Pearls of Rashi – Mikeitz

In this week’s Torah portion, we read how Yosef saved Egypt from the world-wide famine. In fact, Mitzraim was the only nation which had a supply of food during that time. This caused the rest of the world to come “knocking on Egypt’s doors,” desperately seeking grain. Specifically, the one that handled all requests was Yosef, who had been appointed viceroy over the Egyptian nation.

What did the Jewish nation, i.e. Yaakov’s children who were in Egypt do? The Torah tells us that[1] “Yaakov saw that there was grain being sold in Egypt. (Therefore,) Yaakov said to his sons, ‘Why do you appear satiated?’” He then told his sons to travel to Mitzraim in order to obtain grain.

What did Yaakov mean when he said “why do you appear satiated?” It would appear from his words that they actually had food, however, he did not wish to have trouble from the surrounding nations. This seems to be in accordance with Rashi’s explanation. Rashi cites the words “why do you appear satiated,” and explains as follows. “Why do you show yourselves before the sons of Yishmoel and the sons of Aisov as if you are satiated? For at that time they still had grain.”

Rashi writes that they appeared “as if they had grain.” This seems to imply that in actuality they did not have a great deal of grain. It was only as if they were full. This requires explanation. Why would the Jews show themselves, meaning behave, as if they were full if such was not the case?

The explanation is, that this was due to the tremendous trust that Yaakov’s children had in Hashem. They had no doubt, and were absolutely certain that Hashem would never forsake their father Yaakov. This was true even during the time of a famine which plagued the entire world. Granted, the grain which they actually had was just sufficient for “that time.” Nevertheless, they were certain that G-d would always take care of them. That was the reason that they “appeared satiated.” They had no concern whatsoever about what will be; they knew that it would be good.

We always discuss living with the weekly Parshah, meaning living with the week’s Torah portion. We are descendants of Yaakov. May we learn from his sons the sort of faith that each of us must have in Hashem, despite all odds.

Wishing everyone a good Shabbos and a happy Chanukah!

Rabbi Shmuel Mendelsohn

Adapted from Likkutei Sichos Volume 30, Page 190

Mrs. Brocha bas Reb Tzvi Nechemiah Hacohen O.B.M. Cohen
Passed away on 8 Shevat, 5778
May Her Soul be bound in the Eternal Bond of Life
* * *
לעילוי נשמת
מרת ברכה בת ר’ צבי נחמי’ הכהן ע”ה כהן
נפטרה ביום ח ‘שבט, ה’תשע”ח
ת. נ. צ. ב. ה.
יוצא לאור ע”י בני משפחתה שיחיו

[1]. Our Parshah, Bereishis 42:1.

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