web analytics
May 30, 2015 / 12 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Home » Judaism » Parsha »

Why Two Years?

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

Toward the end of the parshah, we read that Yosef was incarcerated. While there, the sar hamashkim and the sar ha’ofim were imprisoned as well. Both men had dreams one night, which disturbed them the next day. Rashi tells us that they each dreamed the interpretation of the other’s dream.

Yosef approached them and offered, with Hashem’s help, to interpret their dreams. Each relayed their dreams and Yosef interpreted each one accordingly. Both knew that the interpretation was accurate because they had dreamt the interpretation of the other’s dream.

As it was, the interpretation of the sar hamshkim’s dream was that in three days he would be returned to his post in the palace. After relaying this interpretation to the sar hamashkim, Yosef then requested that when he is indeed returned to his post in the palace, he should remember the kindness that he, Yosef, showed him and mention to Pharaoh that he too should be acquitted. The parshah concludes that the sar hamashkim did not remember Yosef – and indeed forgot him.

At the end of this week’s parshah, Rashi says that as a result of Yosef’s outreach to the sar hamashkim for help, instead of relying on Hashem to save him, he was punished and remained in jail for another two years. The meforshim searched for an explanation as to why Yosef’s punishment was to be incarcerated specifically for two more years.

The Kli Yakar and the Maharal both quote an opinion suggesting that the additional two-year sentence was because Yosef said two words in asking the sar hamashkim for help: “hazkartani” and “hotzeisani.” Since he used two words in his request, his punishment was to be incarcerated for another two years. They also quote another explanation: the gematria of the words “im zechartani” total 728; adding to that number the two words im zechartani now brings the total to 730 – the amount of days in two years. The Nachalas Yaakov and the Be’er Basadeh suggest that it was because Yosef said the words zechartani and hazkartani.

The Maharal says that a person only remembers someone for one year. It is for this reason that after not seeing or hearing about another person for a year, one recites the berachah of “…mechayei hameisim.” Based on this, Yosef was hoping that the sar hamashkim would remember him for one year; he could not have anticipated that the sar hamashkim would remember him thereafter. Thus his punishment was that after the sar hamashkim actually forgot him, he would have to wait the amount of time he had hoped the sar hamashkim would have remembered him, namely one more year. This is why Yosef had to wait another two years in jail: one year for the sar hamashkim to actually forget him, and another unit of time – one year – equal to the time he was depending on human intervention.

Another question that the meforshim discuss is the issue that one is permitted to perform hishtadlus. This is to say that while one must have trust that Hashem will bring his salvation, he may do his part in attempting to reach that goal. Why then was Yosef punished for performing the simple act of requesting that another person mention his plight to the king on his behalf? Why did this demonstrate a lack of trust in Hashem?

The sefer, Meged Givos Olam, quotes from HaGaon Rav Yechiel Michel Charlap regarding a solution to both of these quandaries. The interpretation that Yosef offered to the sar hamashkim was that in three days Pharaoh would exonerate him and return him to his post in the palace. It was therefore unnecessary for Yosef to request of the sar hamashkim on that very day that he remember him three days later. There were still two days that Hashem could have saved Yosef before the sar hamashkim was even freed.

One may do hishtadlus – but only in situations whereby it is warranted. In this case, given Yosef’s madreigah, it was not the time for him to perform hishtadlus since his efforts would not have been effective for another two days anyway. Had Yosef made his request of the sar hamashkim two days later there would not have been any issue concerning lack of trust in Hashem. Since he acted two days early his punishment was to be incarcerated for another two years – one year for each day that he pre-empted his request.

About the Author: For questions or comments, e-mail RabbiRFuchs@gmail.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Why Two Years?”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
What's happened to NYC's Celebrate Israel Parade?
Israel Rejects as ‘False’ UJA Federation’s Claims about Israel Parade ‘Inclusion’
Latest Judaism Stories
Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

What if someone would come to you and offer you everything that is desirable in this world, but with one condition: you have to give up your essence.

Rabbi Avi Weiss

Torah learning is valueless unless it enhances personal morality, fostering closer connection to God

Grunfeld-Raphael-logo

Why did so many of our great sages from the Rambam to Rabbi Moshe Feinstein live outside Israel?

Daf-Yomi-logo

Casting A Doubt
‘Shall We Say [They] Are Not Valid?’
(Nedarim 5a-7a)

I was about six years old at the time and recall that very special occasion so well.

Question: Should we wash our hands in the bathroom with soap and water, or by pouring water from a vessel with handles three times, alternating hands? I have heard it said that a vessel is used only in the morning upon awakening. What are the rules pertaining to young children? What is the protocol if no vessel is available? Additionally, may we dry our hands via an electric dryer?

Harry Koenigsberg
(Via E-Mail)

Why was Samson singled out as the only Shofet required to be a nazir from cradle to grave?

“What do you mean?” asked the secretary. “We already issued a ruling and closed the case.”

Tosafos suggests several answers as to how a minor can own an item, m’d’Oraisa.

This week’s video discusses the important connection between the Priestly Blessing and parenting.

Many of us simply don’t get the need for the Torah to list the exact same gift offering, 12 times!

There is a great debate as to whether this story actually took place or is simply a metaphor, a prophetic vision shown to Hoshea by Hashem.

Every person is presented with moments when he/she must make difficult decisions about how to proceed.

One does not necessarily share the opinions of one’s brother. One may disapprove of his actions, values, and/or beliefs. However, with brothers there is a bond of love and caring that transcends all differences.

This Shavuot let’s give G-d a gift too: Let’s make this year different by doing just 1 more mitzvah

More Articles from Rabbi Raphael Fuchs
Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

Tosafos suggests several answers as to how a minor can own an item, m’d’Oraisa.

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

The question is: What about pidyon haben? Can one give the five sela’im required for pidyon haben to a kohen’s daughter?

The mitzvah that parents must give their son a bris milah is a mitzvah that they must perform for someone else – namely their son.

The Bach writes that he mentioned his insights to many of the leading gedolim and no one disproved him.

The Bais Halevi answers that we must properly define what is considered to be “in the middle of a mitzvah.”

In this case one could reason that by applying halach achar harov we could permit the forbidden bird as well.

Why would it not be sufficient to simply state lehoros from which we derive that in such a state one may not issue any psak?

The Netziv answered that there is a difference between a piece of bread that was cut already in front of you, and one that was cut from beforehand.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/why-two-years/2013/11/21/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: