Thursday, December 9, 2010

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Vayigash

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.

In Bereishis perek 45, the Torah tells the story of Yosef's revelation to his brothers that he was Yosef. At 45:14, the Torah writes that Yosef and Binyamin embraced and cried on each other's necks. Rashi explains that Yosef cried because he saw with Ruach Hakodesh that two Batei Mikdash which would be built in Binyamin's portion of the land of Israel will be destroyed. Rashi further explains that Binyamin cried because he foresaw that the mishkan would be destroyed when it was in Shlioh, in Yosef's territory.

The question can be asked - why is that at this very time, when Yosef and Binyamin were reunited for the first time in twenty plus years - did they look to the future and mourn the destruction of buildings which had not yet even been erected?

Rabbi Frand answered the question by citing to the Sfas Emes who explained that Yosef's prior actions in testing/tormenting his brothers were not meant as revenge. Yosef saw that the brothers had sinned terribly by selling him into slavery. Yosef attempted to rectify the situation by putting the brothers in the position to atone for their sins. Had Yosef been succesful, there never would have been a churban of either Beis Hamikdash. As Yosef was unsuccessful we continue to be reminded of the brothers' actions. Indeed, every year on Yom Kippur we recite in davening of how the Asarah Harugei Malchus were told that their deaths were in retaliation for the sale of Yosef.

Rabbi Frand next asked - why was the destruction of the mishkan put on the same level as the two churbanim? The mishkan was destroyed for a short time and then rebuilt in Nov and Givon!

Rabbi Frand answered by citing the sefer Milchemes Yehuda who explains that the mishkan's destruction had a profound impact. The Mishkan in Shilo had a special level of kedushah which allowed all who could see it to eat kodshim kalim. This was in the zechus of Yosef who averted his eyes when the wife of Potiphar tried to seduce him. There was an additional benefit from the presence of the mishkan in Yosef. For as long as the mishkan was there, the Jews never had issues with "wandering eyes". This too was in the zechus of Yosef having turned away from the wife of Potiphar. These benefits were lost when the mishkan was destroyed.

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