Friday, December 16, 2011

Two Mysterious Patterns That Beg For an Explanation in Parshas Vayeshev

I know these issues are addressed in seforim but they really jumped out at me this week as I did shnayim mikra and I didn't have time to look them up.

1) Levushim: It just keeps coming up. Yaakov gives Yosef a special levush. The brothers remove Yosef's levush. They dip the levush in blood and show it to their father as their preferred means of communicating Yosef's "death." In Mitzrayim, Yosef leaves his levush with Eishes Potifar. Yosef is put in a new levush when he is removed from prison. Yosef is dressed in a new levush when he is appointed as mishne l'melech. The question isn't necessarily why these things happened. Rather, the question is why the Torah places so much emphasis on levushim in the story of Yosef.

2) Who bought Yosef Initially: Superficially, the Torah's inconsistency with regard to who initially bought/transported/subsequently sold Yosef is troubling. As I reviewed the story, the inconsistencies became less troubling and more mysterious as I realized that the numerous seemingly gratuitous references to who played which part in the sale/transport/resale of Yosef are far to spread out and "unnecessary" to be "coincidental." The inconsistencies are so pervasive and gratuitous that the repeated references are clearly purposeful. I just don't know what the purpose is.

Maybe I'll find some answers over Shabbos!


Neil Harris said...

1) I also noticed the levush thing. My thinking was based on the midrash that the Yidden in Mitzrayim were saved due to keeping their names, language, and CLOTHING. Perhaps, they kept their specific way of dress because of Yosef.

Anonymous said...

See Rebbe Nosson Likutei Halachos on the levushim — awesome! I don't recall which halacha but it is printed in the beginning of the parsha in the L"H chumash from keren oddesser.

DixieYid (يهودي جنوبي) said...

Neil, thank you. I like it!

Anon, thank you also. I have that Chumash so I'll check it out.