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 famine years. He suggested that Paroh appoint someone to watch over the food supply, saving enough food during the seven years of plenty to 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 answer to this question is as follows. Hashem not only commanded Avrohom to circumcise himself. He also told him to circumcise[2] “all those born in his house and purchased for money (i.e., slaves) …” In other words, Avrohom had to give a Bris Milah to all those he controlled. The same was true of Yosef. He was required to demand that the Egyptians be 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!

Rabbi Shmuel Mendelsohn

Adapted from Likkutei Sichos Volume 10, Page 136

מוקדש לזכות כ”ק אדמו”ר נשיא דורנו מליובאוויטש

The Soldiers of Tzivos Hashem Chaim and Aiden Oded שיחיו Morris
Rabbi & Mrs. Menachem M. and Chaya Mushka שיחיו Morris

חיילי “צבאות השם” חיים ועדן עודד שיחיו מאריס
נדפס ע”י הוריהם
הרה”ת ר’ מנחם מענדל וזוגתו מרת חי’ מושקא שיחיו מאריס

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

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

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