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This week's 10-Minute Torah (December 4, 2021): "Parashat Miketz" 5782

Parashat Miketz 5782 / פָּרָשַׁת מִקֵּץ

Read on 4 December 2021 / 30 Kislev 5782.

Parashat Miketz is the 10th weekly Torah portion in the annual Jewish cycle of Torah reading.

Torah Portion: Genesis 41:1-44:17

Parashat Miketz tells of Joseph's interpretation of Pharaoh's dreams, Joseph's rise to power in Egypt, and Joseph's testing of his brothers.

Triennial year 3

1: 43:16-18 · 3 p’sukim ·

2: 43:19-25 · 7 p’sukim ·

3: 43:26-29 · 4 p’sukim ·

4: 43:30-34 · 5 p’sukim ·

5: 44:1-6 · 6 p’sukim ·

6: 44:7-17 · 11 p’sukim ·

7: Numbers 28:9-15 · 7 p’sukim · // Shabbat Rosh Chodesh Chanukah

maf: Numbers 7:42-47 · 6 p’sukim · // Shabbat Rosh Chodesh Chanukah

Haftarah: Zechariah 2:14-4:7 · 21 p’sukim // Shabbat Rosh Chodesh Chanukah

Joseph spends another two years in prison, after which time Pharoah has two dreams which disturb him. In the first dream, he is standing over the Nile and seven healthy cows come out followed by seven ugly gaunt cows that devour them. In his next dream, seven healthy ears of corn grow on a stalk followed by seven scorched ears that swallow up the healthy ears. He is disturbed by these dreams and neither his magicians nor his wise men can satisfactorily interpret the dreams. It is then that the chief cupbearer tells him about Joseph having interpreted accurately his own dream the two years prior. Pharoah sends for Joseph who is cleaned up. Pharoah recounts the dreams to Joseph, but this time adding that the gaunt cows appeared the same after devouring the healthy cows and that he had never seen such cows in Egypt before. Joseph tells Pharoah that G-d will help him interpret the dream and confirms the dreams are the same, and that G-d will also tell Pharaoh what to do. There will be seven years of abundance followed by seven years of famine. Since the gaunt cows looked the same after eating the healthy cows, Josephs advised Pharoah to find a wise man to store excess grain for the coming years of famine. Pharoah puts Joseph in charge of that and makes him viceroy. He gives him a new Egyptian name, “Zapenath-paneah” and Asenath, Potiphar’s daughter, to marry. Joseph is thirty years old. Joseph carries out the plan and has two sons, Manasseh and Ephriam. The famine sets in after the seven years of plenty and people from other countries come to Egypt for grain.

Jacob sends ten sons (Benjamin stayed behind) down to Egypt to procure grain in the midst of the famine. The brothers come face-to-face with Joseph, the grand vizier to ask for grain, bowing to him thus validating Joseph’s dreams from years earlier. They do not recognize him since it’s been over twenty years and Joseph is now a man. Joseph recognizes them and tests them for their character. He accuses them of being spies and responds to them saying how they have another brother at home. Joseph imprisons them but after three days, brings them back and tells them to bring their youngest brother to him to verify their denial of being spies. He has Simeon shackled and imprisoned as a hostage. The brothers seem to be burdened by guilt for how they treated Joseph years before and bemoan that this is their punishment. On the journey home, the brothers reach into their sacks for food and find their own money bags. They get home and tell Jacob what happened. Jacob is not willing to endanger his only son from Rachel, Benjamin.

The famine is still severe and the Jacob wants to send them back to Egypt for more grain. They remind him that they had their money in their sacks and the grand vizier (Joseph) demanded they bring Benjamin to him. Judah convinces Israel that he will be responsible for Benjamin, and now Jacob lets him go. This time, they bring double the money and gifts. Upon arriving, Joseph greets them and invites them to dine with him. Joseph sees Benjamin and is overcome with emotions, so he excuses himself to gain composure. Simeon is brought out and they all clean up in preparation for the meal. They are seated according to age and Benjamin is given double portions.

Joseph makes one final test for their integrity and repentance for how they have treated him in the past. He has their bags filled with food and their money. He also plants his silver goblet in Benjamin’s bag. After they barely leave, Joseph sends his steward out to catch up to them outside the city and accuses them of stealing his special goblet. The brothers deny the charge and invite the steward to search their bags, insisting that if found they will be his slaves. The steward finds the goblet in Benjamin’s bag and the brothers are distraught. Jacob set this situation up wanting to know if the brothers will defend Benjamin, or being Jacob’s favorite, abandon him as they did to Joseph. Judah now steps forward to address he grand vizier.

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