This D’var Torah should be a Zechus L’Ilui Nishmas my sister, Kayla Rus Bas Bunim Tuvia A”H, my maternal grandfather Dovid Tzvi Ben Yosef Yochanan A”H, my maternal grandfather Dovid Tzvi Ben Yosef Yochanan A”H, my paternal grandfather Moshe Ben Yosef A”H, my uncle Reuven Nachum Ben Moshe & my great aunt Rivkah Sorah Bas Zev Yehuda HaKohein.
It should also be in Zechus L’Refuah Shileimah for:
-My father Bunim Tuvia Ben Channa Freidel
-My grandmothers Channah Freidel Bas Sarah, and Shulamis Bas Etta
-MY BROTHER: MENACHEM MENDEL SHLOMO BEN CHAYA ROCHEL
-Mordechai Shlomo Ben Sarah Tili
-Noam Shmuel Ben Simcha
-Chaya Rochel Ettel Bas Shulamis
-And all of the Cholei Yisrael, especially those suffering from COVID-19 and the Meiron tragedy.
-It should also be a Z’chus for an Aliyah of the holy Neshamos of Dovid Avraham Ben Chiya Kehas—R’ Dovid Winiarz ZT”L, Miriam Liba Bas Aharon—Rebbetzin Weiss A”H, as well as the Neshamos of those whose lives were taken by terrorists (Hashem Yikom Damam), COVID-19, and the Meiron tragedy.
-It should also be a Z’chus for success for Tzaha”l as well as the rest of Am Yisrael, in Eretz Yisrael and in the Galus.
לע”נ שמואל מנחם בן אריה לייב
לע”נ לאה בת אברהם
לע”נ יהודה חסדא יקיר בן הרב שלמה
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Parsha Paradise/פרשה פרדס – Mikeitz: For How Many Years Yosef in Prison? ⛓✌???
“Vayehi Mikeitz Sh’nasayim Yomim” indicates that the opening story in the Sidrah took place at the end of some two-year period. Literally, “And it was at the end of a two-year period.” But, two years from when? The Torah is not clear.
Ibn Ezra suggests two possibilities, Al Pi P’shat. In the first, he appears to accept that which Chazal suggest, that it was two years from the day the butler was released from prison as predicted by Yosef. This would make sense as that was the most recent scene recorded in the Torah.
However, in his second P’shat, Ibn Ezra suggests that it was two years from the day Yosef was thrown into prison, which we will see, is contrary to Chazal’s understanding.
Chazal assume that Yosef was in prison ten years prior to his conversation with the butler, making it a total of twelve years that Yosef spent there.
The Ba’al HaTurim presents two incredible Remazim to support this position:
The first, he points out, is that the word “Mikeitz” in our Sidrah parallels the same word used in reference to Avraham Avinu before he took Hagar as a wife. In Lech Lecha, the Torah related that it was specifically “at the end of ten years” of his settling in Cana’an that Avraham married her. Thus, the word Mikeitz alludes to ten additional years.
In the second Remez, Ba’al HaTurim records a simple Gematria (numerical evaluation). The words, “Vayehi Mikeitz Sh’nasayim Yomim U’Pharaoh Choleim” (“And it was at the end of two years: And Pharaoh dreamed…”) have the same numerical value as the words, “Mikeitz Eser Shanim”-“at the end of ten years,” thus another allusion to the ten additional years Yosef sat in prison prior to his meeting with the butler.
The question is why these numbers are significant. What was the difference between the first ten years and the final two years Yosef sat in prison? Why didn’t the Chumash just tell us that it was “at the end of twelve years”?
The Midrashim pick up on this question and highlight the significance of these two final years.
Most famously or perhaps infamously, Rashi cites the Midrash that Yosef was “punished” with two extra years in prison for putting too much trust in the butler and not enough trust in Hashem [Bereishis Rabbah 89:3].
(The Levush and Beis HaLevi elaborate that Yosef was punished with two extra years because he spoke two words too many when asking the butler to refer him to Pharaoh. Levush holds that “Zachartani…V’Hotzeisani…” [“remember me… and take me out”] were the extra words while Beis HaLevi holds that “Zachartani…Hizkartani…” [“remember me… mention me…”] were the two extra words.
Emes L’Yaakov, however suggests that Hashem chose two years so that Yosef would not be able to rely on the possibility of the butler naturally remembering Yosef on the one-year anniversary of his release from prison.)
Possibility related, another Midrash suggests that the “end of two years” marked the end of Yosef’s time of darkness [Ibid. 89:1], based on the verse in Iyov, “Keitz Sam LaChoshech”-“He sets an end to the darkness [Iyov 28:3]. Apparently, despite all of Yosef’s travails, it was during these two years when Yosef, on his level, struggled with his Bitachon in Hashem. Thus, they were appropriately marked by darkness.
Now the same Midrash offers a broader teaching under its exposition of the first verse in Mikeitz, based on this verse in Iyov. The idea that Hashem “sets an end to darkness” is that eventually, Hashem will uproot the Yeitzer HaRa (Evil Inclination) from the world.
Similarly, Zohar [1:193A] writes in the name of R’ Chiya that this verse refers to the fact that Hashem will put an end to the dark force of the “left” (which might refer to Samech Mem [abbreviation for “Sama’el”], a Kabbalistic name for the Satan) which hovers throughout the world finding fault and prosecuting the inhabitants of the world.
As uplifting as this message is, what is its connection to Parshas Mikeitz, other than the word “Keitz” (“end”)?
When we think about Yosef’s circumstances, we may likely feel a sense of despair, especially considering the fact that Yosef was both plagued by his inclination and prosecuted, seemingly unfairly. It makes one wonder if there is real justice in the world. But, we have faith that Hashem’s world is being governed with fairness; Hashem reasonably “found fault” and allowed the Satan to target Yosef. But, Chazal and Zohar reassure us that, indeed, Hashem “sets an end to darkness.” There will be an end to our Evil Inclinations and the prosecutions of the Satan. That was the case for Yosef. So will it be for us.
With all of that said, it is appropriate that we pray for the end of our darkness at this time of year, “V’Kareiv Keitz HaYeshuah”-“and bring close THE end the salvation.”
We should all be Zocheh to be freed from the darkness of our Galus, Bimheirah BiYomeinu! Have a Great Shabbos-Rosh Chodesh/Chanukah!
-Yehoshua Shmuel Eisenberg