Shabbat Parashat Vayeishev 5773
Vayeishev | 24 Kislev 5773 | 12/8/2012
In a semi-direct way, the “sins” of the officers of the Egyptian court, the sar hamashkim and the sar ha’ofim, played a central role in the development of the narrative of Yosef’s life. However, the Torah is not specific as to what aroused Paroh’s anger. In order to understand this, we also need to know what their roles were. The Targum translates their positions as high-ranking officers in the areas of drinks and baking, apparently as relates specifically to Paroh. Rashi quotes the midrash that their sins were localized. Paroh found a fly in his drink and a pebble in his baked good. How do these shortcomings interplay with the episode of Yosef? Could it be that it was just a chance overlapping of events that brought them all together – in jail? Rashi explains that it had to do with the fact that Yosef’s soiled reputation was a favorite topic of the people of the court. Hashem saw to it that others were caught at offenses, so that there would be other riveting topics to discuss other than Yosef. He adds that it was also a way to arrange for Yosef’s eventual freeing. This approach does not fit in well with Seder Olam Rabba, which says that ten years passed between the incarceration of Yosef and that of the sar hamashkim and sar ha’ofim. (Rashi usually follows the dating of Seder Olam Rabba.)
Is one supposed to celebrate Chanuka with festive eating? How and why is it different from Purim?
Rav says: The yetzer hara (evil inclination) is like a fly that sits on two openings of the heart, as the pasuk says: “Flies of death will spoil the perfumer’s oil” (Kohelet 10:1). Shmuel says: It is like a grain of wheat, as the pasuk says: “At the opening, chatat lies in waiting (chatat means sin, but the gemara understands it as a play of words with chita, which is wheat)” (Bereishit 4:7).
The plaintiff (=pl) worked as a fundraiser for a non-profit organization (=def), based on a one-year contract. After the year, the two sides agreed that pl would continue working for def, but a new contract was not signed. After a certain amount of time, the relationship broke down, and def fired pl without further pay any prior notice. The original employment contract stated that def had to give two months’ warning before letting pl go, and, therefore, pl demands two months’ pay. Def claims that the old employment terms do not extend beyond the end of the original agreement.
This edition of
Yechezkel Shraga Brachfeld
is endowed by
Les & Ethel Sutker
Louis and Lillian Klein, z”l
in memory of
bat Yaakov Tzvi
A weekly divrei Torah leaflet: A Glimpse at the Parasha, Ask the Rabbi, From the writings of Harav Avraham Yitzchak Hakohen Kook, zt”l, Pninat Mishpat (Jewish Monetary Law).