Parsha Q&A

For the week ending 30 November 2002 / 25 Kislev 5763

Parshat Vayeshev

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  1. "These are the offspring of Yaakov: Yosef...." Give three reasons why Yosef is considered Yaakovs main offspring.
  2. What was praiseworthy about the fact that Yosefs brothers did not speak to him in a friendly manner?
  3. How do we see from Yosefs dream about the sun, moon and stars that all dreams contain some untrue element?
  4. Who brought Yosef down to Egypt?
  5. Where was Reuven when Yosef was sold?
  6. In addition to the brothers, who else knew that Yosef was alive?
  7. Why didn't G-d reveal prophetically to Yaakov that Yosef was alive?
  8. For how long did Yaakov mourn the loss of Yosef?
  9. Verse 37:35 states "his father wept." To whom does this refer?
  10. Who was Tamars father?
  11. In what merit did Tamar deserve to have kings as her descendants?
  12. Why is the word "hand " mentioned four times in connection to the birth of Zerach?
  13. Why does the Torah relate the incident with Potiphars wife immediately after the incident of Yehuda and Tamar?
  14. How did Potiphar "see" that G-d was with Yosef?
  15. Who in this weeks Parsha pretended to be sick?
  16. Why were the butler and the baker imprisoned?
  17. For how long were the butler and the baker in prison?
  18. How did the baker know that Yosef had correctly interpreted the butlers dream?
  19. What prompted the butler and baker to tell Yosef their dreams?
  20. How was Yosef punished for asking the butler for help?


    All references are to the verses and Rashis commentary, unless otherwise stated.

  1. 37:2 - (a) Yosef was the son of Rachel, Yaakovs primary wife. (b) Yosef looked like Yaakov. (c) All that befell Yaakov befell Yosef.
  2. 37:4 - They did not act hypocritically.
  3. 37:10 - The moon represented Rachel. Since she had already died, it was impossible for that element of the dream to come true.
  4. 37:28 - A caravan of Midianites.
  5. 37:29 - He was attending to Yaakov.
  6. 37:33 - Yitzchak.
  7. 37:33 - Because the brothers had issued a ban against revealing the truth to Yaakov, and G-d, so to speak, abided by their ban.
  8. 37:34 - Twenty-two years.
  9. 37:35 - Yitzchak, who wept because of Yaakovs suffering.
  10. 38:24 - Shem.
  11. 38:26 - In the merit of her modesty.
  12. 38:30 - To allude to his descendent, Achan, who sinned with his hand by taking four things from the spoils of Jericho.
  13. 39:1 - To teach us that just as Tamar acted with pure motives, so did Potiphars wife.
  14. 39:3 - Yosef mentioned G-ds name frequently in his speech.
  15. 39:11 Potiphars wife.
  16. 40:1 - The butler was imprisoned because a fly was found in the kings goblet, and the baker was imprisoned because a pebble was found in the kings bread.
  17. 40:4 - Twelve months.
  18. 40:5 - The baker dreamed the interpretation of the butler's dream.
  19. 40:6 - Yosef asked them why they looked troubled.
  20. 40:23 - He remained in prison an additional two years.

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