What is the significance of the 'Kaf' (in "k'Forachas")?
Rashi: It seemed to the butler as if the vine in his dream actually flowered, then budded, then ripened into grapes. 1
The Ramban queries this in that (a) if so, the Torah should have written 'v'Hinei ka'Gefen Lefanai; uva'Gefen ki'Sheloshah Sarigim; (b) Why did the baker, and Pharaoh (in next week's Parshah) not also insert a 'Kaf'?
Ramban: As we find for example, in the word "k'Meishiv Yado", earlier in the Parshah (38:29), and in the word "k'Vo Avram" (Bereishis 12:14).
Ramban: And this also explains how Yosef knew that the three branches represented three days, rather than months or years.
What is the significance of the vine and the three branches?
Malbim (9): The entire year 1 , the judgment leaned to kill Sar ha'Mashkim, who was negligent (refer to 40:2:151:1), and acquit Sar ha'Ofim. Sar ha'Mashkim did not have grapes or wine (hope of returning to serve). Now, they decided to judge them for the workers for whom the Sarim were guarantors; therefore, salvation budded for Sar ha'Mashkim. Sar ha'Ofim was prepared to return to serve; his baskets were full, but now they decided to kill him.
R. Elazar ha'Modai (Chulin, 92a): The vine refers to Yerushalayim, and the three branches to the Beis-Hamikdash, the king and the Kohen Gadol. 2
R. Chiya bar Aba (Chulin, 92a): The three branches refer to the three proud noblemen 3 who emerge from Yisrael in every generation.
Rava (Chulin, 92a): The three branches refer to three angels appointed over the Nochrim who advocate for Yisrael in every generation. 4
R. Eliezer (Chulin 92a): The vine represents this world. "Three shoots" are Avraham, Yitzchak and Yakov.
R. Yehoshua (Chulin 92a): The vine represents Torah. "Three shoots" are Moshe, Aharon, and Miryam.
R. Yehoshua ben Levi (Chulin 92a): The vine represents Torah. "Three shoots" are the well, the cloud and the manna.
R. Yirmeyah bar Aba (Chulin 92a): "Vine" is Yisrael. 5 "Three shoots" are the three festivals.
Also Midrash Sechel Tov (verse 4) says that "Yamim b'Mishmar" is 12 months. What is the source? Kesuvos 57b learns (regarding Rivkah - Bereishis 24:55) that Yamim is 12 months, like elsewhere (Vayikra 25:29). (PF)
See Torah Temimah, note #1.
Torah Temimah: 'Sarei Ge'im' is the acronym of "Sarigim".
See Torah Temimah, note #3.
What is the translation of "v'Hi k'Forachas Alsah Nitzah"?
Rashi (citing Targum Onkelos): 'It grew blossoms, and buds 1 came on it'.
R. Elazar ha'Modai (Chulin, 92a): It refers to Pirchei Kehunah (young Kohanim who have not yet reached the age of Avodah).
R. Eliezer (Chulin, 92a): It refers to the Matriarchs.
R. Yehoshua (Chulin 92a): It refers to the Sanhedrin.
R. Yehoshua ben Levi (Chulin 92a): It refers to Bikurim.
R. Yirmeyah bar Aba (Chulin 92a): The time has come for Yisrael to be fruitful and multiply. "Its blossoms arose" - the time came for Yisrael to be redeemed.
Ha'Emek Davar: When it blossomed, it budded much more than normal.
Moshav Zekenim: Also in Bamidbar 17:23, blossoms preceded the buds. Why does it say oppositely in Yeshayah (27:6) "Yatzitz u'Farach Yisrael"? Here [and in Bamidbar - PF], it means that the bud, which usually comes first and is small, is like blossoms, which are usually big.
Ramban: 'Grew branches' is the translation of "Alsah". 'Rising' does not apply to buds!
See R. Chavel's notes.
What does "Hivshilu Ashkeloseha Anavim" refer to?
Chulin, 92a: It refers to the Nesachim (wine libations).
Ha'Emek Davar: Its clusters produced ripe grapes.