Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Vayeishev II: Peshat to the Rescue

ואביו שמר את הדבר - מה צורך לכתוב זה? אלא כשבאה לו הבשורה ולא האמין לבניו שהוא חי וירא ישראל את העגלות אשר שלח פרעה, כי לא נשלחו כי אם על פי המלך כמו שכת' שם עגלות על פי פרעה, אז האמין על ידי החלומות שמוכיחין שסופו להיות מושל ועגלות הללו על ידי מלכות וממשלה באים, ומתוך כך אמר רב עוד יוסף בני חי, כי תימה גדולה היה היאך האמין אחרי שראה כתנתו מלאה דם? כמו שנחרד יצחק על יעקב בשביל שמצא שיער בחלקת צואריו:

I had always been bothered by Bereishit 37:11 and its seemingly cryptic comment that Ya’akov “kept the matter” of Yosef’s dream in his mind after scolding his son. And now I see Rashbam was as well; he provides a fascinating answer: This, like all good Biblical details, is setting us up for a scene we will not encounter for some time. When Yosef finally reveals himself to his brothers and orders them back to C’na’an in order to fetch Ya’akov, he sends a slew of wagons back with provisions and clothing to escort his father down to Egypt. There, too, there is a cryptic verse (Bereishit 45:27) that notes that Ya’akov did not believe the brothers that his long-presumed dead son was alive until he saw the wagons. Why did the wagons make the critical difference? Rashbam ingeniously links these two cryptic verses and explains that Ya’akov, for all those years, suspected that something would come of these dreams. He stored away that little piece of information—and hope—in his mind, such that when he finally saw royally appointed wagons coming to get him, he realized that these trappings of power were indeed evidence of what he had been imagining for years: that his son would indeed have the authority of a king with the power to rule over even his own father. [See Rashbam on Bereishit 45:27 for the second part of this commentary.]

2 Comments:

At November 11, 2008 at 2:25 PM , Anonymous Daisy said...

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