Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Mikeitz

The following is a brief summary of a series of vorts said over by R' Frand this evening. I have attempted to reproduce the vorts to the best of my ability. Any perceived inconsistency is the result of my efforts to transcribe the shiur and should not be attributed to R' Frand.

Rabbi Frand first discussed Pharaoh's dreams and Yosef's interpretation thereof. Rabbi Frand asked - why is that Pharaoh's advisers were unable to interpret the dreams for him? Was it really so difficult to understand the symbolism of the seven fat cows being eaten by the seven skinny cows?

Rabbi Frand answered by quoting R' Yehoshua Leb Diskin who explains that Pharaoh's advisors saw in the future that there were going to be seven years of plenty followed by two years of famine. Thet could not tie this into Pharaoh's dreams because the dreams utilized two sets of seven. As such, the pasuk indicates at Bereishis 41:8 that no one could explain the dream to Pharaoh.

When Yosef told Pharaoh that he could interpret the dream, he said that Hashem will explain Pharaoh's welfare (41:16). He went on to explain that the dream was seven years of good and then seven years of bad. This was not based on what would occur, but because Hashem was aware of both what could have happened (7 and 7) as well as what would happen (only two bad years because the famine would dissipate when Yaakov came down to Egypt).

R' Diskin then tied this concept to the sentence in the haggada - V'es Lachatseinu zo Prishus Derech Eretz - that the Jewish men separated from their spouses in Egypt because they did not want to have any more children. This was a great tragedy as many more children could have been born, but were prevented from being conceived because of the separation. It is for this reason that immediately thereafter in the haggada it states "Vayeida Elokim" - that Hashem knew. What did He know? He knew what could have been if the families had not separated.

R' Frand also said a short vort about the connection between Yosef and Noach. Two people were referred to as "Tzaddik" - Yosef and Noach. Why were these two zoche to such a title? R' Frand answered by quoting the Ba'alei Tosafos that Yosef and Noach fed and sustained the entire world, as such they earned the title of Tzaddik.

R' Frand brought a proof to this thought from the language of the Ashrei tefillah. In Ashrei there is a pasuk about Hashem which indicates that He opens His hands and feeds all those who desire it. The next pasuk is "tzaddik Hashem ..."

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