• Yeshivat Ohr David

Parshat Miketz - Levy Zimand

The way this Parsha ends is weird. Yosef has commanded for Benyamin to be his slave, the brothers know this will kill Yaakov and they are willing to be slaves themselves on Benyamin's behalf. But Yosef insists that be Benyamin. Now the brothers are stuck because if it is happening it must be part of Hashem's plan. But how can a Parsha end on a cliffhanger, the Torah isn't a storybook trying to keep the reader interested to read to the end?

To understand the answer we must look back at the Parsha itself. If one is to read or rather learn it at face value they will see a compelling narrative( in fact I know of two movies based on this, last and next week's Parsha). But if they will just think about this week's Parsha, they will see even the smallest detail was all part of Hashem's plan.

For example, why did Pharaoh change Yosef's name? The Zohar says it's because Hashem was helping to hide Yosef's identity from the brothers. Or why does the Torah recount Yosef's age? The Abarbanel says it's to show that it was Hashem who put him in charge of Egypt at such a young age, for no one would put a 30-year-old in charge of a world superpower.

By now it is clear that in this whole Parsha G-d had a hand in everything even the smallest. So what does this obvious statement have to do with the opening question? Until the very end of the Parsha, the brothers thought that Hashem was punishing them for how harsh the selling of Yosef was. But in the end, Yehuda offers himself and the brothers as a substitute for Benyamin, and when Yosef said, according to the Haamek Davar and the Sforno, that he would not punish someone who didn't hurt him, this told Yehuda that it was not G-d but rather it was this ruler who was punishing them for no reason.

Thus with this realization, we end the main theme of the Parsha, which is Hashem will do whatever to reach a goal, in this case, the goal was fulfilling his promise to Avraham, which he promised him 200+ years ago. And so the Parsha ends with the ending of the theme and not with a cliffhanger.

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