hebrew
1)

Since the Torah goes on to give a detailed account of Yosef's refusal, why does it begin with the word "va'Yma'en"?

1.

Sefas Emes: When one is tempted by the Yeitzer ha'Ra to sin, one must first of all say 'No!', before presenting reasons for one's refusal. 1

2.

Ha'Emek Davar: He himself refused to have Bi'as Zenus (even with a single woman)! He needed to give reasons that she could fathom. The Pesik (stroke) after va'Yma'en hints that the following reasons were not why he refused.


1

This is because the Yeitzer ha'Ra, who is an angel, will flummox one by presenting counter-arguments for consenting to his request. Whereas a blunt 'No!' will leave him flummoxed.

2)

Why is the Trup (note) on va'Yma'en a 'Shalsheles'?

1.

Peninim mi'Shulchan ha'Gra, from Pesikta Zutresa: It hints to refusal after refusal. Yosef screamed three times that he refuses to give in to the Yeitzer ha'Ra.

2.

Pnei David: It corresponds to the three Aveiros that he was refusing to transgress - Arayos, betrayal of his master, and Chilul Hashem (Chatasi l'Elokim).

3.

R. Bechayei: He refused with absolute finality.

4.

Alshich: He refused and considered that he had tied himself in a Shalsheles (chain, i.e. as if he had no choice).

3)

What is the difference between 'Lo Avah' and 'Mi'en'?

1.

Malbim: 'Lo Avah' is [refusal] in the heart. Mi'en is verbal. Even though his heart desired, he conquered his Yetzer ha'Ra [and said no].

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