More Discussions for this daf
1. Joseph moving the Egyptians around 2. The two identical goats 3. The "two" great lights
4. The Moon versus The Ribono Shel Olam: and the Winner is? 5. Chatas for Hash-m 6. The Inquiry of Bas Keisar
7. Torah Min ha'Shamayim

Barry Epstein asked:

It says that Joseph transferred the entire population of Egypt from city to city so that they would also be exiles and therefore his brothers would not be the only exiles. This is difficult for me to understand. Do you understand that he may have relocated 100,000+ people out of their homes so that his brothers would not feel like exiles. And this is okay how?

Barry Epstein, Dallas, USA

The Kollel replies:

It is difficult to judge Yosef's actions from our vantage point, and from our value system.

As all the Egyptians had sold themselves to Yosef in return for food (when all of their money and property had already been used up), Yosef was entitled to do whatever he wanted with them. That he allowed them to continue living independently without enslaving them, persecuting them, disrupting their family lives, etc., which he certainly was entitled to do, and that he merely relocated them, was certainly an act of genuine benevolence (perhaps so much so that the Egyptians were happy to cooperate with his edict).

The justification in moving many Egyptians so that his brothers and their families not feel like exiles needs to be understood in the context of the reality of the experience. First, the sons of Yakov were all great and holy sages, for whom indeed Hash-m created the world. If Hash-m created the Egyptians for the sake of Yisrael in the first place, then certainly He can have them moved around a bit for their sake as well. Second, if we would understand the degree to which the morally depraved Egyptians taunted, persecuted, and restricted the rights of exiles under normal conditions, then we might better understand the rationale for Yosef's actions.

D. Zupnik