Pearls of Rashi – Parshas Mikeitz II

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In Parshas Mikeitz, which we read this week, the Torah tells us a fascinating story. But just as all of the stories in the Torah, it comes to teach us valuable 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 he summoned Yosef to appear before him. 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 so that they lack nothing during the famine. Paroh immediately appointed Yosef to this position, making him the viceroy of Egypt. He was 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 the Torah writes,[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. Hashem only commanded Jews 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, G-d commanded Avrohom Avinu 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 are circumcised.

From this, we learn that we must bring Torah and Mitzvos to everyone we can influence, including those who are not Jewish. We must introduce them to the seven Noachide laws.

I wish everyone a good Shabbos and a happy Chanukah!

Rabbi Shmuel Mendelsohn

Adapted from Likkutei Sichos Volume 10, Page 136

Mr. Sholom Moshe Hacohen
ben Reb Shlomo Meir Hacohen ע”ה Cohen
Passed away Shabbos Parshas Beshalach, 13 Shevat, 5779
May His Soul be bound in the Eternal Bond of Life
* * *
לעילוי נשמת
ר’ שלום משה הכהן בן ר’ שלמה מאיר הכהן ע”ה כהן
נפטר ש”ק פ’ בשלח, י”ג שבט, ה’תשע”ט
ת. נ. צ. ב. ה.
יו”ל ע”י חתנו ובתו שיחיו
הרה”ת ר’ שמואל ורבקה שי’ מענדלסאהן

[1]. Our Parshah, Bereishis 41:55.

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

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