Thursday, December 10, 2015

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Mikeitz

The following is a brief summary of some 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 Bereishis (41:37) the Torah writes that Yosef's interpretation and plan for dealing with Pharaoh's dreams was accepted by Pharaoh and all of his servants. R' Frand's asked - why was this even accepted by Pharaoh? He gave two analogies - to a law firm or a medical practice. If the senior partners of a law firm were conferencing to plan strategy for a complicated legal issue and then the mail room clerk came in and offered his suggestion, would they possibly pay attention to him? Similarly, if the doctors in a practice were meeting to discuss how to treat a patient and an orderly comes in and gives his thoughts, would the doctors pay attention to him?

The answer to each question/analogy is a resounding no. People who have achieved this stature in life would never follow the suggestion of an underling. So how did Yosef manage to get everyone to agree?

R' Frand answered that Yosef hooked all of Pharaoh's servants by doing more than just interpreting the dream -- he suggested that someone be appointed to minister to the food which would be harvested during the boom years. Each one of Pharaoh's servants who heard this said to himself -- that job will be mine, so I will agree to what Yosef said. R' Frand linked this to the Purim story as Haman heard the King's plans and thought to himself - who else besides me could be deserving of this honor?

R' Frand also said a second vort which linked to the first pasuk of the parsha. He quoted the Medrash which writes that the word Mikeitz is connected to Keitz (end) - it was the end of the term in prison which Hashem had decreed for Yosef. Once this end was reached, Pharaoh dreamed.

To an outsider, it might appear that Yosef was released because of the the dream, but really it was the other way around. The dream was not the cause of Yosef being released from prison. Instead, it was the end of Yosef's prison term which caused Pharaoh to dream.

[I heard a similar vort from R' Mansour who explained the term Choleim as a command by Hashem to Pharaoh to dream].

R' Frand connected this to a story told by R' Yosef Galinski (sp?) about his mother. When his mother was living in Poland there were many women in the town who could not read Polish. Since his mother was literate and she worked for a newspaper, the women would come to his house in the evening so that she could read the news to them.

One night a woman came to the home slightly early and at the time, Mrs. Galinski was chopping potatoes in the kitchen. The woman looked at the newspaper and let out a gasp. She ran to Mrs Galinski and said - how can you be chopping potatoes when this ship is sinking in the ocean! Mrs. Galinksi looked at the newspaper and explained to the woman that she was reading the paper upside down. The ship was not sinking, it was sailing. But because the woman had the paper upside down she thought the ship was upside down as well.

R' Frand closed the vort by observing that often we may get the cause and effect backwards because we are looking at the newspaper upside down.

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