14 p'sukim - 41:1-14
Par'o has two dreams - 7 emaciated cows consuming 7 fat cows without showing the effect of their "meal", and 7 scorched ears of grain consuming 7 fat, good ears. These dreams upset him very much. He summons his counselors who fail to ease his mood with their unsatisfactory interpretations. The wine steward remembers Yosef and approaches Par'o with his story. "With us therewas this Jewish kid..." Par'o orders Yosef's removal from prison and Yosef is prepared to meet Par'o.
[SDT] Rashi points out (actually, he curses) that wicked people, even when they are acknowledging good that was done on their behalf, will belittle those to whom they owe a debt of gratitude. The Wine Steward refers to Yosef as a NA'AR (connotation of a fool), IVRI (a foreigner who doesn't belong amongst us), EVED (a slave unworthy of leadership).
[SDT] There is a Tradition that Yosef was "remembered" on Rosh HaShana and removed from prison to the palace of the king. What happened to Yosef was part of the Divine Plan for enslavement and subsequent redemption of Bnei Yisrael. This gives Rosh HaShana one of its claims to be called ZEICHER LITZI'AT MITZRAYIM, commemorative of the Exodus, as we say in Kiddush.
[SDT] Meiketz is THE Chanuka sedra. 70.5% of the time, it is read on the single Shabbat Chanuka. 18.4% of the time, it is read on the second of the two Shabbatot Chanuka. Only 10.1% of the time is it not read on Chanuka, but the very next day (as it is this year). But Mikeitz is still THE Chanuka sedra. There is an elaborate REMEZ to Chanuka from Mikeitz that uses It involves the first several p'sukim in the sedra, letter by letter, forming RASHEI TEIVOT, the initial letters of a summary of the laws of Chanuka.
The number of words in Mikeitz is given as 2025, which is NER (numeric value of candle) times 8 plus 25 for the 25th of Kislev. (Our count of the words is 2022 - I have no explanation for the discrepency.) One commentary sees in the description of the scrawny cows devouring the fat cows an allusion to one of the miracles of Chanuka - You gave over the mighty into the hands of the weak.
Second Aliya - 24 p'sukim - 41:15-38
Third Aliya - 14 p'sukim - 41:39-52
Par'o called Yosef TZOFNAT PA'NEI'ACH, not an easy name to explain. Commentaries offer a variety of explanations as to its meaning. In his unique style, R. Yaakov Auerbach z"l, in L'ORA SHEL TORAH, offers a few numeric suggestions, including this one... The name itself equals 90+80+50+400 (620) + 80+70+50+8 (208) = 828. The Torah says "And Yosef, he is the ruler..." (42:6). V'YOSEF HU HASHALIT = 6+10+6+60+80 (162) + 5+6+1 (12) + 5+300+30+10+9 (354) = 528. Even Par'o recognized that Yosef was instilled with RU'ACH ELOKIM, the Spirit of G-d. 200+6+8 (214) 1+30+5+10+40 (86) = 300. Yosef is the ruler of the land (528) who was guided by the Divine Spirit (300) was 528+300=828 = TZOFNAT
Fourth Aliya - 23 p'sukim - 41:53-42:18
Meanwhile, Yaakov, aware that there is food in Egypt, sends "the brothers" to buy provisions. (Only Binyamin remains at home.)
[SDT] Actually, the Torah says that Yaakov SAW that there was plenty... Rashi asks: What is the meaning of SAW; would not HEARD have been more accurate? Rashi answers that Yaakov SAW in a prophetic-like vision that there was plenty in Egypt. Rashi adds that this was not full, clear prophecy, as Yaakov still did not SEE that Yosef was on the scene.
[SDT] The Gemara in Taanit says that Yaakov and family were still well-supplied with food at this stage in the famine. Yet he sent them to Egypt, rather than inflame the jealousy of others. When others have not, it is improper to flaunt what you have.
Yosef sees his brothers, recognizes them, (they do not recognize him,) and remembers his dreams. He treats them harshly and accuses them of being spies. They deny the charges and tell Yosef of their family history and honorable intentions.
[SDT] Rashi says that the brothers (unknowingly) uttered a true, prophetic statement when they said "we are all the sons of one man". Consciously, they were talking about themselves. But the statement is very true when Yosef is included - We are ALL...
Yosef proposes a test of their sincerity - they must bring their younger brother down to him. He locks them up for 3 days to "think things over".
[SDT] B'ZOT - with this you shall be tested. Yosef said that the children of Israel will be tested B'ZOT. B'ZOT = 2+7+1+400 = 408. The three major "tools" to achieve forgiveness from G-d are T'FILA, T'SHUVA, TZEDAKA. This is what we say in Musaf of Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur. Some machzorim have another set of words printed above these three. They are not said, but they are there. Prayer = KOL (voice). Repentance is aided by TZOM (fasting). And TZEDAKA is performed with MAMON (money). Each of these three words is numerically equal to 136. 100+6+30 = 90+6+40 = 40+40+6+50. The identical G'matriya of the synonyms speaks of an equality of significance in the quest for Divine forgiveness. Add them up and you find 136+136+136 = 408.
B'ZOT TIBACHEINU - This is how we are tested - with Prayer, Repentance, and Acts of Kindness are the Children of Israel tested.
Fifth Aliya - 35 p'sukim - 42:19-43:15
Yaakov laments the loss of Yosef and now Shimon and announces that he will not risk losing Binyamin as well. He refuses to permit his sons to return to Egypt, in spite of (or because of) Reuven's ridiculous suggestion that his own sons be put to death if anything happens to Binyamin.
[SDT] The Gemara says that the curse of a wise (righteous?) person, even made conditional, comes true (in some way or other). Reuven offered that his sons should die if Binyamin is not returned. The offer was refused. Binyamin did return to his father. Nonetheless, Reuven said something he should not have said. His "two sons" are seen as referring to two famous descendants of Reuven who DID die - Datan and Aviram. One has to be exceedingly careful of what one says!
The famine in Canaan intensifies and Yaakov finally agrees to entrust Binyamin into the hands of Yehuda for the return trip to Egypt. Yaakov gives them twice as much money as they will need and sends gifts of the finest spices to the "Egyptian leader". Yaakov blesses his sons; they return to Egypt and present themselves to Yosef.
Sixth Aliya - 14 p'sukim - 43:16-29
The brothers bow to Yosef, thus fulfilling the essence of his dreams. Yosef sees Binyamin, asks about him and blesses him.
Seventh Aliya - 22 p'sukim - 43:30-44:17
He sends the brothers on their way to Canaan, and then sends his "man" after them to accuse them of stealing the cup. The brothers are appalled by the accusation and pledge that if the cup is found with them, the "guilty" party shall be put to death and the others would become slaves to Yosef. Yosef offers to enslave only the guilty one; the others would be free to go. The search reveals that Binyamin has the cup. Yehuda, as spokesman, offers that all should become slaves. Yosef insists that only Binyamin should remain; the others should return to their father.
Once again, the brothers can go to Yaakov - without one of Rachel's sons and claim extenuating circumstances. The potential for real T'shuva. Will the brothers see this as an opportunity to save themselves and claim that they were powerless to do anything, or will they stand up to this enigmatic ruler of Egypt and be prepared to fight for Binyamin. In classic "cliffhanger" style, the parsha ends with this question. One must stay tuned to the same station, same time next week, for the answer.
And they drank together and got drunk. On this, Rashi says that neither the brothers nor Yosef drank wine from the day of the Sale of Yosef until this day of family reunion.
In discussing this Rashi with Rabbi Chaim Eisen, he mentioned that he could understand why Yosef was joyful enough to drink wine once again, but why would the brothers? Perhaps they felt fearful of offending their fickle host, or perhaps they were glad to find Shimon intact.
15 p'sukim -M'lachim Alef 3:15-4:1
Shlomo HaMelech awakens from a dream (in which G-d offered him anything he wants. He asks for an understanding heart. G-d tells Shlomo that because he didn't ask for wealth or honor or long life, that he shall receive all of that in addition to great wisdom and understanding). The parentheses is based on the text right before our Haftara begins. Shlomo awakes from the dream and goes to Yerushalayim to offer korbanot and to make a party for his servants.
Two women (unwed mothers, shall we say) appear before him for judgment. The two women share a house and both gave birth to sons within three days of each other. No one else lived in their house. One of the women claims that the other accidentally smothered her son one night and then took her live baby and substituted the dead child for it. The other woman claims that the living child is hers. The king summarizes the case as each woman claiming that hers is the living child and that the dead child is the other's.
Shlomo then calls for a sword and commands that the baby be cut in two and each women receive half. One woman, the real mother, was overcome with feelings for her child and begs the king not to kill it, but rather to give it to the other women. The other women says that it is better that neither of us have him. The king pronounces the first woman as the true mother. All of Israel hears of the king's judgment and are in awe of the Divine wisdom he obviously has. And Shlomo HaMelech was king over all of Israel.
Rabbi Jacobs in A Haftara Companion points out similarities and differences between the parsha and its haftara. Two different kings have dreams, but their reactions to them are very different. Both kings seem to have been surpirised and astonished by their dreams and the clarity of what took place in them. Commentaries say that neither was aware that he was dreaming until awakening. In both sedra and Haftara, there is the issue of the Divine Spirit – recognized in Yosef who interprets Par'o's dreams and in Shlomo's display of wisdom following his dream.Almost identical expressions are used to describe Yosef's deep feelings for Binyamin and the real mother's feeling towards her baby.
In the Friday night Z'mira TZAM'A NAFSHI, there is a borrowing from the story of Shlomo and the babies. Commentaries say that Moslems and Christians say to the Jewish People that their religions are alive and our "son is dead". We know otherwise, that despite the numbers of those two religions each around the billion mark, and ours at maybe 1.5% of either, that ours is the living child.