the rule that a statement is null if it is retracted immediately. Yaakov's curse, however, was never retracted.

    (Sefer Haparshiot)


    I Did Not Know That!

    Pharaoh's dream had five indications that it was a true portent of the future:

    • It was a repeated dream (once with cows, once with wheat).
    • It was a dream explained within a dream i.e., the vision of wheat explained the vision of cows: Wheat clearly represents the harvest, which clarified that the cows represented plowing, the first step towards harvest.
    • He dreamed it close to morning.
    • During the dream, Pharaoh experienced it as real; he didn't realize it was a dream until he woke up.
    • Pharaoh was disturbed by the dream even after waking.
    (Malbim)


    Recommended Reading List

    Ramban
    41:2-4
    Pharaoh's Dream
    41:33
    Strategy of Dream Interpretation
    42:8
    The Riddle of Recognition
    42:9
    Fulfilling the Dreams
    42:21
    The Guilt of a Hard Heart
    44:10
    Collective Guilt

    Sforno
    41:8
    The Magicians' Failure
    43:2
    Yaakov's Suspicion
    43:16
    Binyamin's Gifts
    44:16
    Admission of Guilt


    Answers to this Week's Questions

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

    1. What did the fat cows being eaten symbolize?
      41:4 - That all the joy of the plentiful years would be forgotten. (Not that the good years would provide food for the bad years.)

    2. How did Pharaoh's recollection of his dream differ from Nevuchadnetzar's recollection of his dream?
      41:8 - Pharaoh remembered the contents of his dream but didn't know its meaning. Nevuchadnetzar forgot even the contents of his dream.

    3. What was significant about the fact that Pharaoh dreamed repeatedly?
      41:32 - It showed that the seven good years would start immediately.

    4. What does "Tsafnat Panayach" mean?
      41:45 - He who explains things that are hidden and obscure.

    5. What happened to the Egyptians' grain that was stored in anticipation of the famine?
      41:55 - It rotted.

    6. What did Yosef require the Egyptians to do before he would sell them grain?
      41:55 - Become circumcised.

    7. Did Yaakov and his family still have food when he sent his sons to Egypt? If yes, why did he send them?
      42:1 - Yes, but he sent them because he did not want to cause envy in the eyes of those who did not have food.

    8. What prophetic significance lay in Yaakov's choice of the word "redu" "descend" (and not "lechu" "go")?
      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.

    9. Why does the verse say "Yosef's brothers" went down to Egypt (and not "Yaakov's sons")?
      42:3 - Because they regretted selling Yosef and planned to act as brothers by trying to find him and ransom him at any cost.

    10. When did Yosef know that his dreams were being fulfilled?
      42:9 - When his brothers bowed to him.

    11. Under what pretext did Yosef accuse his brothers of being spies?
      42:12 - They entered the city through 10 gates rather than through one gate.

    12. Why did the brothers enter the city through different gates?
      42:13 - To search for Yosef throughout the city.

    13. Who was the interpreter between Yosef and his brothers?
      42:23 - His son Menashe.

    14. Why did Yosef specifically choose Shimon to put in prison?
      42:24 - Because he was the one who cast Yosef into the pit and the one who said, "Here comes the dreamer." Alternatively, to separate him from Levi, as together they posed a danger to him.

    15. How does the verse indicate that Shimon was released from prison after his brothers left?
      42:24 - The verse says Shimon was bound "in front of their eyes," implying that he was bound only while in their sight.

    16. What was Yaakov implying when he said to his sons: "I am the one whom you bereaved?"
      42:36 - That he suspected them of having slain or sold Shimon, and that they may have done the same to Yosef.

    17. How did Reuven try to persuade Yaakov to send Binyamin to Egypt?
      42:37 - He said: "Kill my two sons if I fail to bring back Binyamin."

    18. How long did it take for Yaakov and family to eat all the food that the brothers brought back from Egypt? Give the answer in terms of travel time.
      43:2,10 - Twice the travel time to and from Egypt.

    19. How much more money did the brothers bring on their second journey than they brought on the first journey? Why?
      43:12 - Three times as much, in order to repay the money they found in their sacks and to buy more even if the price had doubled.

    20. How did the brothers defend themselves against the accusation of theft?
      44:8 - They said "We returned the money we found in our sacks; can it be that we would steal ?"


    Written and Compiled by Rabbi Eliyahu Kane & Rabbi Reuven Subar
    General Editor: Rabbi Moshe Newman
    Production Design: Eli Ballon


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