Parashat Miketz

Joseph interprets Pharaoh's dreams and is appointed to implement Egypt's anti-famine plan, which brings him into contact with his brothers again.

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When Joseph saw his brothers coming with Benjamin, he had his servants prepare a feast. The brothers were scared but immediately told Joseph about finding the money and sought to return it.

The Silver Goblet

Joseph dismissed their fear. "Peace be with you! God and the God of your fathers has placed a hidden treasure in your pack. Your money for the grain has already come to me." Then, Joseph released Simeon.

Later, the brothers came to the feast and presented their gifts. Joseph asked of their father, but when he saw his brother Benjamin, he said, "May God be gracious to you, my son." Feeling overcome with emotion, Joseph went into another room to weep. He returned later and ordered the feast to begin.

Afterwards, Joseph made sure the packs of his brothers bags were full. Again, their money was returned, but this time a silver goblet was put in Benjamin's bag. That morning after Joseph's brothers had traveled a short distance, Joseph sent his servant to them. He said, "Why have you repaid good with evil? Who took the special silver goblet of my master?"

The brother’s were shocked, saying they did no such thing. "If such a thing was done, with whomever you find this goblet, he shall die. And the rest of us shall be your slaves."

"No," the servant responded. "Whomever has the goblet shall be my servant and the rest of you shall go free." The overseer found the goblet in Benjamin’s pack. The brothers tore their clothing as if in mourning.

They returned to Joseph pleading to be able to stay as slaves with their youngest brother. But Joseph said, "It would be a profanation to do that. Only the man who had the goblet shall remain my slave. The rest of you must go home to your father."

Questions For Discussion

1. Why does Joseph accuse his brothers of being spies?

2. The brothers feel they are being punished by God for selling Joseph into slavery, but their hardship is really Joseph’s doing. Do you ever feel that God is punishing you, only to find that it is really a person doing the punishing?

3. Why does Joseph weep when he hears his brother’s speaking of him and when he sees Benjamin? How would you feel about your brothers if you were Joseph?

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Nancy Reuben Greenfield

Nancy Reuben Greenfield has written three adaptations of the Torah, including an
interactive family version at www.TiptoeThroughTheTorah.com, and an engaging
Jewish immigrant novel, The Golden Medina, available on itunes and Amazon.