What are the connotations of "Vayigash"?


Midrash Rabah: Yehudah approached Yosef with three things in mind: war, appeasement and prayer (request). 1


These are strikingly similar to the three things for which his father prepared himself before his confrontation with his brother Eisav (Refer to 32:9:2:1). See also Ba'al ha'Turim.


What did Yehudah mean when he asked for permission for his words to say something in Yosef's ears?


Rashi: He was softening him for the tough speech that he was about to deliver. 1 It was his way of telling Yosef that he should listen well to what he was about to say.


Seforno: Having stated that he did not want any injustice to emanate from him, Yehudah was now about to point to him the terrible injustice that would result from his decision to take Binyamin as a slave - inasmuch as it would cause the death of his elderly father.


Which explains why he continued "v'Al Yichar Apecha b'Avdecha".


Why did he say "Davar", suggesting something short?


Ramban #1: He was indeed assuring Yosef that he wasn't about to deliver a long speech that would create problems, just a few short words.


Ramban #2: There was just one basic request that he wanted to make (to switch him with Binyamin), the rest were merely words of appeasement.


And what did he mean when he added "v'Al Yichar Apecha b'Avdecha"?


Rashi: Refer to 44:18:2:1*.


Seforno: He was asking Yosef not to be angry with him for placing the blame for the current situation at his door 1 (since in fact, he respected him deeply, placing him on a par with Pharaoh).


Hadar Zekenim, citing a Midrash: Yehudah and his brothers divulged how they planned to wipe out Mitzrayim, and divulged their great strength. Also Yosef showed his strength. He kicked a marble rock and shattered it. Yehudah realized that he is as strong as himself. He tried to draw his sword to kill Yosef, but he could not. He realized that Yosef fears Hashem, so he started to talk softly. 2


Refer to 44:19:1:1.


Da'as Zekenim: If one buys a slave and finds that he is a thief, he returns him. Binyamin was found to be a thief, and you want him for your slave?! Hadar Zekenim - this is only a pretext.


Finally, what did he mean when he concluded "Ki Kamocha k'Far'oh"?


Rashi #1 and Seforno: Refer to 44:18:4:2.


Rashi #2: He was warning Yosef that, if he retained Binyamin, he would be stricken with leprosy, just as Pharaoh was when he tried to retain Sarah.


Rashi #2: Yehudah was hinting that you (Yosef), like Paroh, do not keep your decrees and promises. (You merely asked to set your eyes on Binyamin, but not to take him as a slave!) 1


Rashi #3: If Yosef would continue to anger him (Yehudah), he would not hesitate to kill them both.


Ramban: 'I am speaking with you in trepidation as if I was speaking with Pharaoh'.


Targum Yonasan: Until now, Yosef had claimed to be a G-d-fearing man, but now his rulings compared with those of Pharaoh.


Riva: I have no choice but to dispute with you. To whom can I complain about you? You are great like Paro, i.e. king!


Hadar Zekenim, citing the Yerushalmi: Before, you said that you fear G-d. Now you say that you fear Pharaoh! Two of my brothers killed all of Shechem due to my sister, who is not one of the Shevatim. I am stronger than them. I swear, [if you do not free Binyamin] I will draw my sword and not return it to its case until I kill all of Mitzrayim! I will begin with you and end with Paro your master!


Da'as Zekenim #1: Just like Paro desired Sarah for her beauty, you desire Binyamin for a slave due to his beauty! 2


Da'as Zekenim #2: Just like you [and Paro] are great in your place, we are great in our place.


Moshav Zekenim: The laws of Mitzrayim said that no slave would rise to authority, and Yosef rose. However, Yehudah did not know that Tzofnas Pa'ane'ach had been a slave! Also, what did Paro promise and not fulfill, and what did Yosef decree? We can say that he decreed that anyone who comes to buy grain will be safe, and he came against them with pretexts. Rosh - the brothers had asked and found out that an Eved Ivri had risen to power, unlike the law, i.e. Paro does not keep his decrees and promises. (If they heard that he was a Ivri, how could they understand the need for a translator?! - PF). Riva - if Paro does not fulfill his Shevu'ah, all the more so he does not keep his promises, i.e. mere words! Bartenura - Paro promised that anyone who comes to buy will be safe, and these were (Riva -Shimon was) seized as Meraglim. (Perhaps Paro was unaware! - PF) Where did Yosef ask to set his eyes on Binyamin? He asked them to bring him, i.e. and Yosef will watch over him. Riva, citing Ri of Pontaiza - "Moshel Makshiv [Al Devar Sheker Kol Mesharsav Resha'im]" (Mishlei 29:12) - since Paro is a liar, surely you have the same Midah.


Even though Yosef said that Binyamin will be a slave only due to the theft, he should have Yehudah in place of him (refer to 44:33:1:1). Why did he not? It must be that he desired Binyamin for his beauty. (PF)


What do we learn from the Trup on this verse?


Peninim mi'Shulchan ha'Gra: The names of the first six notes are 'Kadma v'Azla Revi'i Zarka Munach Segol.' They hint '[why do I (Yehudah)], the fourth [brother], come first [to plead for Binyamin? It is because I] threw away [my share in the world to come with] the cherished [nation if I will not return him].


רש"י: יכנסו דברי באזניך: ממה בא רש"י להוציא?


גור אריה: בפשטות פרוש הפסוק שהוא רוצה ללחוש באזנו, אבל אין זה כבוד המלכות, וגם אין לומר "באזני" בלשון רבים שהרי לוחשים באוזן אחת [אלא כוונתו- יכנסו דברי באזניך].


רש"י: שדבר אליו קשות: מנין לפרש כך?


גור אריה: אם לא כן- לא היה צריך להקדים "ואל יחר אפך".


רש"י: שדבר אליו קשות: לכאורה מפורש שדיבר אליו קשות כשאמר שסופו ללקות עליו כפרעה?


גור אריה: אמנם כך דרשו מ"כי כמוך כפרעה" אך לא זהו פשט דבריו והוא רק רמז לו [שסופו ללקות עליו], אבל כאן רואים שהוא דיבר קשות במפורש.


רש"י: שדבר אליו קשות: לכאורה מפורש שדיבר אליו קשות במה שאמר (פי"ט) "אדוני שאל" ופירש רש"י- מתחילה בעלילה באת?


גור אריה: אפשר שיהודה אמר "אדוני שאל" כדי להסביר ליוסף שחיי אביו תלויים בבנימין, ורק משום שכאן רואים שדיבר אליו קשות פירש רש"י את "אדוני שאל" וגו' שמתחילה בעלילה באת עלינו.


רש"י: סופך ללקות עליו: מנין לדרוש כך?


גור אריה: לפשוטו קשה שהיה ליהודה לומר 'כמוך כמלך' ולא להזכיר את פרעה.


רש"י: ללקות עליו בצרעת: למה דוקא בצרעת?


גור אריה: יהודה חשד שיוסף לוקח את בנימין למשכב זכור ולכן הוא ילקה כפרעה במכת ראתן שתשמיש קשה להם.


גור אריה: המוציא שם רע נידון בצרעת, כפרעה שהוציא על שרה שם רע שהוא שכב עמה.


גור אריה: נגעים באים על הגוזל את שאינו שלו (כי הלוקח דבר שאינו ראוי לו בא עליו דבר שינוי שאינו ראוי) כפרעה שגזל את שרה, וכן בנימין הוא מהשבטים ואינו ראוי לך.


רש"י: פרעה גוזר ואינו מקיים וכו': למה הוסיף רש"י פירוש זה?


גור אריה: לא משמע ש"כמוך כפרעה" מתייחס לעניין העונש אלא שהוא כמוהו במדותיו או בחשיבותו.


רש"י: פרעה גוזר ואינו מקיים: היכן פרעה עשה כך?


גור אריה: פרעה גזר שעבד לא ימלוך והוא המליך את יוסף.


רש"י: מבטיח ואינו עושה: היכן פרעה עשה כך?


גור אריה: לא מצאנו שהבטיח ולא עשה, אבל אם הוא לא מקיים את גזירותיו, כל שכן שאינו מקיים את הבטחותיו.


רש"י: אהרוג אותך ואת אדוניך: למה הוסיף רש"י פרוש זה?


גור אריה: לפי הפרוש הקודם היה צריך לכתוב 'אתה כפרעה' כי לשון "כמוך כפרעה" משמעו שאתה כפרעה ופרעה כמוך, ולכן פרושו שאהרוג את שניכם.


רש"י: אהרוג אותך ואת אדוניך: "כי כמוך כפרעה" משמע שבא לתת טעם למה לא יחר ליוסף, וקשה כיצד זה יתפרש לכל המדרשים?


גור אריה: בודאי פשוטו של מקרא 'חשוב אתה בעיני כמלך' אלא שתלה את הדבר בפרעה לרמוז לו שסופו ללקות עליו כפרעה או שאהרוג את שניכם.

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