Parshas Vayeishev

By: Yaacov Silverstein

e@mail: hm16@popeye.cc.biu.ac.il

Bereishis 37:21

It says in this weeks Parsha, that when Yosef's brothers were planning to kill him, Reuven advised them to throw him in one of the pits that were around the area. He told them "rather than spill blood, throw him in the pit in the wilderness".

Rashi (on Pasuk 24), explains that there was no water in the pit, yet there were snakes and scorpions. Asks the Gr"iz (Rav Yitzchak Zev Solvetcheik, from the Sefer Shai L'Torah), what does it help by Reuven's advice, so what if there was no water, there were snakes and scorpions, isn't that worse?

So he answers through the Gemarah in Yebamos (121:1) that if one fell into water that has an end to it, his wife is allowed to remarry because we assume that he died.

However, if one fell into a pit full of snakes and scorpions, Rabbi Yehudah Ben Besairah says that we don't assume that he died because maybe he is a "Chaver".

Rashi there explains that maybe he is a Chaver and he knows how to Daven to Hashem, and thus may be saved.

Thus Reuven advised to throw him into a pit with snakes and scorpions, and since Yosef Hatsadick was a "Chaver", he definitely will know how to pray, and thus will be saved. Thus the Torah tells us that "the pit was empty, with no water, therefor Reuven advised this.

Bereishis 37:4

"His brothers saw that it was Yosef that their father loved the most of all his brothers, so they hated him and they could not speak to him peacefully.

We find in the Gemarah Berochos,( page 64) that when one leaves his friend, he should part by saying to him "Lech L'Shalom" and not "Lech B'Shalom".

This is so because we find by Yitro that he told Moshe, "Lech L'Sholom", and Moshe became our great leader, and he was successful.

However, we find by David that he said to Abshalom(Shmuel 2, 15:9), "Lech B'Shalom", and he was hung at the end.

This is what the Pasuk is hinting to us that the Tribes could not reach the level that they could tell Yosef "Lech L'Shalom", that he should be great and successful.

(Brought to you in the name of the Gaon of Vilna G"rah)

The Midrash Tanchumah (Siman 7, "vayiruh echav...")

also writes on this Pasuk with a slightly different explanation. He writes that Yosef would always ask his brothers about their welfare, and they would not answer him.

There are simple people, that until they become someone popular or famous, they might talk to the guard by the supermarket, say good morning to the street cleaner, good Shabbos to people passing by in the street. However when they become famous, or Prime Minister, President in a Shul, of a sudden things change. They stop asking the people in the city, how they are doing.

Yosef was different, he always asked the well-being of his brothers, as we see in Parshas Miketz (43:27), "Vayishal Lahem L'shalom" , that even when his brothers were bowing down to him, like to a master, he still asked about their well-being.

Hashem told Yosef, you started asking "L'Shalom" of your brothers in this world, and they did not respond. However, in the world to come, Hashem would take away the hatred between the brothers, and there will be peace.

As King David wrote in Tehilim "Hinei Mah Tov Umah Nayim, Sheves Achim Gam Yachad" (Tehilim 133:1)

May we all merit to have peace between one and the other in this world, and in the world to come.