Pearls of Rashi: Parshas Mikeitz I

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In Parshas Mikeitz, the Torah tells us that Pharaoh had two most unusual dreams. The magicians upon whom he relied were not able to interpret the dreams to Pharaoh’s satisfaction. Pharaoh heard that Yosef the Tzaddik was talented, and he summoned Yosef to appear before him. Yosef explained that the dreams predicted Egypt would have seven years of plenty, followed by seven years of famine. He suggested that Pharaoh appoint someone to watch over the food supply, saving enough food during the seven years of plenty to lack nothing during the famine. Pharaoh immediately appointed Yosef to this position, making him the second in charge of Egypt. He was second only to Pharaoh himself.

When the years of famine began, and the nation turned to Pharaoh 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 Pharaoh for bread.  Pharaoh 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 Pharaoh and told them what he said, Pharaoh said, ‘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.’ Pharaoh 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, Hashem did not only commanded Avrohom to circumcise himself and his family. He also commanded Avrohom to circumcise those over whom he had control. Therefore, Yosef, who was in control of the entire population of Egypt, demanded that they 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 and a happy Chanukah!

Rabbi Shmuel Mendelsohn

Adapted from Likkutei Sichos Volume 10, Page 136


DEDICATED IN HONOR OF THE LUBAVITCHER REBBE

IN LOVING MEMORY OF
DR. MINDEL RIVKA (MURIEL) BAS REB MENACHEM MENDEL SHLOMO ע”ה STITT
PASSED AWAY ON SHABBAT PARSHAS LECH LECHA, 10 MAR-CHESHVAN, 5782
MAY HER SOUL BE BOUND IN THE ETERNAL BOND OF LIFE

IN HONOR OF
The Soldiers of Tzivos Hashem Chaim and Aiden Oded שיחיו Morris
DEDICATED BY THEIR PARENTS
Rabbi & Mrs. Menachem M. and Chaya Mushka שיחיו Morris


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

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

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