Friday, December 22, 2017


Here's a link to the video, and these are my notes on Rabbi Markowitz' shiur on Parshat Vayigash:
Yehudah's speech is unusually long amount of time that someone speaks straight in the Torah. And it leads to the reveal and great emotion. Rav Yehudah Saviv suggests that vayigash may really mean not that he went to Yosef, but to Binyamin to protect him. He was saying, "Itchah ani," you're not stuck alone with this leader. (It wouldn't make sense that he approached a ruler, not done.) And when Yosef saw the compassion and empathy that Yehudah showed for Binyamin he was greatly moved. As mefarshim (Sforno, later R Fohrman) point out they showed their lack of empathy by eating and drinking after throwing him in the pit. And now they've moved from that insensitivity to empathy.
Chidah, in his Hagadah, says that the four galuyot (Bavel, Paras/Madia, Yavan, Edom) mentioned by Chazal are all branches of the original galut of Mitzrayim. which is the "av lekulam." The brothers go down to Mitzrayim 4 times, corresponding to the 4 exiles - for food, then to get Binyamin, then to save Binyamin, then they come back with Yaakov.
They all correspond (eg. Paras U'Madai corresponds to the second time they go down and eat and drink with the ruler and Binyamin wears 5 garments, just as Mordechai will in the future!) And the first was the shortest stay, like the first galut that was 70 years, and the last time they go is longest, like ours now is longest.
Rabbi Shlomo Ephraim Luntschitz/Olelot Efraim/Kli Yakar: 70 nefesh went down to mitzrayim vs. Eisav's descendants who are described as nefashot. 4 things that never changed for the Jews, one is shelo shanu et shemam. The K"Y say a different p'shat than the conventional one (that they didn't change their names) - based on the idea that we are called Adam and the umot ha'olam are not called Adam. He says that Adam reflects togetherness and connection because there are 4 words for a person - adam, ish, gever, and enosh. They each have a plural for, except for adam - there's no adamin. This reflects the connectivity, kol Yisrael areivim zeh bazeh. And thus here, nefesh. The RaMak and the Ba'al HaTanya write that we are neshamah echad begufim mechulakim. And that's lo shinu et shmam on a deeper level. They did not allow themselves to become disconnected and sway from being Adam - one unit. (Related - it thus says Adam on the kisei hakavod, and also this is the idea of ke'ish echad beleiv echad.)
Daat Zkeinim - R Chaim Shmuelewitz - Paroh and Yaakov meet. What do they discuss? Yaakov's age, and his feelings about it. Some point out that we see from here that in the eyes of the Torah general conversation is important - conversation that's sometimes called mah bekach (seemingly incidental, polite). Deeper: The Daat Zekeinim says Yaakov was supposed to live to 180 like Yitzchak, but he lost 33 years, corresponding to the words he spoke, 33. But Rav Chaim Schmelewitz notes that it's 23 words! He answers that it includes the words of the question. Yaakov exuded something, an air of being old and worn, somewhat negative, that caused the question to be asked, and so he was taken to task for the fact that the question needed to be asked.
10 of Tevet is this Thursday. It is the only fast that falls on Friday, and even if it fell on Shabbos the Beis Yosef says we would fast! The Lubavitcher Rebbe says that the siege of over 2 years preceded and foreshadowed what would happen. And so every year on the 10th of Tevet the Jewish People are judged for whether or not there will be a 9th of Av this year.
Chasam Sofer in Teshuva - The 9th Av has a precursor in the Torah: Meraglim, 17th of Tamuz, the precursor is Cheit HaEigel, and 10th of Tevet 10 the precursor is Mechirat Yosef!


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