Thursday, December 29, 2011

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Vayigash

The following is a brief summary of a thought said over by R' Frand on the parsha this evening. I have attempted to reproduce this vort 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 45:8, Yosef meets his brothers and he tells them not to be upset since Hashem sent me here to be the patron for Pharaoh and I am the master in Pharaoh's house and the ruler of the land of Egypt.

R' Frand noted that Yosef's statement is not technically correct. Yosef was not the ruler of Egypt, he was the second in command.

R' Frand further noted that when the brothers came back to Yaakov and told him that Yosef was alive, they did not tell Yaakov about all of Yosef's titles. Instead they just told Yaakov that Yosef was the ruler in Egypt.

R' Frand quoted the Chasam Sofer who answers both questions. The brothers told Yaakov that Yosef was alive and living in Egypt, but Yaakov was not interested in knowing anything about Yosef, other than that Yosef was still living as a Jew. By telling Yaakov that Yosef was the ruler in Egypt, they were telling Yaakov that Yosef was not a slave to Egypt, he was the master of it. This also answers the first question as to the technical incorrectness of Yosef's statement to the brothers that he ruled Egypt. Yosef was telling the brothers, I am not being controlled by Egyptian culture, I am above the culture and was not influenced by it.

R' Frand then said a vort from a dayan in Manchester who commented about the famous Rashi that Yaakov saw the wagons and thus knew Yosef was alive. The dayan told a story about a child of a couple who went to university and then moved to Alabama. The son called his family every Friday afternoon to wish them a good shabbos, but they knew nothing about his personal life in Alabama. One Friday afternoon, the parents said - we haven't seen you in a long time, we will come and visit you. The son responded - don't come, I will go and visit you. This gave the parents the impression that the son has something to hide. In this week's parsha, Yosef sends the wagons, as if to tell his father - come and see the life I have made for myself, I have nothing I need to keep from you. This invigorated Yaakov.

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