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The Universal and the Particular
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Covenant and Conversation Family Edition on OU Life The story of Joseph is one of those rare narratives in Tanach in which a Jew (Israelite/Hebrew) comes to play a prominent part in a gentile society – the others are, most notably, the books of Esther and Daniel. I want here to explore one facet of […]
When God Answers Prayer… Move Quickly!
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Two years earlier, Yosef had asked the butler to, “…remember him to Pharaoh…” For that one-time lapse, when he seemed to think that it wasn’t God who controlled his fate but rather a mere butler, Yosef was “punished” with an additional two years in that dark and awful prison. Now, after those additional years, he […]
Who is Joseph’s Wife and Why Did He Marry Her?
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In Parashat Miketz, the Torah states that after being elevated to high office, Pharaoh gives Joseph a wife, Asenat the daughter of Poti Phara. The Rashbam (see Genesis 41:45 and Genesis 48:9) maintains that Asenat was given to Joseph in marriage as part of his elevation in status.  Joseph was given a whole slew of […]
Yosef and his Brothers: The Tables are Turned
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Why does Yosef act towards his brothers in the way he does? The brothers react not by accusing the ruler of persecuting them but with self-reflection. The Ramban explains that Yosef puts his brothers through the entire ordeal in order to ensure that the dreams are fulfilled. Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky: Why does Yosef take upon […]
Dreams for the Near – and Distant – Future
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וַתָּבֹאנָה אֶל קִרְבֶּנָה וְלֹא נוֹדַע כִּי בָאוּ אֶל קִרְבֶּנָה וּמַרְאֵיהֶן רַע כַּאֲשֶׁר בַּתְּחִלָּה They [the fat cows] came inside of them [the thin cows], and it as not apparent that they had come inside of them, and their appearance remained inferior, as at first (41:21) Although most of the elements within Pharaoh’s dreams featured in […]
Parshat Vayeishev
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Why did Joseph not try to get in touch with his father, Jacob, during all those years that he was in a position of prominence in Egypt? Surely, he missed his beloved father, and had the capacity to send some messengers back to Canaan to get word to Jacob. Why then the silence? A good […]
Hold on to your Shoes!
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If the Navi is referring to Yosef being sold, why is Yosef called an אביון? What is the significance of buying shoes with the money they received from selling Yosef? Were the brothers punished, after all, they judged him to be guilty of capital punishment? Why did they eat bread after selling him? Download the […]
Fixing Family
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3 parts to Bereshit: before Avraham (prehistory), the avot/imahot, and vayeshev-end. Beginning with Vayeshev Yaakov isn’t the main character. The Rav: ביקש יעקב לשבת בשלווה – Yaakov thought the 4 generations were up, he had been oppressed by Lavan and left with great wealth. The pasuk “Eleh Toldot Yakov – Yosef” changes the status of […]