hebrew
1)

What does it mean "except for the bread that he ate"?

1.

Rashi (from Sanhedrin 75a), Targum Yonasan: It is referring to his wife 1 - only the Torah uses a more refined way of saying it. 2

2.

Rashbam: It means literally the food that Potifar ate. He saw it on the table after Yosef purchased and prepared it.

3.

Rosh, Moshav Zekenim, Da'as Zekenim, Ramban #1 (citing the Ibn Ezra): it is his food, which Yosef was not even allowed to touch. 3

4.

Ramban #2: Potifar was unaware of Yosef ever taking anything of his for himself, other than the food that he ate. 4

5.

Ha'Emek Davar, citing his son: Yosef ate only Potifar's bread, which was Kosher, but not his meat and wine - and even so, "he was Yefe So'ar vi'Yfei Mar'eh"!


1

See Ba'al ha'Turim. Sifsei Chachamim - we must say so, for Yosef said (in Pasuk 9) that Potifar withheld from him only his wife! Da'as Zekenim rejects the proof. Yosef did not bother to mention the bread.

2

Rosh, Hadar Zekenim: And we find that eating is a euphemism for intimacy - 'Achlah u'Machtah Piha" (Mishlei 30:20).

3

Since the Egyptians considered eating together with the Ivrim an abomination (See 43:32).

4

See Ramban.

2)

Why does the Torah insert "Vay'hi Yosef Yefe So'ar vi'Yfei Mar'eh" here?

1.

Rashi: This connects with the following Parshah. The moment Yosef saw himself ruling, he began to eat and drink [nicely], and to curl his hair. Hakadosh-Baruch-Hu said 'Your father is mourning for you, and you are curling your hair! I will incite the bear against you' - Immediately "The wife of Yosef's master set her eyes on him". 1

2.

Ramban and Seforno: This connects with the following Parshah. It was because of Yosef's good looks that his master's wife set her eyes on him.

3.

It connects to the previous words. Refer to 39:6:1:5.

4.

Ha'Emek Davar: Normally, hard work ruin's one's appearance. Even though Yosef had many affairs, he did not toil so much due to Divine success.

5.

Harchev Davar: Learning saps one's strength (Sanhedrin 26b) and beauty. Bereishis Rabah 86:5 learns from "Nashani Elokim" that at the end, Yosef forgot the Torah. Because he did not toil enough in Torah, he kept his beauty, and Potifar's wife accosted him. 2


1

Rashi: Hence, the next Pasuk says "Achar", which means immediately afterwards, as opposed to 'Acharei', which means much later. Refer to 15:1:1:1*.

2

This is difficult. R. Yishmael Kohen Gadol and R. Yochanan were exceedingly beautiful; R. Yochanan said that it would be Chilul Hashem if he went four Amos without Torah (Yuma 86a)! The Midrash says that at the end, Yosef forgot, i.e. but not now! And in any case, we need not say that it was due to Bitul Torah. Why would Yosef merit such great success amidst Bitul Torah?! Surely Harchev Davar means that Hashem was very exacting with him for a small Bitul Torah. (PF)

3)

What does the Torah mean when it writes that Potifar abandoned everything in Yosef's jurisdiction?

1.

Malbim: Initially, he checked on Yosef. Now he left everything to him [and did not think about it at all].

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