Weekly Torah Portions

Vayigash

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After Binyomin was accused of stealing Yoseph's goblet, Yehudah approached Yoseph and presented an eloquent appeal. He pointed out to Yoseph the special love and affection that their father Yaakov had for Binyomin, his only remaining son from his wife Rochel. The love was so intense that Binyomin's soul was as dear to Yaakov as his very own.

In fact, Yehudah continued, when Yaakov will see that Binyomin has not returned with them, it will surely cause his death. Yehudah also explained that it was he, himself, who had personally guaranteed the safe return of Binyomin, and failure would result in Yehudah's excommunication in this world and the world to come. Therefore Yehudah implored that he be allowed to remain in Egypt as a slave in lieu of Binyomin, and Binyomin allowed to return to his father with his brothers.

Yoseph could no longer restrain his strong emotions and he ordered the departure of all persons from the room except for his brothers. Yoseph, then alone in the room with his brothers, raised his voice in weeping. He exclaimed, "I am Yoseph!" and quickly inquired, "Is my father really still alive?" His brothers could not answer him for they were ashamed of the wrong they had committed. Yoseph realized this and called them to come closer to him, which they did. He comforted them and told them not to be sad that they had sold him, for Hashem had actually sent him here to keep them alive during the years of famine. He urged them to quickly return to Canaan and tell his father to come down to Egypt with all his children and grandchildren and all his possessions. They would live in the land of Goshen (the finest pastureland in Egypt) and Yoseph would supply them with sufficient food for the remaining years of the famine.

The news of the arrival of Yoseph's brothers reached Paroh. Paroh told Yoseph to tell his brothers to bring back Yaakov and their households to Egypt. Paroh further commanded Yoseph to tell them to take wagons from Egypt to convey their wives and children. Yoseph presented each of his brothers with sets of different clothing as gifts and he gave Binyomin five such sets and three hundred silver s'loim (amount of currency). He also gave them provisions for the journey. To his father he sent ten donkeys laden with the best of the land of Egypt and ten asses laden with all types of food for the journey.

The brothers left Egypt and came to Canaan, to their father Yaakov. They informed their father that Yoseph was still alive, and that he ruled over the entire land of Egypt. Yaakov's heart skipped a beat; he did not believe them. The brothers then told Yaakov everything Yoseph had told them. Yaakov heard all this and saw the wagons Yoseph had sent for him and then he realized that Yoseph had indeed become a king in Egypt. Yaakov then exclaimed, "There is still much joy in my life for Yoseph is still alive. I will go and see him before I die." Yaakov set forth on his journey and reached Be'ersheva where he offered sacrifices to Hashem. Hashem appeared there to Yaakov in a vision and told him not to be afraid of going to Egypt for it is there that Hashem will make him into a large nation. Hashem promised Yaakov that He will accompany him down to Egypt and will later bring Yaakov back to Eretz Yisrael (meaning that Yaakov will be buried in Eretz Yisrael). Yaakov went down to Egypt with all his children and grandchildren. There were seventy persons of the house of Yaakov that came into Egypt.

Yoseph personally harnessed his chariot and went to meet his father. In an emotion-filled scene, Yoseph finally meets his father. Yoseph falls upon his father's neck and cries continuously. Yaakov proclaims, "If I would die immediately after having seen you now, I would be consoled, for you are still alive."


1st Alliya
2nd Aliya
3rd Alilya
4th Aliya
5th Aliya
6th Aliya
7th Aliya

Joseph Reveals Himself

Judah walked up to [Joseph] and said, "Please, your highness, let me say something to you personally. Do not be angry with me, even though you are just like Pharaoh.
   "You asked if we still had a father or another brother. We told you, 'We have a father who is very old, and the youngest [brother] is a child of his old age. He had a brother who died, and thus, he is the only one of his mother's children still alive. His father loves him.’    
   "You said to us, 'Bring him to me, so that I may set my eyes on him.' We told you, 'The lad cannot leave his father. If he left him, his father would die.'  You replied, 'If your youngest brother does not come with you, you shall not see my face again.'
   "We went to your servant our father and told him what you said.
  When our father told us to go back and get some food, we replied, 'We cannot go. We can go only if our youngest brother is with us. If he is not with us, we cannot even see the man [in charge].'
    "Your servant our father said, 'You know that my wife [Rachel] bore me two sons. One has already left me, and I assume that he was torn to pieces by wild animals. I have seen nothing of him until now. Now you want to take this one from me too! If something were to happen to him, you will have brought my white head down to the grave in evil misery.'


   "And now, when I come to your servant our father, the lad will not be with us. His soul is bound up with [the lad's] soul! When he sees that the lad is not there, he will die! I will have brought your servant our father's white head down to the grave in misery. Besides, I offered myself to my father as a guarantee for the lad, and I said, 'If I do not bring him back to you, I will have sinned to my father for all time.'
    "So now let me remain as your slave in place of the lad. Let the lad go back with his brothers!   For how can I go back to my father if the lad is not with me? I cannot bear to see the evil misery that my father would suffer!"
    Joseph could not hold in his emotions. Since all his attendants were present, he cried out, “Have everyone leave my presence!” Thus, no one else was with him when Joseph revealed himself to his brothers. He began to weep with such loud sobs that the Egyptians could hear it. The news [of these strange happenings] reached Pharaoh's palace.
    Joseph said to his brothers, "I am Joseph! Is my father still alive?" His brothers were so startled, they could not respond.
      "Please, come close to me," said Joseph to his brothers. When they came closer, he said, "I am Joseph your brother! You sold me to Egypt. Now don't worry or feel guilty because you sold me. Look! God has sent me ahead of you to save lives! There has been a famine in the area for two years, and for another five years there will be no plowing or harvest.
   God has sent me ahead of you to insure that you survive in the land and to keep you alive through such extraordinary means.


"Now it is not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me Pharaoh's vizier, director of his entire government, and dictator of all Egypt. "Hurry, go back to my father, and give him the message: Your son Joseph says, 'God has made me master of all Egypt. Come to me without delay. You will be able to settle in the Goshen district and be close to me - you, your children, your grandchildren, your sheep, your cattle, and all that you own. I will fully provide for you there, since there will still be another five years of famine. I do not want you to become destitute, along with your family and all that is yours.' "You and my brother Benjamin can see with your own eyes that I myself am speaking to you. Tell Father all about my high position in Egypt, and about all that you saw. You must hurry and bring Father here."

[With that, Joseph] fell on the shoulders, of his brother Benjamin, and he wept. Benjamin [also] wept on [Joseph's] shoulders. [Joseph] then kissed all his brothers and wept on their [shoulders]. After that, his brothers conversed with him.

 News spread to Pharaoh's palace that Joseph's brothers had shown up. Pharaoh and his advisors were pleased. Pharaoh told Joseph to instruct his brothers, "This is what you must do: Load your beasts and go directly to Canaan. Bring your father and your families and come to me. I will give you the best land in Egypt. You will eat the fat of the land.


Now you are instructed to do the following: Take wagons from Egypt for your small children and wives, and also use them for your father. Come and do not be concerned with your belongings, for the best of Egypt will be yours." 

Israel's sons agreed to do this. Joseph gave them wagons according to Pharaoh's instructions, and he also provided them with food for the journey. He gave each of [his brothers] an outfit of clothes. To Benjamin, however, he gave 300 pieces of silver and five outfits. 

   [Joseph] sent the following to his father: Ten male donkeys, loaded with Egypt's finest products, as well as ten female donkeys, loaded with grain, bread, and food for his father's journey.
   He sent his brothers on their way. As they were leaving, he said to them, "Have a pleasant journey!"
   [The brothers] headed north from Egypt, and they came to their father Jacob in Canaan. They broke the news to him: "Joseph is still alive. He is the ruler of all Egypt."
 [Jacob's] heart became numb, for he could not believe them. Then they related all the words that Joseph had spoken to them, and he saw the wagons that Joseph had sent to transport him. The spirit of their father Jacob was then revived.


"It's too much!" said Israel. "My son Joseph is alive! I must go and see him before I die!"
   Israel began the journey, taking all his possessions, and he arrived in Beer-sheba. He offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac. God spoke to Israel in a night vision, and said, "Jacob! Jacob!"
   "Yes," replied [Jacob].
    [God) said, "I am the Omnipotent God of your father. Do not be afraid to go to Egypt, for it is there that I will make you into a great nation. I will go to Egypt with you, and I will also bring you back again. Joseph will place his hands on your eyes."
   Jacob set out from Beer-sheba. Israel's sons transported their father, along with their children and wives, on the wagons that Pharaoh had sent to carry them. They took their livestock and all the possessions that they had acquired in Canaan. Jacob came to Egypt with all his descendants. His sons and grandsons were with him. He also brought his daughters, his granddaughters, and all his offspring to Egypt with him.

Jacob's Family

These are the names of the Israelites who came to Egypt:

  Jacob and his sons.
  Reuben was Jacob's first-born. Reuben's sons were Enoch (Chanokh), Palu, Chetzron and Carmi.
  Simeon's sons: Yemuel, Yamin, Ohad, Yakhin, Tzochar, as well Saul (Shaul) son of the Canaanite woman.
  Levi's sons: Gershon, Kehath and Merari.
  Judah's sons: Er, Onan, Shelah, Peretz and Zerach. Er and Onan died in Canaan. The sons of Peretz were Chetzron and Chamul.
   Issachar's sons: Tolah, Puvah, Yov and Shimron.
   Zebulun's sons: Sered, Elon and Yachle'el.
   All the above were [from] the sons that Leah bore to Jacob in Padan Aram. Besides this, there was also [Jacob's] daughter Dinah. The tally [so far, including] his sons and daughters, is 33.
   Gad's sons: Tzifion, Chagi, Shuni, Etzbon, Eri, Arodi, and Areli. 
   Asher's sons: Yimnah, Yishvah, Yishvi and Beriah. There was also their sister Serach. The sons of Beriah were Chever and Malkiet.
   The above are [from] the sons of Zilpah. Laban gave her to his daughter Leah, and she bore these sons to Jacob. Here there are 16 in all.
   The sons of Jacob's wife Rachel were Joseph and Benjamin.
   In Egypt, Joseph had sons born to him by Asenath, daughter of Poti Phera, priest of On: Manasseh and Ephraim.
   Benjamin's sons: Bela, Bekher, Ashbel, Gera, Naarnan, Echi, Rosh, Muppim, Chuppim and Ard.
   The above are [from] the sons that Rachel bore to Jacob. There are 14 in all.
   Dan's sons': Chushim.
   Naphtali's sons: Yachtze'el, Guni, Yetzer and Shilem.

   The above are [from] the sons of Bilhah. Laban gave her to his daughter Rachel, and she bore these sons to Jacob. Here there are 7 in all.
   Thus, the number of people who came to Egypt with Jacob, who were his blood descendants, was 66, not counting the wives of Jacob's sons.
   Joseph's sons, born to him in Egypt, added another two individuals. [Adding it all up,] the number of individuals in Jacob's family who came to Egypt was 70.


Jacob Arrives in Egypt

 [Jacob] sent Judah ahead of him to make preparations in Goshen. They then arrived in the Goshen district. Joseph [personally] harnessed his chariot, and he went to greet his father Israel in Goshen. He presented himself to [his father], and threw himself on his shoulders, weeping on his shoulders for a long time. "Now I can die," said Israel to Joseph. "I have seen your face, and you are still alive." 

To his brothers and his father's family, Joseph said, "I will go and tell Pharaoh. I will say the following to him: 'My brothers and my father's family have come to me from Canaan. These men deal in livestock and are tenders of sheep. They have brought along their sheep, their cattle, and all their possessions.'
   "When Pharaoh summons you and inquires as to your occupation, you must say, 'We and our fathers have dealt in livestock all our lives.’ You will then be able to settle in the Goshen district, since all shepherds are taboo in Egypt.   

    Joseph went and told Pharaoh. He said, "My father and brothers have come from Canaan, along with their sheep, their cattle, and all their belongings. They are now in the Goshen district." From among his brothers, he selected five men and presented them to Pharaoh.

   Pharaoh asked [Joseph's] brothers, "What is your occupation?"
  "We are shepherds," they replied to Pharaoh, “ we and our fathers before us.”
    "We have come to stay awhile in your land," they explained to Pharaoh, "because there is no grazing for our flocks, so severe is the famine in Canaan. If you allow us, we will settle in the Goshen district."

Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Your father and brothers have now come to you. The land of Egypt is at your disposal. Settle your father and brothers in the best area. Let them settle in the Goshen district. If you have capable men among them, you can appoint them as livestock officers over my [cattle]." Joseph brought his father Jacob and presented him to Pharaoh. Jacob blessed Pharaoh. "How old are you?" asked Pharaoh of Jacob. "My journey through life has lasted 130 years," replied Jacob. "The days of my life have been few and hard. I did not live as long as my fathers did during their pilgrimage through life." With that, Jacob blessed Pharaoh and left his presence.


Joseph found a place for his father and brothers to live. He gave them an estate in the Rameses region, in the best area, as Pharaoh had ordered. "Joseph provided all the needs of his father, his brothers, and all his father's family, down to the very youngest. 

There was no bread in the entire area, since the famine was very severe. [The people of] Egypt and Canaan became weak with hunger. Joseph collected all the money in Egypt and Canaan in payment for the food [the people] were buying. Joseph brought [all] the money to Pharaoh's reasury.. When the money in Egypt and Canaan was used up, Egyptians from all over came to Joseph. "Give us bread!" they cried. "Why should we die before you just because there is no money?" 

"Bring your livestock," replied Joseph. "If there is no more money, I will give you [what you need] in exchange for your animals." They brought their livestock to Joseph, and Joseph gave them bread in exchange for horses, flocks of sheep, herds of cattle, and donkeys. He saw them through that year with bread in exchange for all their livestock. 


The year came to an end. They came to him the next year, and said, "We are not holding anything back from you, your highness. But since the money and animal stocks are used up, there is nothing left for you besides our dried-up bodies and our land. Why should we die before your very eyes - us and our land? Buy our bodies and our land in exchange for bread. Let us become Pharaoh's serfs, and let our land [also be his]. Give us seed grain! Let us live and not die! Let the land not become desolate."

Joseph [thus] bought up all the farm land in Egypt for Pharaoh. Every man in Egypt had sold his field, for the famine was too much for them, and the land became Pharaoh's property. [Joseph] moved the people to the cities in all Egypt's borders, from one end to the other. The only land he did not buy up was that of the priests, since the priests had a [food] allotment from Pharaoh. They ate the [food] allotment that Pharaoh gave them, and did not have to sell their lands.

Joseph announced to the people, "Today I have purchased your [bodies] and your lands for Pharaoh. Here is seed grain for you. Plant your fields. When it produces grain, you will have to give a fifth to Pharaoh. The other four parts will be yours, as seed grain for your fields, and as food for you, your wives and your children."

"You have saved our lives," they responded. "Just let us find favor in your eyes, and we will be Pharaoh's serfs." Joseph set down a decree (that is in force until today) that one - fifth of [whatever grows on] the farm land of Egypt belonged to Pharaoh. Only the priestly lands did not belong to Pharaoh. Meanwhile, [the fledgling nation of] Israel lived in Egypt, in the Goshen district. They acquired property there, and were fertile, with their population increasing very rapidly.

Когда в мешке Биньямина обнаружился якобы похищенный кубок, братья застыли в растерянности. Только Йегуда вышел вперед и начал, используя все свое красноречие, умолять Йосефа освободить Биньямина, предлагая себя взамен. Йосеф, наконец, убедился, насколько братья изменились с тех пор, как бросили его в яму, и решил им открыться.

Братья чрезвычайно смутились, поняв, что это был им урок за содеянное, но Йосеф иx утешил, сказав, что в происшедшем была доля Б-жественного провидения. Йосеф отправил иx к Яакову в Кнаан с приглашением приехать в Египет, где он мог бы о них заботиться. Яаков сперва не мог поверить в то, что рассказали ему сыновья, но увидев колесницы, присланные Йосефом он воспрянул духом и отправился вместе со всей семьей и всем нажитым имуществом, чтобы поселиться в одной из земель Египта, земле Гошен. В Беэр-Шеве Б-г явился Яакову в ночных видениях и сказал, что не нужно бояться переселения в Египет, ибо это часть Б-жественного плана, и там Б-г сделает его потомков многочисленным народом.

Тора перечисляет потомков Яакова, всего семьдесят человек, пришедших с ним в Египет, где, спустя двадцать два года разлуки, Йосеф встретился со своим отцом. Он обнял отца и заплакал от радости. Йосеф позаботился о расселении всего семейства в земле Гошен. Затем он привел своего отца и пятерыx братьев на встречу с фараоном, который проявил заинтересованность в их судьбе и получил от Яакова благословение.

Йосеф провел в Египте реформу, в результате которой вся земля, кроме принадлежавшей жрецам, оказалась во владении фараона, и все земледельцы обязаны были отдавать ему пятую часть урожая. Тем временем сыновья Яакова-Израиля осели в земле Гошен, и их численность все увеличивалась.



Итак, Йосеф намерен задержать у себя Биньямина с тем, чтобы, осуществляя свой пророческий сон, поскорее встретиться с отцом. Но братья об этом и не догадываются. Они в ужасе. Что станет с отцом при известии об аресте младшего сына? Недельная глава “Ваигаш” (“И подступил”) продолжает изложение беседы Йосефа с братьями. Развитие ее драматично. Йеhуда умоляет Йосефа, чтобы тот согласился взять его — Йеhуду — рабом вместо Биньямина. та напряженная сцена очень выразительно изображена в Мидраше.

Когда Йеhуда сердился, глаза его наливались кровью, волосы на груди над сердцем прокалывали рубашку. Он горячо убеждал Йосефа: Что воду носить, что дрова колоть, что прислуживать — куда до меня Биньямину! Йеhуда говорил все громче, и еще немного — взялся бы за меч. Но чем больше кричал и кипятился Йеhуда, тем больше нравилось это Йосефу. Он видел, как глубоко сожалеет Йеhуда о сделанном.

Что такое раскаяние?

Человек раскаялся, если в повторившейся ситуации не повторяет дурного поступка. Ситуация повторяется: Яакову угрожает утрата второго сына Рахели. Йеhуда просит об одном: взять его рабом вместо Биньямина. А ведь Йеhуде за сорок, и у него трое детей! Очевидно, что теперь он готов отдать жизнь за брата. И Йосеф решает — пора признаться. Он говорит: “Йеhуда, ты солгал, что один из твоих братьев умер. У секретной службы Египта есть сведения, что он жив и находится в этом здании”. И пошел Йосеф с Йеhудой по дворцу, а братья — следом. Подходит он к одной из комнат и зовет: “Йосеф, сын Яакова, выходи!” Братья глядят — никто не появляется. А Йосеф уже в другой комнате. Подходят братья — опять та же сцена. Йосеф и говорит им: “Что вы смотрите? Я — Йосеф!” И сразу “вышла у них душа”. А Йосеф подозвал братьев поближе и стал их успокаивать.

Йосеф сказал братьям: “Я Йосеф, брат ваш, которого вы продали в Египет. И ныне, не печальтесь, и да не будет досадным в ваших глазах, что вы продали меня сюда, ибо для сохранения жизни послал меня Б-г перед вами. Ибо уже два года голод на земле, и еще пять лет, когда ни пахоты, ни жатвы. И послал меня Б-г перед вами, чтобы оставить вас на земле и поддерживать в вас жизнь для спасения великого. И ныне, не вы послали меня сюда, но Б-г! И Он поставил меня отцом у Паро, и господином во всем его доме, и правителем над всей землею Египта. Поспешите и взойдите к отцу моему, и скажите ему: Так сказал твой сын Йосеф: Поставил меня Б-г господином над всем Египтом. Низойди ко мне, не задержись. И поселишься ты на земле Гошен, и будешь ты близок ко мне, ты и твои сыновья, и сыновья твоих сыновей, и твой мелкий и крупный скот, и все, что у тебя. И я довольствовать буду тебя там, ибо еще пять лет голодных, — чтоб не обнищать тебе и твоему дому, и всему, что у тебя. И вот, глаза ваши видят, и глаза моего брата Биньямина, что [это] мои уста, говорящие с вами. И расскажите моему отцу о всей славе моей в Египте и обо всем, что вы видели, и поспешите и приведите отца сюда. И пал он на шею Биньямину, брату своему, и заплакал; и Биньямин плакал на его шее. И целовал он всех братьев своих и плакал на их [груди]. А после того говорили его братья с ним” (45:4-15).

Сказав “глаза ваши видят, и глаза моего брата Биньямина”, Йосеф дает понять братьям: “Так же, как нет у меня обиды на Биньямина, который непричастен к продаже, так нет у меня обиды и на вас”. А слова “это мои уста, говорящие с вами” указывают на то, что до сих пор Йосеф говорил с братьями через переводчика, а теперь — на священном языке иврите. Йосеф снабдил братьев повозками и припасом на дорогу и, кроме того, подарил каждому по костюму, а Биньямину — триста серебряных монет и пять костюмов.

Казалось бы, Йосеф повторяет ошибку Яакова, который подарил ему особую рубаху, наделавшую столько бед. Ведь он дает братьям повод для зависти! Талмуд сообщает слова р. Биньямина бар Йефета: Йосеф намекает этим Биньямину, что будет у него в последующих поколениях великий потомок (Мордехай), который получит в дар из рук царя пять одеяний. Как сказано в Мегилат Эстер (8:15): “И Мордехай вышел от царя в царском одеянии из голубой шерсти и белого [цвета], и в большом золотом венце, и в мантии льняной, и в пурпурной Шодежде]”, т.е. стих называет пять одеяний.

Спрашивает Виленский гаон: “Хорошо. Пусть пять одежд, что Йосеф дарит Биньямину, — это символ будущего. Но ведь сейчас-то получается, что одному он дает больше, чем другим! Разве Талмуд не предупреждает нас: да не выделит человек никогда одного из своих сыновей, ибо это — причина зависти, из-за нее Йосеф был продан и мы попали в Египет?” (Шабат, 10б).

И отвечает: “Йосеф дал Биньямину пять недорогих костюмов. Все вместе они стоили не больше, чем один из костюмов братьев. Так что обиды тут никакой, а есть только намек”.

Основание для такого ответа мы находим в самой главе. Как известно, полное написание слова в Торе, например с буквой “вав” для обозначения звука “о”, говорит о большей важности, полноте предмета. Так, пока Эфрон не взял денег у Авраhама, его имя Тора пишет с “вав” , но когда он взял у Авраhама деньги, и немалую сумму — четыреста монет, сам он упал в цене, и имя его написано без “вав” (см. 23:8, 10, 13, 14, 16). Об одежде Биньямина написано — без “вав” (это слово можно прочесть и как единственный костюм), об одежде же братьев написано с “вав”, что указывает на ее большую ценность.

Почему и за что Йосеф дал Биньямину триста монет? Известный цадик р. Меир Йехиэль из Островцов говорит: Йосеф рассуждал так — нас двенадцать сыновей. Все мы обязаны обслуживать отца. Значит, на каждого приходится по тридцать дней в году. Двадцать два года я не мог ухаживать за отцом. Но я не хочу потерять права на эту заслугу. Слава Всевышнему, у меня есть деньги, вот я и уплачу тому, кто работал вместо меня. Работали одиннадцать братьев, двадцать два разделить на одиннадцать — получается два, т.е. каждый из братьев работал за меня два месяца. Но кому платить? Тем, кто знал о продаже? Кто допустил ее? Не продавайте — не придется отрабатывать! Биньямин к продаже непричастен. В те времена работнику за его труд платили пять монет в день, значит, Биньямину за два месяца, т.е. за шестьдесят дней работы, полагается триста монет.

И Яаков со всей своей семьей “спустился” в Египет. Поселились они в земле Гошен. А голод продолжался. В конце главы рассказывается о том, как Йосеф с ним справлялся. В первый год голода Йосеф продавал зерно за деньги. Но через год деньги у покупателей иссякли. Во второй год Йосеф кормил все население в обмен на скот. Люди сдавали лошадей, ослов, коров, мелкий скот и брали за это зерно. Но вот и скота не стало. Пришли люди к Йосефу: “Кончилось у нас и серебро, и стада... не осталось [ничего], только наше тело и наша земля. Зачем нам умирать на глазах у тебя, и нам, и нашей земле? Купи нас и нашу землю за хлеб, и мы будем рабами Паро. И дай семян, и будем жить, не умрем, и земля не запустеет” (47:18-19).

Ответил им Йосеф: “Вот я купил вас сегодня и вашу землю для Паро. Вот вам семена, и засевайте землю. А когда снимете урожай, то пятую долю (государственный налог) дадите Паро, а четыре доли вам для посева и для еды...” (47:23-24).

“И установил это Йосеф законом до сего дня (до момента, когда была записана Тора. — И.З.) на земле Египта: [давать] Паро пятую часть” (47:26). Иначе говоря, Йосеф позаботился о том, чтобы крестьянский налог не превышал пятой доли урожая. Интересно, где еще рабы получали такую долю 3500 лет тому назад?! Причем земля-то ведь государственная, они только пользуются ею, а сами они рабы. Любой из нас был бы не прочь, чтобы все налоги вместе не превышали двадцать процентов дохода. Так и напрашивается сравнение с колхозным строем в самом “передовом” обществе 20-го века, в котором мы еще так недавно жили!

Rav Yitzchak Zilber (in Russian) Rabbi Dovid Grossman