Miketz

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Rav Zilber in Russian
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It is two years later. Pharaoh has two ominous and enigmatic dreams. He is not satisfied with any of the interpretations that are offered to explain them. Pharaoh's wine chamberlain belatedly remembers that Yosef accurately interpreted his dream while they were imprisoned together, and Yosef is immediately released. Yosef interprets that within a short time there will be seven years of unusual abundance, followed by seven years of extraordinarily severe famine. Yosef suggests to Pharaoh that he appoint a wise and discerning man to harness the years of plenty in preparation for the years of famine. 

Pharaoh, recognizing the spirit of God in Yosef, appoints him as viceroy to oversee the entire project. Pharaoh gives Yosef an Egyptian name, Tsofnat-Pane’ach, and selects Osnat, Yosef's ex-master's daughter, as Yosef's wife. As a result of Yosef's plan, Egypt becomes the granary of the world during the famine. Yosef has two sons, Menasheh and Efrayim. Ya’akov, hearing that there is food in Egypt, sends his sons to buy provisions. In Egypt, the brothers come before Yosef and bow down before him, fulfilling his prophecy. Yosef recognizes them immediately, but they do not recognize him in his new incarnation as viceroy of Egypt. Mindful of his prophetic dreams, Yosef plays the part of an Egyptian overlord and acts towards them harshly, accusing them of being foreign spies. After interrogating them, Yosef sells them food, but keeps Shimon hostage until they bring their youngest brother Binyamin to him as a proof of their honesty. Yosef commands his servants to place the purchase-money on top of the food in each of their sacks. On the return journey, when feeding their donkeys, they discover the money and their hearts sink. They return to their father Ya’akov and retell everything that has happened.

At first Ya’akov refuses to let Binyamin go down to Egypt, but when the famine grows unbearably harsh, he accedes. Yehudah guarantees Binyamin's safety, and the brothers including Binyamin return to Egypt. After inquiring about his father's welfare, Yosef welcomes the brothers lavishly as honoured guests. However, when he sees Binyamin he can barely control his emotions and rushes from the room and weeps. Yosef secretly instructs his servants to again replace the money in the sacks, and in addition, to put his goblet inside Binyamin's sack. When the goblet is discovered, Yosef demands that Binyamin become his slave as a punishment. Yehudah, remembering his promise to his father, interposes and offers himself instead, but Yosef refuses.

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

Joseph's Vindication

Two full years passed. Then Pharaoh had a dream. He was standing near the Nile, when suddenly seven handsome, healthy-looking cows emerged from the Nile, and grazed in the marsh grass. Then another seven ugly, lean cows emerged from the Nile, and stood next to the cows already on the river bank. The ugly, lean cows ate up the seven handsome, fat cows. Pharaoh then woke up.
   He fell asleep again and had a second dream. He saw seven fat, good ears of grain growing on a single stalk. Then, suddenly, another seven ears of grain grew behind them, thin and scorched by the [hot] east wind. The seven thin ears swallowed up the seven fat, full ears. Pharaoh woke up and realized that it had been a dream.         
   In the morning he was very upset. He sent word, summoning all the symbolists and wise men of Egypt. Pharaoh told them his dreams, but there was no one who could provide a satisfactory interpretation.
   The chief wine steward spoke to Pharaoh. "I must recall my crimes today," he said. "Pharaoh was angry at us, and he placed me under arrest in the house of the captain of the guard, along with the chief baker. We dreamed one night - he and I each had a dream that seemed to have its own special meaning. There was a young Hebrew man with us, a slave of the captain of the guard. We told him our dreams, and he interpreted them. He provided each of us with an interpretation, and things worked out just as he said they would. I was given back my position, while [the baker] was hanged."
   Pharaoh sent messengers and had Joseph summoned. They rushed him from the dungeon. He got a haircut and changed clothes, and then came to Pharaoh. 

 Pharaoh shares his dream

Pharaoh said to Joseph, "I had a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it. I heard that when you hear a dream, you can explain it."
   Joseph answered Pharaoh, "It is not by my own power. But God may provide an answer concerning Pharaoh's fortune."
   Pharaoh related it to Joseph: "In my dream, I was standing on the bank of the Nile. Suddenly, seven fat, handsome cows emerged from the Nile, and grazed in the marsh grass. Then, just as suddenly, seven other cows emerged after them, very badly formed and emaciated. I never saw such bad ones in all Egypt. The emaciated, bad cows proceeded to eat the first seven, healthy cows. These were completely swallowed by the [emaciated cows], but there was no way of telling that they were inside. The cows looked just as bad as they had at first. Then I woke up.
   "Then I had another dream. There were seven full, good ears of grain growing on one stalk. Suddenly, seven other ears of grain grew behind them. [The second ones] were shriveled, thin, and scorched by the east [desert] wind. The thin ears swallowed up the seven good ears.
  "I told this to the symbolists, but none of them could interpret it for me."

 Joseph explains  the dreams

 "Joseph said to Pharaoh, "Pharaoh's dream has a single meaning. God has told Pharaoh what He is about to do. The seven good cows are seven years. The seven good ears are [the same] seven years. It is one dream.
   "The seven emaciated, bad cows who came up after [the first ones] are also seven years. The seven empty, wind-scorched ears will [likewise] be seven years of famine.
   "It is as I have told Pharaoh - God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do. Seven years are coming, during which there will be a great surplus of food all over Egypt. These will be followed    by seven years of famine, when all the surplus in Egypt will be forgotten. The famine will ravage the land. The ensuing famine will be so terrible that there will be no way of telling that there was once a surplus in the land.
   "The reason that Pharaoh had the same dream twice is because the process has already been set in motion by God, and God is rushing to do it.
Joseph’s suggestion
  "Now Pharaoh must seek out a man with insight and wisdom, and place him in charge of Egypt. Pharaoh must then take further action, and appoint officials over the land. A rationing system will have to be set up over Egypt during the seven years of surplus.
    Let [the officials] collect all the food during these coming good years, and let them store the grain under Pharaoh's control. The food will be kept in the cities under guard.  The food can then be held in reserve for the land when the seven famine years come to Egypt. The land will then not be depopulated by the famine."
    Pharaoh and all his advisors considered it an excellent plan. Pharaoh said to his advisors, "Can there be another person who has God's spirit in him as this man does?"


Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Since God has informed you about all this, there can be no one with as much insight and wisdom as you. You shall be in charge of my government, and food will be distributed to my people by your orders. Only by the throne will I outrank you." 

   Pharaoh then formally declared to Joseph, "I am placing you in charge of the entire land of Egypt." Pharaoh took his ring off his own hand and placed it on the hand of Joseph. He had him dressed in the finest linen garments, and placed a gold chain around his neck. He had [Joseph] ride in his second royal chariot, and [those going] ahead of him announced, "The Viceroy!" [Joseph] was thus given authority over all Egypt.
   Pharaoh said to Joseph, "I am Pharaoh. Without your say, no man will lift a hand or foot in all Egypt." Pharaoh gave Joseph the name Tzaphnath Paaneach. He gave him Asenath, daughter of Poti Phera, the priest of On, as a wife. Joseph thus went out to oversee Egypt. When he stood before Pharaoh, Joseph was 30 years old.
   Joseph left Pharaoh's court, and he made an inspection tour of the entire land of Egypt. During the seven years of surplus, the land produced loads of grain. [Joseph] collected the food during the seven years that Egypt was now enjoying, and he placed the food in the cities. The food growing in the fields around each city was placed inside [the city]. Joseph accumulated so much grain, it was like the sand of the sea. They had to give up counting it, since there was too much to count.
   Joseph had two sons before the famine years came, borne to him by Asenath, daughter of Poti Phera, priest of On. Joseph named the first-born Manasseh (Me-nasheh) - "because God has made me forget (nasheh) all my troubles - and even my father's house." He named his second son Ephraim - "Because God has made me fruitful (p’ri) in the land of my suffering." 


The seven years of surplus that Egypt was enjoying finally came to an end. The seven years of famine then began, just as Joseph had predicted. There was famine in all the other lands, but in Egypt there was bread. Eventually, however, all of Egypt also began to feel the famine, and the people cried out to Pharaoh for bread. Pharaoh announced to all Egypt, "Go to Joseph. Do whatever he tells you." 

   The famine spread over the entire area. Joseph opened all the storehouses, and he rationed supplies to Egypt. But the famine was growing worse in Egypt. The famine was [also] growing more severe in the entire area, and [people from] all over the area came to Egypt to obtain rations from Joseph. 

Jacob and ten sons

  Jacob learned that there were provisions in Egypt, and he said to his sons, "Why are you fantasizing?" "I have heard that there are supplies in Egypt," he explained. "You can go there and buy food. Let us live and not die."
   Joseph's ten brothers went to buy grain in Egypt. But Jacob did not send  Joseph's brother Benjamin along with the others. "Something might happen to him," he said.
   Israel's sons came to buy rations along with the others who came because of the famine in Canaan. Joseph was like a dictator over the land, since he was the only one who rationed out food for all the people, When Joseph's brothers arrived, they prostrated themselves to him, with their faces to the ground.
    Joseph recognized his brothers as soon as he saw them. But he behaved like a stranger and spoke harshly to them. "Where are you from?" he asked.
   "From the land of Canaan - to buy food," they replied.
    Joseph recognized his brothers, but they did not recognize him. He remembered what he had dreamed about them. "You are spies!" he said to them. "You have come to see where the land is exposed to attack."
   "No my lord!" they replied. "We are your servants who have come only to buy food. " We are all the sons of the same man. We are honorable men. We would never think of being spies!"
   "No!" retorted [Joseph]. "You have come to see where the land is exposed."
   "We are twelve brothers," they pleaded. "We are the sons of one man who is in Canaan. Right now the youngest brother is with our father, and one brother is gone."
   "I still say that you are spies," replied Joseph. "There is only one way that you can convince me. By Pharaoh's life, [all of] you will not leave this place unless your youngest brother comes here. Let one of you go back and bring your brother. The rest will remain here under arrest. This will test your claim and determine if you are telling the truth. If not, by Pharaoh's life, you will be considered spies."
   Joseph had them placed under arrest for three days. On the third day, Joseph said to them, "If you do as I say, you will live. I fear the God.


We will see if you are really being candid. One of you will be held hostage in the same building where you were kept under arrest. The rest can go and bring supplies to your hungry families. Bring your youngest brother here, and your claim will be substantiated. Then you will not die." 

   They agreed to this, but they said to one another, "We deserve to be punished because of what we did to our brother. We saw him suffering when he pleaded with us, but we would not listen. That's why this great misfortune has come upon us now."
   Reuben interrupted them. "Didn't I tell you not to commit a crime against the boy?" he said. "You wouldn't listen. Now a [divine] accounting is being demanded for his blood'!"
   Meanwhile, they did not realize that Joseph was listening, since they [had spoken to him] through a translator. Joseph left them and wept. When he returned, he spoke to them sternly again. He had Simeon taken from them and placed in chains before their eyes.
   Joseph gave orders that when their bags were filled with grain, each one's money should also be placed in his sack. They were also to be given provisions for the journey. This was done. [The brothers] then loaded the food they bought on their donkeys, and they departed.
   When they came to the place where they spent the night, one of them opened his sack to feed his donkey. He saw his money right there at the top of his pack. "My money has been returned!" he exclaimed to his brothers. "It's in my pack!"
  Their hearts sank. "What is this that God has done to us?" they asked each other with trembling voices.
   When they came to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan, they told him about all that had happened to them. "The man who was the lord of the land spoke to us harshly," they said, "and he charged us with spying on the land. We said to him, 'We are honorable men. We have never been spies.  We are twelve brothers, all of the same father. One of us has been lost, and the youngest is now with our father in Canaan.'
   "The man who was the lord of the land said to us, 'I have a way of knowing if you are honorable. Leave one of your brothers with me, take [what you need] for your hungry families, and go. Bring your youngest brother back to me, and then I will know that you are honorable men, and not spies. I will give your brother back to you, and you will be able to do business in [our] land."'
   They began emptying their sacks, and each one's money was [found to be] in his sack. [The brothers] and their father saw the money - bags and they were afraid.
   Their father Jacob said to them, "You're making me lose my children! Joseph is gone! Simeon is gone! And now you want to take Benjamin! Everything is happening to me!"
   Reuben tried to reason with his father. "If I do not bring [Benjamin] back to you," he said, "you can put my two sons to death. Let him responsibility, and I will bring him back, to you." 
   "My son will not go with you!" replied Jacob. "His brother is dead he is all I have left. Something may happen to him along the way, and you will bring my white head down to the grave in misery!"

Second trip to Egypt

  The famine became worse in the area When they had used up all the supplies that they had brought from Egypt, their father said to them Go back and get us a little food."
   Judah tried to reason with him. He said, "The man warned us, 'Do not appear before me unless your brother is with you.’ If you consent to send our brother with us, we will go and get you food. But if you will not send [him], we cannot go. The man told us, 'Do not appear before me unless your brother is with you."'
   Israel said, "Why did you do such a terrible thing to me, telling the man that you had another brother?"
    [The brothers] replied, "The man kept asking about us and our family. He asked, 'Is your father still alive? Do you have another brother? 'We simply answered his questions. How were we to know that he would demand that we bring our brother there?"
   "Send the boy with me," said Judah to his father Israel. "Let us set out and get going. Let's live and not die - we, you, and also our children myself will be responsible for him. You can demand him from my own hand. If I do not bring him back and have him stand here before you, I will have sinned for all time. But if we had not waited so long, we could have been there and back twice by now!"
   Their father Israel said to them, "If that's the way it must be, this is what you must do. Take some of the land's famous products in your baggage, a little balsam, a little honey, and some gum, resin, pistachio nuts and almonds. Take along twice as much money, so that you will be able to return the money that was put at the tops of your packs - it might have been an oversight. And your brother - take him. Go and return to the man.
    May God Almighty grant that the man have pity on you and let you go along with your other brother and Benjamin. If I must lose my children, then I will lose them."
    The brothers took the gift and also brought along twice as much money [as was needed]. They set out with Benjamin and went to Egypt. [Once again] they stood before Joseph.


  When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the overseer of his household, "Bring these men to the palace. Butcher an animal and prepare it. These men will be eating lunch with me." 

    The man did as Joseph said, and he escorted the brothers to Joseph's palace. When the men [realized that] they were being brought to Joseph's palace, they were terrified. They said, "We are being brought here because of the money that was put back in our packs the last time. We will be framed and convicted. Our donkeys can be confiscated, and we can even be taken as slaves. "
    When they were at the door of Joseph's palace, they went over to the overseer and spoke to him. "If you please, sir," they said, "we originally came down to buy food. " Then, when we came to the place where we spent the night, we opened our packs, and each man's money was at the top of the pack. It was our own money, in its exact weight. We have brought it back with us.       We have also brought along other money to buy food. We have no idea who put the money back in our packs!"
    "Everything is fine as far as you are concerned," replied [the overseers]. "Don't be afraid. The God you and your father worship must have placed a hidden gift in your packs. I received the money you paid." With that, he brought Simeon out to them.
   The man brought the brothers into Joseph's palace. He gave them water so they could wash their feet, and had fodder given to their donkeys. They got their gifts ready for when Joseph would come at noon, since they heard that they would be eating with him.
   When Joseph arrived home, they presented him with the gifts they had brought. They prostrated themselves on the ground to him.
   He inquired as to their welfare. "Is your old father at peace?" he asked. "Remember, you told me about him. Is he still alive?"
   "Your servant our father is at peace," they replied, "He is still alive." They bowed their heads and prostrated themselves.
    [Joseph] looked up and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother's son. He said, "This must be your youngest brother, about whom you told me." [To Benjamin] he said, "God be gracious to you, my son."


Joseph rushed out. His emotions had been aroused by his brother, and he had to weep. He went to a room and there he wept. He washed his face and came out. Holding in his emotions, he said, "Serve the meal." 

[Joseph] was served by himself, and [the brothers] by themselves. The Egyptians who were eating with them [were also] segregated. The Egyptians could not eat with the Hebrews, since this was taboo to the Egyptians!
   When [the brothers] were seated before [Joseph], they were placed in order of age, from the oldest to the youngest. The brothers looked at each other in amazement. [Joseph] sent them portions from his table, giving Benjamin five times as much as the rest. They drank with him and became intoxicated.

The plot

   Joseph gave his overseer special instructions. "Fill the men's packs with as much food as they can carry,” he said. "Place each man's money at the top of his pack. And my chalice - the silver chalice - place it on top of the youngest one's pack - along with the money for his food." [The overseer] did exactly as Joseph instructed him.
   With the first morning light, the brothers took their donkeys and were sent on their way. They had just left the city and had not gone far, when Joseph said to his overseer, "Set out and pursue those men. Catch up with them and say to them, 'Why did you repay good with evil? It's [the cup] from which my master drinks, and he uses it for divination. You did a terrible thing."'
   [The overseer] caught up with them, and repeated exactly those words to them. They said to him, "Why do you say such things? Heaven forbid that we should do such a thing! After all, we brought you back the money we found at the top of our packs - all the way from Canaan. How could we steal silver or gold from your master's house? If any of us has it in his possession, he shall die. You can take the rest of us for slaves."
   "It should be as you declare," he replied. "But only the one with whom it is found will be my slave. The rest will be able to go free."
   Each one quickly lowered his pack to the ground, and they all opened their packs. [The overseer] inspected each one, beginning with the oldest and ending with the youngest. The chalice was found in Benjamin's pack.
    [The brothers] tore their clothes in grief. Each one reloaded his donkey, and they returned to the city. When Judah and his brothers came to Joseph's palace, he was still there. They threw themselves on the ground before him. Joseph said to them, "What did you think you were doing? Don't you realize that a person like me can determine the truth by divination?"
   "What can we say to my lord?" replied Judah. "How can we speak? How can we prove our innocence? God has uncovered our old guilt. Let us be your slaves - we and the one in whose possession the chalice was found,"
   "Heaven forbid that I do that!" said [Joseph]. "The one in whose possession the chalice was found shall be my slave. [The rest of] you can go in peace to your father."

Прошло два года. Фараону приснилось два зловещиx и загадочныx сна. Египетские мудрецы, призванные им, не смогли их истолковать. Тогда виночерпий Фараона вспомнил про Йосефа, в точности истолковавшего его сон в тюрьме. Йосефа незамедлительно освободили и привели к фараону. По толкованию Йосефа сны фараона предсказывали наступление семи лет необычайного изобилия, а затем семи лет сурового голода. Йосеф посоветовал фараону назначить мудрого и проницательного человека, чтобы он использовал годы изобилия для подготовки к годам голода.

Фараон понял, что Б-г даровал Йосефу необычайные способности, и назначил его вторым после себя лицом в государстве, доверил руководить накоплением запасов продовольствия, дал ему египетское имя Цафнат Панеаx и назначил ему в жены Аснат, дочь влиятельного жреца. Благодаря плану Йосефа, в Египте в преддверии голодных лет было скоплено столько продовольствия, что его хватило и на помощь голодающим из соседних стран. Аснат родила Йосефу двух сыновей - Менаше и Эфраима. Когда в Кнаане наступил голод, Яаков, прослышав, что в Египте есть пища, отправил туда своиx сыновей, чтобы купить хлеба. В Египте братья предстали перед Йосефом и поклонились ему (тем самым сбылся сон Йосефа). Йосеф сразу же узнал иx, но они не узнали его в облике всесильного властителя Египта. Желая путем испытаний привести братьев к раскаянию, Йосеф не открылся им, а продолжал играть роль египетского вельможи, обращаясь с ними жестоко, и, в конце концов обвинил их в шпионаже.

Допросив братьев, Йосеф оставил у себя Шимона в качестве заложника, а остальных отослал в Кнаан с запасами пищи, потребовав в качестве доказательства своей честности привести к нему младшего брата Биньямина, оставшегося с отцом. Вдобавок ко всему, Йосеф приказал своим слугам незаметно подложить каждому из них в мешок деньги, заплаченные ими за зерно. Когда по пути домой они обнаружили деньги, то еще больше испугались и растерялись. Возвратившись к Яакову, братья пересказали ему все, что произошло. Сначала, Яаков отказывался отпустить Биньямина в Египет, но когда голод стал непереносимым, он уступил. Йегуда поручился за безопасность Биньямина и все братья снова отправились в Египет. В доме Йосефа сыновья Яакова вернули оказавшиеся у них в мешках деньги и приподнесли в дар орехи, пряности и благовония. Йосеф принял братьев словно почетных гостей и стал расспрашивать о здоровье Яакова. Увидев Биньямина, он не смог сдержать чувств, выбежал из комнаты и заплакал. Тем не менее Йосеф не открылся братьям, а решил продолжить испытание. Во время пира в их честь, он по секрету приказал слугам снова подложить в их мешки деньги, а в мешок Биньямина еще и серебряный кубок. Как только братья отправились в обратный путь, Йосеф послал за ними слуг, которые нашли в мешке у Биньямина кубок и уличили их в воровстве. В качестве наказания Йосеф сделал Биньямина своим рабом. Йегуда предложил, чтобы все братья стали рабами вместе с Биньямином, но Йосеф на это не согласился, а потребовал, чтобы они вернулись к своему отцу.


Беседы о Торе. Рав Ицхак Зильбер

Недельная глава «Микец» («По прошествии») начинается с рассказа о том, как Йосеф истолковал царю Египта — Паро — его сны, предсказывавшие стране семь лет изобилия, а затем — семь лет голода. За это Йосеф был выпущен из тюрьмы и поставлен правителем Египта как единственный человек, способный предотвратить беду. Кончается глава встречей Йосефа с братьями.

В годы изобилия Йосеф готовил запасы зерна на годы наступающего голода, а когда наступил голод — стал продавать зерно.

Кроме Египта, голод поразил еще три страны: Финикию, Аравию и Палестину (Палестина — прибрежная местность в Эрец-Исраэль, где в городах Ашкелон, Ашдод, Гат, Экрон и Аза жили филистимляне).

Йосеф, как сказано в Мидраше, проявил большую смелость — ослушался Паро! Когда стали приходить за зерном люди из других стран, Паро запретил продажу: вдруг самим не хватит! Йосеф сказал: Нельзя допустить, чтобы люди умирали с голоду; надо продавать им зерно, но по определенным правилам.

И вот Йосеф издал приказ:

1. Покупатель не имеет права прислать вместо себя раба, за зерном должен прийти кто-то из членов семьи.

2. Перепродавать купленное зерно запрещается.

3. Покупатель обязан указать свое имя, имя отца и имя деда.

Основная цель, которую преследовал Йосеф третьим приказом, — увидеть братьев, узнать, что делается в семье. Он ежедневно проверял списки покупающих зерно и, наконец, дождался. От одних ворот доложили: был Реувен, сын Яакова, от других — был Шимон, бен Яаков, и т.д. Десять братьев приехали за зерном, а Биньямина — младшего, последнего сына любимой Рахели, Яаков боялся послать: как бы и с ним чего-нибудь не случилось.

«И пришли братья Йосефа, и поклонились ему лицом до земли. И увидел Йосеф братьев своих и узнал их, и притворился перед ними чужим и говорил с ними сурово. И сказал им: Откуда вы пришли? И они сказали: Из земли Кнаана, чтобы купить еду. И узнал Йосеф своих братьев, а они его не узнали. И вспомнил Йосеф сны, которые снились ему о них (что они поклонятся ему. — И.З.), и сказал им: вы соглядатаи, высмотреть наготу земли (тайные объекты. — И.З.) пришли вы. И они сказали ему: Нет, господин мой, — твои рабы пришли купить еду. Мы все сыновья одного человека, честные мы, [никогда] не были твои рабы соглядатаями. И он им сказал: Нет, вы пришли высмотреть наготу земли. — А они сказали ему так: [Нас] двенадцать, твоих рабов, мы братья, дети одного человека в земле Кнаана. И вот младший с отцом сегодня, а одного нет. И сказал им Йосеф: Об этом я и говорил вам, сказав, что вы соглядатаи. Этим будете испытаны: [клянусь] жизнью Паро, что не выйдете отсюда, разве что если придет ваш младший брат сюда. Пошлите одного из вас, и возьмет вашего брата, а вы будете под арестом. И будут проверены ваши слова, правда ли это. А если нет, [клянусь] жизнью Паро, что вы соглядатаи. И взял их под стражу на три дня. И сказал им Йосеф на третий день: Вот это сделайте, и будете жить, Б-га я боюсь. Если честные вы, один брат останется под стражей, [где] вы были, а вы идите, отвезите купленное для [утоления] голода семей ваших. И младшего брата привезете ко мне. Так оправдаются ваши слова, и не умрете. И они поступили так» (42:6—20).

Возникает вопрос: почему Йосеф не сообщил отцу за столько времени, что он жив? Зачем он устроил весь этот спектакль с братьями, обвинив их в шпионаже, а когда пришел Биньямин, то зачем еще и подбросил в его мешок кубок, чтобы задержать его, обвинив в воровстве?!

Баалей hа-тосафот говорят: когда братья продали Йосефа, они наложили херем на того, кто об этом расскажет. Но сам Йосеф, казалось бы, мог подать отцу весточку и успокоить его? Правда, будучи рабом, а потом находясь в тюрьме, он был лишен такой возможности. Но когда он стал практически царем?

Дело в том, что Йосеф не хотел рассказывать отцу, что братья его продали (он не сделал этого и тогда, когда Яаков пришел в Египет). Слишком живо представлялась Йосефу эта тяжелая картина. Вот Яакову сообщают, что сын его цел и невредим. Старшие братья — Йеhуда, Шимон и Леви — краснеют и белеют. Яаков просит их рассказать правду — ведь они сами показали ему окровавленную рубаху Йосефа. Братья начинают бормотать что-то невразумительное, стараются реже заходить к отцу в дом, избегают его. Йосефу ясно виделись последствия всего этого — слабеют связи в семье Яакова, уменьшается влияние Яакова на внуков. А это — зло намного большее, чем даже слезы Яакова о Йосефе.

И Яаков двадцать два года не знал правды о Йосефе и узнал ее лишь перед смертью (это знание было дано Яакову свыше).

Однако Йосеф не считал, что молчание решает все вопросы. Что делать, чтобы отец так не страдал? И Йосеф находит решение. Б-г показал ему сон о том, что ему поклонятся одиннадцать братьев, и второй — что и отец поклонится вместе с ними. Значит, так будет. И произойдет это именно в такой последовательности. Увидев десятерых братьев, Йосеф взволновался: сон начинает сбываться! Надо ускорить события! Надо кого-то из братьев задержать, пока не придет одиннадцатый. И он решает задержать Шимона, того, кто бросил его в яму. Это будет Шимону некоторым искуплением за грех. Но вот пришел Биньямин, и все одиннадцать братьев поклонились Йосефу. Первое предсказание исполнилось. Теперь надо задержать Биньямина — тогда, наверно, придет отец, и сам Б-г покажет Йосефу развязку.

Почему братья продали Йосефа? Как могли сыновья, ученики и воспитанники Яакова совершить такой ужасный поступок?

Тора рассказывает нам, что привело их к этому.

Яаков подарил Йосефу нарядную шерстяную рубашку, выделив, таким образом, мальчика своим вниманием. Он хотел поощрить Йосефа, который успешнее, чем все остальные братья, усваивал все то, чему Яакова научили Шем, Эвер и Ицхак. Они знали много историй и поучений; ко времени потопа Шему, сыну Ноаха, исполнилось девяносто семь лет, так что он успел многому научиться у старейшего тогда человека в мире — Метушелаха, который, в свою очередь, двести сорок три года прожил при Первом человеке — Адаме. По этой цепочке было передано немало завещанных Б-гом правил поведения, и Шем был глубоко осведомлен в тонкостях исполнения семи мицвот, заповеданных человечеству Всевышним через Адама и Ноаха. Шем и Эвер были пророками, у них были свои школы, куда приходили учиться все, кто этого хотел. Но, говорят мудрецы, в том-то и состояла ошибка Яакова — нельзя выделять никого из детей, чтобы не вызвать зависть у других. Это — одна из причин.

Вторая причина — Йосеф сообщал отцу обо всех неправильных по его мнению поступках братьев. Братья же считали его сплетником. А что происходило в действительности?

Йосеф полагал, что отцу должны быть известны ошибки сыновей, чтобы он мог их воспитывать. Однажды Йосеф сказал Яакову, что подозревает братьев в разврате. Был ли у него повод сказать так? Разные люди приходили к братьям покупать молоко и шерсть, среди них и девушки. И, возможно, по глупости одна как-то сказала: «Ох, милые друзья, как я соскучилась по вас, давно мы не виделись». Если бы Йосеф слово в слово передал отцу услышанное, то Яаков все понял бы правильно. Но он просто сказал, что подозревает братьев в разврате.

Еще один пример. Кто-то из сыновей — Реувен или Шимон — как-то прикрикнул на детей Билhи или Зилпы: «Что медлишь, давай поскорее!» А Йосеф сказал отцу, что братья относятся к детям Билhи и Зилпы как к рабам.

Третья причина — сны. Йосефу снится, что одиннадцать снопов (братья) поклонились ему, и он рассказывает об этом сне. С точки зрения братьев это значит, что Йосеф «спит и видит», как сделает их своими рабами. А потом Йосеф рассказывает еще и о сне, в котором не только братья, но и отец вместе с ними кланяется ему. Тут братья не выдерживают. По их мнению, в семье растет деспот, мечтающий поработить и их, и отца, и этим разрушить всю семью Яакова. А им было известно, что от детей Яакова произойдет великий народ. Надо спасать будущее народа. Шимон и Леви считали, что Йосефа надо убить, а Йеhуда говорил, что Йосефа нужно продать. И лишь спустя двадцать два года, когда братья сами попали в беду, когда они увидели, что никому из покупателей зерна не задают никаких вопросов, а их посадили в тюрьму и обвиняют в шпионаже, они поняли, что есть за ними вина и что это — вина перед братом: «Мы видели беду души его, когда он умолял нас, и не слушали. Потому постигла нас эта беда» (42:21). И осознали свою вину окончательно, когда Йосеф признался им, что он — их брат, когда он кормил все их семьи и ни разу не напомнил о прошлом. Тогда их стала мучить совесть, и мучила долго…

Йосеф сказал братьям после смерти Яакова: «Б-г замыслил это (продажу Йосефа в рабство. — И.З.) к добру, чтобы … сохранить жизнь многочисленному народу. И ныне не страшитесь — я буду кормить вас и ваших детей. И утешал их и говорил [слова, входящие] в их сердца» (50:20-22).

Приход семьи Яакова в Египет и долгое пребывание его потомков в этой стране — первый галут в истории евреев. Порожден он враждой между братьями.

Эти «дела отцов» повторились в судьбе «детей» во времена Второго Храма, когда два брата — Гиркан и Аристобул, оспаривавшие друг у друга престол Иудеи, обратились за разрешением своей распри к римлянам. Это позволило Риму впервые ввести войска в Иудею якобы для урегулирования конфликта, что в конце концов привело к разрушению Храма и изгнанию евреев.

Вражда между евреями неизменно приводила к пагубным последствиям для народа. И наоборот, единство евреев всегда было источником спасения и удачи.

Rav Yitzchak Zilber (in Russian) Rabbi Dovid Grossman (in English)