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WHY ADD SALT TO AN OPENWOUND?
WtÇ| ^âÜàé 
The Weekly Torah Publication of the Yeshiva University High School for Boys 21 Kislev 5772 ◊ December 17, 2011Volume XVII, Issue 2
Yaakov realized all along thatYosef’s dream foretold the future,but he just wanted to keep thebrothers calm, so he “dismissed” it.However, Rashi quotes theBereishis Rabbah that says that Yaa-kov did not know that the moonrepresented Bilhah who raisedYosef as if she was his mother. To further complicate thematter, Rashi quotes the
Gemara
in Berachos (55b) whichsays that every true dream contains some false elements.To prove this the
Chachamim
use the true dream of Yosef,saying that the moon representing his mother was the“false” element. But this was clearly stated before that themoon actually represented Bilhah – so it could not havebeen the false element?The
Chachamim
in Berachos (55a) explain that there arethree kinds of dreams: 1) the common dreams that justreflect one’s thoughts of that day; 2) the ones that por-tend parts of the future which always contain false ele-ments; 3) and prophetic visions which are completelytrue. Yosef’s dream was of the third type – a true proph-ecy. It is fulfilled when Yaakov and his entire family, in-cluding Bilhah who raised Yosef like her own child, godown to Mitzrayim and bow before Yosef.Now, one can understand why the brothers became jeal-ous, and why Yaakov “pondered” the dream. They allthought it was real, but because Yaakov realized that thebrothers were getting jealous, he dismissed it as non-sense. In reality, Yaakov never thought that it was nottrue. But the original question still remains – if Yosef knew that his first dream bothered his brothers tremen-dously, why did he tell them the second one. The answeris quite simply because his dream was a prophecy, and theTorah says that any prophet that does not publicize hisvisions deserves the punishment of 
misa
(death) by G-d,and that Yosef was just trying to fulfill the word of Ha-shem.
 ———— 
Vayeishev
 ———— 
After Yosef told his brothers the first dream that he had,the
 pasuk
says, “…And they increased even more to hatehim – because of his dreams and because of hiswords.” (Bereishis 37:8). Yet despite this hatred fromthe brothers, in the next
 pasuk
Yosef says, “…Look, Idreamt another dream: Behold! The sun, and the moon,and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” (ibid, 9).The Ner Uziel states that Yosef must have been awarethat his first dream was not appreciated by his brothers;which begs the question as to why would Yosef “add saltto an open wound,” and tell his brothers this seconddream of his personal grandeur?In addition to the brother’s reaction, Yaakov has a veryinteresting reaction as well. It appears that Yaakov is to-tally discrediting the dream when he says, “…What is thisdream which you have dreamt? Are we to come – I andyour mother and your brothers – to bow down to you tothe ground?” (ibid, 10). In other words Yaakov rhetori-cally asks Yosef, “What are you saying?! You know thatyour mother Rachel is dead – do you expect her to comefrom her grave to bow down to you?”In the very next
 pasuk
, the Torah states, “(So) his brothersbecame jealous of him, but his father pondered/ waitedfor the matter.” (ibid, 11). However, these reactionsseem completely different than the ones that happened inthe previous
 pesukim
. Why did the brothers become jeal-ous, if anything they should have had a good laugh at thisnonsense? Also, what happened to Yaakov’s immediatedismissal of the dream? One would think that he wouldlet it go and return to his daily work, but now he is givingmuch thought to the dream. Again the Ner Uziel askswhy the Torah put such conflicting evaluations on thisdream?Many may try to solve the contradiction by saying that
 
Page 2 Volume XVII, Issue 2
One can learn from this that in our own lives Hashemmay give us a “wound”(or cause someone to give us a“wound”), and then another “wound” on top of it, and wemust realize that this wound is not just because Hashemwanted to harm us but He is trying to teach us something – that just like Yosef who told both dreams to his broth-ers just in order to follow the Torah, although it causedhis brothers to hate him – we may also need a “wound”here and there to remind us that the Torah exists and thatwe must always remember who we are standing before.they saw nothing other than his normal thoughts of rulinghis brothers being manifested in a dream. Nothing wasout of place, so they hated him for telling them. The se-cond dream was different. In it, there was the moon,which was representative of Rachel. Rachel had alreadypassed away, and thus the dream could only partially befulfilled (as the Gemara in Berachos learns in generalabout prophecy from this very dream!) The moon couldnot have been part of Yosef’s mundane thoughts. It was a
davar batel 
. Clearly, this was something divine. This was
nevuah
. The brothers wouldn’t dare to hate Yosef for aprophecy! This time they were just jealous, because theyrealized the level to which he would rise over them.This explanation not only answers our questions; it alsoteaches us a lesson in introspection. It is not easy to dif-ferentiate between all the messages that Hashem gives us.We are constantly facing new situations which are clearlymeant to get us to think or to be aware. How can weknow when the message is clearly divine and when it iscommonplace? Yosef’s dreams now teach us that it is our job in life to analyze everything. All situations, likedreams, have
devarim betelim
in them, meant to confuseus. We must remove them like the chaff from the wheat,because every situation has a message from Hashem in it.We just have to find it amongst our own ideas.May we all be
zoche
to see Hashem in every aspect of ourlives, and may Hashem remove the
devarim betelim
fromour world.
QuesƟons? Comments?Email: Shemakoleinu1@gmail.comComplaints?Email: Avi.lent @optonline.net
DEVARIM BETAILIM
XÄ| UxÜzxÜ 
In this week’s sedrah, Yosef has a series of propheticdreams. The first two of these dreams emphasize Yosef’sfuture reign over his brothers. The first dream featuressheaves of wheat bowing down to Yosef’s upright sheaf.After Yosef relates that dream, the pasuk says “they hatedhim”. In the second dream, the sun, moon, and elevenstars are bowing down to Yosef. After he relates this se-cond dream to his family, the pasuk says “they were jeal-ous of him”.The Gra asks the obvious question: why did they hate himfor the first dream, and then became jealous for the se-cond dream?The Gra answers that there are two kinds of dreams aperson can have: a) a divine dream with a message fromHashem, about which chazal say “A dream is one-sixtiethof nevuah” (Brachos 57), or b) a dream simply stemmingfrom one’s thoughts during the day. The dreamer usuallyknows if the dream is ordinary or unusual and divine.However, those hearing about the dream cannot knowwhether it was out of the ordinary, since “just as it is im-possible to have wheat without chaff in it, it is impossibleto have a [meaningful] dream without nonsense (
devarimbetelim
) in it” (ibid. 55a).Therefore, when Yosef’s brothers heard his first dream,
YOSEF’S “EVIL REPORT”
Tä| fxuutz 
The pasuk says that Yosef told evil reports to his fatherYaakov. Rashi tells us the simple pshat of the pasuk; thatYosef said that his brothers did 3 things. One, they ate
 Aver min hachai
 – meat taken from an animal before it wasslaughtered. Two, the sons of Leah made fun of the
B’neiSh’fachot
- sons of the maidservants, by calling them serv-ants; and three, they behaved licentiously. The punish-ment for Yosef was measure for measure. For the firstone, when he was sold into slavery, his brothers
schechted 
 an animal to use its blood to fool Yaakov, as a punishmentfor slandering his brothers regarding
 Aver min hachai
. Sec-ondly,
 
as punishment for saying his brothers called the
B’nei Sh’fachot
slaves, he was sold into slavery. And third-
 
Page 3Volume XVII, Issue 2
ly, he was accused by Potiphar’s wife as punishment for hisclaims on his brothers’ promiscuity.But how did Chazal find this out? And what was the realnature of the evil reports? R’ Eliyahu Mizrachi answersthat Chazal got it from a
Gzeirah Shavah-
A similarity be-tween words and phrases in 2 different pesukim
.
The word
Ra’ah
is used in the Pasuk in reference to the evil reports,but is also used in pesukim about Potiphar’s wife, Yosef inslavery, and eating non-kosher meat.The Maharal rejects this explanation, for a couple reasons.Firstly because there is a general principle by
GzeirahShavah
that it must be
Moshe m’sinai
. Also
Ra’ah
is used bymany other things not just these four places so it can’t be.The Or HaChayim says that Chazal interpreted it straightfrom the pesukim, they didn’t cut corners. The pasuk saysYosef always saw his brothers “with the flock” that hints tothe evil report
about Aver min hachai.
Another pasuk says“the wives of their father”, this hints at the fact that theytook liberties with concubines, without regarding them aslegal wives.However, this explanation is difficult to understand, be-cause there’s a Midrash that says “they looked at thedaughters of Canaan”. What does this have to do with theirfather’s wives? An answer is brought down from theBreishit Rabbah, which deemed them as extra words, andhe compared it to 2 other places where there is thought tobe extra words. First it says by Yosef that he tended withhis brothers “in the sheep”, these words are unnecessary,so are the words “his father’s wives” and “evil” from “evilreport”.The midrash teaches us that its not superfluous. First thatthere was an evil report about the flock, the second says itsconcerned about the way Leah’s sons treated the childrenof “his father’s wives” and finally, you see the “evil” is areference to the daughters of Canaan, as we are told are“evil”. This was the intent of Chazal in teaching us aboutthe nature of the “evil” reports.Following the sale of Yosef, Yehuda bears three sons: Eir,Onan, and Sheilah. Eir dies at an early age, leaving hiswidow, Tamar. Following his death, Yehuda commandsOnan to be
miyabeim
his sister-in-law in order to upholdhis brother’s name.This is the first appearance of the mitzvah of yibum—theobligation for the brother of the deceased to bear childrenfrom his brother’s wife in order to uphold his name with-in klal Yisrael.The Ramban addresses the purpose of this mitzvah andwrites that before matan Torah, yibum was often donefor any close family member, not specifically one’s broth-er. It was considered an honor to the deceased and was anact of tremendous chesed and kedusha. However, whenthe Torah was given, detailed in parshas Acharei Moswere the numerous arayos, one of which is a sister-in-law. By definition, this should have ended the historicalpractice of yibum. However, in order to allow Bnai Yis-rael to continue this holy practice, Hashem presented themitzvah of yibum in Parshas Ki– Seitzei which serves asan exception the genral rule of arayos. At the time thatone’s brother dies, his sister-in-law’s ervah is pushedaside and the act of yibum is permitted.This mitzvah is foreign to us nowadays (as we pasken likeAbba Shaul that chalitza is preferable, see Yevamos 41b)but the mitzvah represents the Torah’s emphasis on olamhaba (afterlife) and that although htthe brother has diedone is still to uphold his name in this world. Additionally,it represents the kedusha of Jewish family life and of ourability to be makdish even the most mundane of actions.This is an important idea in everyday life in all that wedo. The most mundane actions can be done lishem sha-mayim and by doing so we will be able to create properlives of avodas Hashem and yiras shamayim.
MITZVAS YIBUM
^Éux ^t{Ç 

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