Thursday, December 13, 2012

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Mikeitz

The following is a brief summary of thoughts said over by R' Frand on the parsha this evening. I have attempted to reproduce these 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.
There is a famous pasuk in this week's parsha where the butler (aka Sar Hamashkim) says to Pharaoh Es Chatai' Ani Mazkir Hayom. The sentence is generally translated as "I remember my sin today." However, the actual meaning of the pasuk is I remember my sins today.
R' Frand quoted the Alshich who asked - why is it that the butler was given the zechus to be known as the person who got Yosef out of prison? The Alshich answers by quoting the Riva who in turn asks - what were the multiple sins of the butler. The Riva answers - the butler told Pharaoh - I have two sins. I sinned because there was a fly in your wine and also because I did not mention to you for two years that Yosef was in jail and could help you.
The Alshich explains that it is very difficult for people to admit that they had done wrong. The zechus for the butler was his very public admission to Pharaoh that he had messed up by not mentioning Yosef earlier. It is for this reason that the butler goes down in history as the person who caused Yosef to be released from prison.
R' Frand also quoted from pesukim (Bereishis 42:27-28) which state that the brothers trembled in fear when they opened their sacks and saw that they had money in the sacks in addition to food. R' Frand quoted the Darash Mordechai who explains that the brothers were scared because they saw that they had money in their sacks which was not theirs and they did not want this money.
The Darash Mordechai linked this vort to the concept that gedolim are very careful with other people's money. There is a story about R' Aharon Kotler who devoted much time for raising money for Chinuch Atzma'i. After some time, the people from Chinuch Atzma'i wanted to do something for R' Aharon Kotler and so they bought him a new beckeshe.
R' Frand digressed to tell a story about R' Aharon and how he met Joe Bonnano, but I will i'yh have to recount that story in another post. For the purposes of tonight's post, the upshot of that story is that when R' Kotler met Joe Bonanno, the crime boss was put off by the fact that the sleeves on R' Kotler's kaputta were frayed.
Back to the original story, some years later, R' Aharon and R' Yitzchak Zalosnik (sp?) went to a parlor meeting for Chinuch Atzma'i. After it was done, R' Aharon asked to be driven home before he was to go to a wedding, because he needed to change. When R' Yitzchak asked why he needed to change, R' Aharon responded - the people from Chinuch Atzma'i bought me this coat for a reason - to go out and speak on their behalf.
The Darash Mordechai asked - why couldn't R' Aharon have said to himself - they bought this coat for me and they wanted me to have it. I can use it for my own purposes too! The Darash Mordechai answered - this was R' Aharon and this is the way that gedolim act. They are alwys careful with other people's money. This is the lesson of the fear of the brothers.
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