hebrew
1)

Why did the Torah interrupt the Parshah of Yosef with that of Yehudah?

1.

Refer to 38:1:1:1-7.

2)

Why does the Pasuk refer to Potifar as 'Seris Pharaoh'?

1.

Targum Onkelos and Targum Yonasan #1: It means that he was an important officer of Pharaoh. 1

2.

Targum Yonasan #2: The word 'Saris' can also mean a eunuch, which is what Potifar became, when after he bought Yosef for immoral purposes, Hashem caused his sexual organs to dry up and he became impotent. 2


1

See 40:1 and the Ramban there.

2

Refer to 41:45:4:1.

3)

What exactly, was Potifar's position?

1.

Refer to 37:36:3:1-4.

4)

The Pasuk wrote earlier (Bereishis 37:36) that the Medanim sold Yosef to Potifar. Why does it write here that it was the Yishma'elim who sold him?

1.

Ramban and Seforno: Refer to 37:28:1:2.

2.

R. Chaim Paltiel: When the Yishma'elim offered to sell the good-looking Yosef to Potifar, he suspected them of having stolen him, 1 and that the owners would eventually come and re-claim him - until the Medanim arrived and guaranteed that Yosef was not stolen and that the sale was genuine.

3.

Moshav Zekenim (37:25): The Medanim do not normally sell people. When they wanted to sell Yosef, the Egyptians suspected that they stole him, until the Yishma'elim testified (that the Medanim bought him). 2

4.

Rashbam: Refer to 37:36:1:2.

5.

Refer to 37:28:1:5,6,8,9.


1

Riva (Bereishis 37:36): Potifar suspected them, for it is uncommon for black people to sell white people. Rosh (Bereishis 37:28) - it is common for white people to sell blacks, but not vice-versa. Medanim and Midyanim are the same; they were middlemen in the sale, and the Yishma'elim hired them to come to Egypt to testify about it. R. Tam - Medanim are a different nation. They did not have money to pay for him, so they left him in the Yishma'elim's hand until they sold him.

2

Refer to 39:1:4:2*.

5)

Having said "v'Yosef Hurad Mitzraynah", Why does the Torah see fit to repeat "asher Horiduhu Shamah"?

1.

Oznayim la'Torah: Following the principle 'Ein Mi'ut Achar Mi'ut Ela Lerabos' (two preclusions come to include), we can explain that this was not a Yeridah, but an Aliyah, since ultimately, it led to Yosef's rise to greatness.

6)

Why does the Torah use the passive form 'Hurad" (Yosef was taken down)?

1.

Da'as Zekenim, Hadar Zekenim: This shows that it was due to Hashem's decree [that Bnei Yisrael descend to Egypt].

7)

Why did the Torah need to repeat the fact that Potifar bought Yosef from the Yishma'elim?

1.

Ha'Emek Davar: The custom was, if a slave owner could not wait for a buyer, the Dimusiya of the country bought him and later sold him. Potifar was appointed over this, so he could not buy him himself, just like a Gabai Tzedakah may not buy [food or other matters of] Tzedakah, due to suspicion [that they pay less than its true value]. Potifar covered up that the Dimusiya already bought Yosef, and arranged that the Yishma'elim now sell him, so he himself could buy him. It is not because Potifar was a Kena'ani that he did so; he was Ish Mitzri. (Through Hashgachah, he strove to buy Yosef.)

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