Pearls of Rashi – Mikeitz II

In Parshas Mikeitz, which we read this week, we are told a very exciting story. But just as all of the stories in Torah, it comes to teach us important lessons.

Paroh had two most unusual dreams. The magicians upon whom he relied were not able to interpret the dreams to Paroh’s satisfaction. Paroh heard that Yosef the Tzaddik was talented in this regard, and Yosef was summoned to appear before Paroh. Yosef explained that the dreams predicted that Egypt would have seven years of plenty, followed by seven years of famine. He suggested that Paroh appoint someone to watch over the food supply, saving enough food during. the seven years of plenty in order that they lack nothing during the famine. Paroh immediately appointed Yosef to this position; he was made the viceroy of Egypt, second only to Paroh himself.

When the years of famine began, and the nation turned to Paroh for food, he told them to go to Yosef; as it is written[1] “when the entire land of Egypt hungered, the people cried out to Paroh for bread.  Paroh told them, ‘Go to Yosef; and do whatever he tells you.’”

The Torah tells us the main points of their conversation. Rashi goes into the details. He says that “Yosef had ordered them to circumcise themselves. When they came to Paroh and told them what he said, Paroh said to them, ‘Why didn’t you save grain during the seven years of plenty? Didn’t he say that years of famine were coming?’ They answered, ‘We did gather, and we gathered a lot, but it rotted.’ Paroh answered, ‘If so, do whatever he tells you. He issued a decree upon the grain, and it rotted. What if he issues a decree upon us and we die?’”

Why did Yosef demand that the Egyptians circumcise themselves? They weren’t Jews, and only Jews are commanded to have a Bris Milah!

The explanation is, that when Hashem gave Avrohom the Mitzvah of circumcision, He said that[2] “those born in your house and those purchased for money (slaves) shall be circumcised …” In other words, Avrohom Avinu was commanded not only to circumcise himself and his family, but also those over whom he had control. Therefore, Yosef, who was in control of the entire population of Egypt, demanded that they be circumcised.

This teaches us that we must bring Torah and Mitzvos, to everyone who we can influence. This includes those who are not Jewish. We must introduce them to the seven Noachide laws.

Wishing everyone a good Shabbos and a happy Chanukah!

Rabbi Shmuel Mendelsohn

Adapted from Likkutei Sichos Volume 10, Page 136

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 41:55.

[2]. Parshas Lech Lecho, Bereishis 17:13.

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