Thursday, December 6, 2012

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Vayeshev

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.
In this week's parsha we read about Yosef's time in Potiphar's home after Yosef is sold down to Egypt. The gemara in Sotah recounts a machlokes between Rav and Shmuel about why Yosef was present in Potiphar's home on that fateful day. One opinion is that Yosef was there to do his work, while the other authority maintains that Yosef was going to give in to Potiphar's wife's entreaties. According to this view, Yosef was able to stop himself from following through with his desires because he saw an image of his father Yaakov and this was enough to stop him in his tracks.
R' Frand quoted R' Yaakov Kaminetsky who explains that this is a lesson that a father should strive to maintain an air of importance and dignity before his children. If the children will look up to and respect the father, they will be more likely not to do anything which will disappoint him.
R' Frand also quoted a Chassam Sofer who tied this story to the confrontation between the brothers and Yosef after Yaakov passed away. When the brothers approach Yosef in Parshas Vayechi, Yosef tells them not to be afraid because he realizes that it is all from Hashem. The Chassam Sofer recites the vort about how Yosef was able to stop himself from being intimate with the wife of Potiphar when he saw the image of his father, and then asked - why could the brothers not have been shown the image of Yaakov so that they would not have sold Yosef down to Egypt?
The Chassam Sofer answers that Yosef realized that the reason that they were not prevented or dissuaded from selling him down to Egypt is because this was how the Jews would go down to Egypt. Since this was Hashem's plan for the Jews arrival in Egypt, Yosef told his brothers - don't worry, I know this was all from Hashem.
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