Weekly Reading Insights: Miketz  

Overview of the Weekly Reading

Torah: Genesis 41:1-44:17, Numbers 7:54-89;   Haftorah: I Kings 7:40-50 (Chanukah)

 

FROM THE CHASSIDIC REBBES MOSHIACH THIS WEEK

"It came to pass at the end of two years (shnatayim yamim)" (41:1)
It often happens that a person reaches the end of his allotted years on earth, only to discover that he was essentially "sleeping" (shnatayim - related to the word "sheina," "sleep") through all his "yamim"-"days."
(Rabbi Meir of Premishlan)

"He woke up...and behold, it was a dream." (41:7)
There are two kinds of dreamers: those who know that they are only dreaming but enjoy the dream anyway, and those who do not realize that they are dreaming and mistake it for reality. The first type of person is able to distinguish between truth and falsehood, and realizes that his dream is deceptive. But the second kind cannot make this distinction, and holds his delusion to be true.
(Rabbi Yosef-Yitzchak Schneersohn - sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe)

"And they rushed him from the dungeon." (41:14)
Yosef was imprisoned for twelve years and during that whole time no one troubled to release him. But when the moment arrived that G-d decreed for him to go free, then immediately: "they rushed him from the dungeon"; his redemption was not delayed for even an instant. One minute before, he was a humiliated prisoner, the next he was dressed splendidly and standing before the king and ministers. Similarly, when the moment for us to be redeemed from Diaspora and the Exile arrives, G-d will not allow a delay of even a fraction of a second, but will immediately redeem us by bringing Mashiach instantly. May it happen speedily, in our times.
(HaChofetz Chaim - translated from Sichat HaShavua #53)

"Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they rushed him from the dungeon" (41:14)
As our Sages note, Joseph was freed from prison on Rosh Hashana. Similarly, every Jew possesses an aspect of "Joseph the righteous," an inner core that can never be sullied or tarnished. Unfortunately, for most of the year this essence is "imprisoned" within the body's corporeal nature. But on Rosh Hashana, when a Jew accepts the yoke of G-d's kingship, his inner essence is liberated and revealed.
(Der Torah Kval -from L'Chaim #597)

"Pharaoh called Joseph's name Tzafnat Panei'ach." (41:45)
As Rashi explains, Tzafnat means "hidden things," and Panei'ach means "he reveals" - i.e., Joseph was able to explain things that were hidden. Why, then, didn't Pharaoh call Joseph Panei'ach Tzafnat, which would have been more logical? To teach us that the real reason Joseph was able to interpret dreams was as a reward for concealing his righteousness. Because Joseph conducted himself in a humble and unassuming manner, "Tzafnat," he merited the gift of "Panei'ach."
(Sefat Emet)

"The name of the second he called Ephraim: for G-d has caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction." (41:52)
With these words Joseph alluded to the very purpose of the exile - "the advantage of light that arises from the midst of darkness." For it was precisely through the descent into Egypt that the Jewish people attained the greatest elevation - an ascent that would have been impossible if not for their sojourn in the "land of affliction."
(Likutei Sichot)

"Yaakov learned that there were provisions in Egypt" (42:1)
Yaakov saw that there were sparks of extremely elevated holiness in Egypt that fell there at the time of the "breaking of the vessels" and this is the meaning of "provisions in Egypt" [the Hebrew term used here for provisions-shever- is the same as the word for 'break']. This is why he told his sons to go to Egypt, in order to elevate those sparks to their divine source.
(from the Maggid of Mezritch -translated from Sichat HaShavuah 207)

"They bowed before him...and he made himself strange." (42:6,7)
It was not out of malice that Joseph didn't want his brothers to recognize him immediately. On the contrary, it was because of his great love for them that he tried to postpone the moment of truth for as long as possible, for he knew his brothers would surely be humiliated to see how his dreams had been fulfilled.
(Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Bertichev)

"He said to them: You are spies." (42:9)
Of all the possible accusations he could level against them, why did Joseph accuse his brothers of espionage? Joseph was afraid his brothers would utilize their visit to Egypt to investigate his whereabouts. By accusing them of being spies, he prevented them from asking too many questions. For no one who is accused of espionage is likely to make too many inquiries about a head of state...
(Rabbi Avraham of Pshischa)

"He sought to weep, and he entered his room and he wept there...and he restrained himself." (43:30-31)
The soul "weeps" because it does not want to be imprisoned in a body; it abhors its fleshly confinement and longs to be reunited with G-d. Nonetheless, it "restrains" itself and overcomes its inclination, recognizing that G-d wants the body and soul to work in tandem to observe His mitzvot.
(Ohr HaTorah - from L'Chaim #548)

"Put my goblet-the silver goblet-at the top of the youngest one's pack." (44:2)
By framing Benjamin, Joseph was creating a situation where his brothers could atone for their sin of selling him. When the brothers would put their own lives at risk to save Benjamin, it would be as if they were doing so to save Joseph. They would thereby undo their crime against Joseph, by doing the exact opposite. This would remove from them the negative repercussions of their sin.
[Lubavitcher Rebbe Chumash]

They had left the city, had not gone far out of the city, and Joseph said to his house steward, "Get up, chase after the men." (44:4)
The Torah emphasizes the fact that they had not gone far. When a person travels to another city, he is supposed to recite tefilat haderech, the traveler's prayer, in order to protect himself from unpleasant occurrences. It is to be recited when one is already outside of the city. Joseph sent his servant out after them before they had a chance to recite the prayer and gain protection from it.
(Rabbi Avraham Mordechai of Gur)

"What can we say…G-d has uncovered our guilt." (44:16)
The brothers knew they didn't steal, but since G-d arranged events in such a way that they were suspected of stealing, they realized that there must be guilty of something like theft. And this was that they "stole their father's mind" (deceived him) in connection with the selling of Yosef.
(from Mei Shiloach -translated from Sichat HaShavuah 468)




 

 


(There are three sets of two dreams in this Reading.)
Our current "reality" is a dream, while the world of Mashiach is the true reality. In a single moment, we can all wake up from the dream of exile and open our eyes to the true reality of our existence - the perfect world of Mashiach. Everyone can immediately awaken himself from his dream, so that today, before we even say the afternoon prayers, in fact this very moment, we all open our eyes and see Mashiach, in the flesh, with us, here.
(Lubavitcher Rebbe-from L'Chaim 882)

"At the end (keitz) of two years…" (Gen. 41:4)
Hashem set the time (keitz) in advance for when Yosef would be set free. Hashem also set the time for when everything else will happen. He set the time for the Geulah (Mashiach redemption); the time for techiyas hameisim (when the dead will come back to life); and the time when He will take away the yetzer hara (evil impulse). The same way Yosef's time came, so too our time will come, and we will have Mashiach and the redemption very, very soon!
(Reprinted with permission from L'Chaim Magazine -www.lchaim.org)

"Pharaoh sent and summoned Joseph, and they rushed him from the dungeon"..."And Pharaoh said to Joseph, "See, I have set you in charge over all the land of Egypt." (Gen. 41:14)
The Jewish people is presently in the dungeon of a harsh and bitter exile; for many years we have been bound and fettered by its shackles. But just as Joseph went directly from confinement to rulership, so, too, our whole nation will speedily leave the prison of exile and simultaneously ascend to the status of royalty with the full and Final Redemption.
(The Lubavitcher Rebbe - Reprinted with permission from L'Chaim Magazine [www.lchaim.org])

"G-d is all ready and is in a rush to do it." (41:32)
Pharoah saw two dreams with the same idea: one with two kinds of cows and one with bushels of wheat. Why did he have to see the same dream twice? Yosef explained to him that he saw the dream two times because, "G-d is all ready and is in a rush to do it."
The expression "ready" is also used in another verse, in Michah. G-d told the prophet Micah that Jerusalem and the place for the Holy Temple is also ready. And when Redemption comes, G-d will rebuild it very quickly.
[From Discover Moshiach in the Weekly Torah Portion, as posted on Mashiach.org]

"The name of the second he called Ephraim: for G-d has caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction." (41:52)
With these words Joseph alluded to the very purpose of the exile - "the advantage of light that arises from the midst of darkness." For it was precisely through the descent into Egypt that the Jewish people attained the greatest elevation - an ascent that would have been impossible if not for their sojourn in the "land of affliction."
(Likutei Sichot)

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