Wednesday, December 17, 2014

zichartani v'hizkartani

1. The Rishonim (Rashi, Rashbam, Ibn Ezra) already ask why the Torah uses the double-language of “lo zachar Sar haMashkim es Yosef” and “vayishkacheihu.”  If you don’t remember, obviously it means you forgot.  I noticed the Chasam Sofer says a brilliant pshat: “vayishkacheihu” is not talking about the Sar haMashkim – it’s talking about Yosef.  So long as Yosef remember his request to the Sar haMashkim and had an iota of hope that his redemption would come through basar v’dam, via the channel of the Sar haMashkim, nothing was doing.  It’s only when Yosef forgot about his request did Hashem step in and intervene.

2. The Ksav v’haKabbalah discusses the strange phrase “zichartani itcha…” that Yosef used – you normally don’t use a possessive when talking about remembering something – and, as we discussed once before, he suggests that it was not a request, but a statement.  Yosef was telling the Sar haMashkim that his fate was remembered, i.e. mentioned in the same context, as that of the Sar haMashkim.  The same dream that foretold the Sar haMashkim’s fate also foretold Yosef’s own fate. 
The Ma’or vaShemesh suggests a different explanation.  The natural reaction of anyone in the Sar haMashkim’s circumstance would have been to tell neighbors and friends about this wonderful dream interpreter he met in prison.  Yosef could have been the talk of the town and been featured on talk shows, wined and dined with celebrities, etc.  Yosef didn’t want any of that.  He reserved using his gift only for kavod shamayim.  Therefore, he told the Sar haMashkim that he would help him only on the condition that “zichartani itacha,” that he keeps the remembrance of Yosef’s ability to himself, “v’hizkartani el Pharoah,” and otherwise only mention him when it really counts, when he has an audience with Pharoah in Pharoah’s time of need.       

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