Volume 11 Number 51
                       Produced: Fri Jan 28 15:45:05 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Avi Feldblum]
Joseph and his father (2)
         [Allen Elias, Aryeh Blaut]
Length of Davening
         [Lou Rayman]
Music and Tehillim
         [Jack A. Abramoff]
Yosef questions
         [Barak Moore]


From: mljewish (Avi Feldblum)
Date: Fri, 28 Jan 94 15:33:29 -0500
Subject: Administrivia

A few items.

To start with some good news, we have another Mazal Tov for a mailing
list member:

Eitan Fiorino got engaged last Monday night to Debra Goldberg.  They
will be married, I"H, in late May. 

Next, I received a mail message from Sam Goldish, who is now home. He
says in part:

B"H, I'm feeling stronger each day.   The day before yesterday 
my doctor said it was O.K. to drive, and removed restrictions as to 
how far I could walk each day.  This was a major heart attack, which 
occurred on December 26th--although I didn't realize it was a heart 
attack until two days later!   Fortunately, the angioplasty (balloon)
procedure was successful in opening a major artery that was 70% 

I do want to thank you for your concern, and for the get-well wishes 
that you published in M-J while I was in the hospital.  Everyone's
t'fillot and good wishes helped, and I am most thankful to Hashem
Yisborach to be home and well along the road to recovery.

We wish you a continued Refuah Shelama, Sam.

Next, I am largly caught up with the early Jan messages. I think there
are no messages in the queue from Jan 1 through Jan 15, and only a few
between Jan16 and Jan 25. There is a whole bunch in the Jan 25-28 range.

The Mail Jewish Editorial Board is beginning to come together. Anyone
interested in being involved in that, please let me know. If there is
anyone on the list who is a lawyer and knows about creating educational
organizations, to put mail-jewish on a more formal legal existence and
would be willing to talk and explain some of it to me, I would
appreciate if you could get in touch with me, either by email or by
phone (day - 609-639-2474, evening - 908-247-7525).

I hope to have some proposals re the mailing list for you by some time
next week or the week after at the latest.

Once again, I thank all of you who have wished me Mazal Tov, and I take
this occasion to again wish Mazal Tov to all the other members who get

Avi Feldblum
mail-jewish Moderator


From: <iishaifa@...> (Allen Elias)
Date: 31 Dec 69 23:59:59 GMT
Subject: Joseph and his father

I would like to offer another answer to the question why didn't Joseph
let his father know he was alive. The Midrash and Sefer Hayashar tell us
Joseph's brothers were very powerful men. They had the power to destroy
all of Egypt.  Joseph was afraid that if his brothers would find out
where he was they would come to kill him and destroy Egypt in the
process. When Joseph finally revealed himself an Angel was sent to
protect him from his brothers.

Allen Elias

From: Aryeh Blaut <ny000592@...>
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 94 01:24:44 -0500
Subject: Joseph and his father

>From: <sol@...> (Sol Stokar)

>	The interpretation goes as follows: Yosef didn't try to contact his
>father because he erroneously assumed that Ya'akov was part of the 
>"conspiracy" that sold him into slavery. At first this may seem fantastic,
>but on further consideration the hypothesis seems more and more plausible.
>Yosef, impressionable" 17 year old,is sent on a wild goose chase searching 
>for his brothers. To Yosef, it appears as is his father has "set him up". 
>Of course, he is ignorant of the fact that his brothers have lied
>to Ya'akov, telling him that Yosef was slain. Although Yosef was his 
>father's favorite, there was tension between the two. Witness the fact that
>Ya'akov is angry at Yoseph when he tells him his dreams (Bereshit 37,10). 
>Perhaps Yosef felt that Ya'akov wanted to get rid of him because Yosef had 
>humiliated him by telling everyone of his dream in which Ya'akov bows down to

I take issue with this answer to the question as to why Yosef did not 
try to contact Ya'akov.  If one looks at Rashi (Bereshit 37:10 beginning 
words "viyegar bo" (and he scolded him)), he states that Ya'akov scolded 
Yosef in order to reduce the hatred of the brothers to him.  This is 
supported by the next pasuk which says that the brothers were now 
jealous of Yosef and his father guarded the thing.  Again Rashi explains 
that he (Ya'akov) waited for the thing (dream) to take place.

>	In any case, there is a very clear indication that this interpretation 
>is correct. Note that during all of Yosef's conversations with his brothers, 
>they never mention that Ya'akov thinks Yosef is dead. Instead,
>they make the ambiguous statement (Berashit 57,13)?? "ha'echad ainenu" 
>(one (i.e. Yosef) is not). Again, in  Berashit 57,21, ??  when Yosef overhears that
>brothers recognition that the mess they're in is divine punishment for their
>own behavior towards Yosef, the sin they mention is that they had "ignored
>our brother's pleas, when he pleaded to us and we didn't listen". Yosef
>doesn't hear them mention any contrition over the pain have caused Ya'akov.
>Can Yosef help persisting in his belief that Ya'akov was part of the 

Again, I feel this is an attempt to read into the psukim that which 
isn't there.  If one looks at Pasuk 42:22 it says: and Re'uvein answered 
them (his brothers) saying,"Didn't I say to you not to sin to the boy 
and you didn't listen and also his blood is being required." Rashi there 
points out that the word "Gam" includes.  Re'uvein was including that of 
Ya'akov's pain.

>	The key to the story is in the beginning of Parshat Vayigash, in
>Yehuda's dramatic monlogue which leads Yosef to reveal his true identity.
?>In Bereishit 57, 27-28, Yehuda says

In pasuk 44:20, Y'huda tells Yosef that his one brother is dead (out of 
fear - Rashi). Later (verse 44:28) Yehuda tells of the quote of Ya'akov

> "My father, your servant, said to us: "you know that my wife bore me two
>children. One has gone from me, and I have said, he has most certainly been 
>killed and I haven't seen him since. If you take this other one away ...."
>This is the first time in the entire narrative that Yosef hears that Ya'akov
>thinks that Yosef is dead. Yosef's response is dramatic and immediate. In an

He allows Yehuda to finish his monologue and then asks for all of the 
Egyptians to leave the room before he tells his brothers who he is.  
Dramatic, may be; not so immediate.

>instant he realizes that he has been laboring under a tragic misconception
>for over twenty years. He cannot restrain himself. He must re-establish 
>contact with his father, whom he now realizes had no part in his abduction. 
>He cries out:
>	"I am Yosef. Does my father still live"

 Yosef was waiting to give his identity until it was clear 
that the brothers had done a complete T'shuva (repentence)

Aryeh Blaut

From: <lrayman@...> (Lou Rayman)
Date: Tue, 25 Jan 1994 11:12:00 -0500
Subject: Length of Davening

To summerize the thread as its gone so far:

Some of our fellow MJ readers have noted that many find that Shabbos
and Yom Tov davening can take too long. Others have responded, in
short, "What's the rush?"

In my many travels, I have had the occasion to daven in many types of
shuls: Young Israels, Old-fashioned OU type shuls (including some
places that seem to have had the same gabbai for >30 years), Yeshivas,
Yeshivish, Chasiddish, Sefardic (both Syrian and Spanish/Portugese
minhagim), etc, etc.

I have rarely, if ever, felt that the davening or laining itself took
too long.  I have felt, however, that in shuls, shtibels and yeshivas
of all stripes, the dilly-dallying between alios, or before the
haftorah, or before and after the rabbi's speech, especially on Yom
Tov, can take forever.  In addition, many shuls (in a practive that I
find very distasteful) aution off keboodim on Yom Tov, which, in the
place where I was this past Yom Kippur, took more than an hour!  

Considering that many of our non-orthodox friends only come to shul on
Yom Tov, and then they spend much of the time sitting, not
understanding the davening, with nothing to do but watch the gabbaim
jump up and down around the bima, shouldn't we make an effort to speed
up the 'slow' parts of davening as much as possible?

Forgive my pontifficating.

Lou Rayman


From: Jack A. Abramoff <71544.2433@...>
Date: 25 Jan 94 14:01:55 EST
Subject: Music and Tehillim

Since I am still getting requests for copies of information I might
receive as a consequence of my posting regarding the relationship
between Sefer Tehillim (Psalms) and music, I thought I should bring a
bit of an update to the list.

If you recall, in that posting, I referenced a story which I had heard
about a gadol encountering a symphony and noticing the conductor
bringing in one section of the orchestra too soon.

My good friend from Johannesburg, Mr. Eric Kerbel (also a member of the
M-J list) has pointed out that the story was actually brought about the
Vilna Gaon (the Gra).  He thinks that the story is brought in the sefer
Ha'Gaon Ha'Chassid Mi'Vilna by Landoi, but did not have it at hand.  If
anyone does have it (I do not) and can bring more background on this, I
think many on the list would be interested (based on the messages I
continue to get).

Regarding the connection between Sefer Tehillim and musical structure,
nothing yet has surfaced other than references to a number of books
which describe the relationship between the Bible and music.  I have not
had the time to look into these.  My original source still maintains
that there is something from the Lubavitcher Rebbe on this, in case
anyone has some insight into his opus.

Jack Abramoff


From: Barak Moore <cquinn@...>
Date: Thu, 13 Jan 94 1:31:07 EST
Subject: Yosef questions

Can anyone help with the following 3 pshat questions about Yosef?

1) What exactly does "dibatam ra'ah" mean (Breishit 37:2)? Rav Yehuda
Henkin (HIbah Yeteirah) translates it as "their evil report" (meaning
Yosef was transmitting *their* rumor, not starting his own). If it means
"the evil report of them" does it mean that the evil was in the act of
bringing the report, in its contents, or both?

2) I don't think that the Yosef vs.  brothers episode can be understood
except by first showing that they all were very familiar with the
details of Yakov vs. Eisav and possibly Yitzhak vs. Yishmael episodes
and that they saw themselves as replaying these roles. Can anyone add to
the examples listed below either by citing parallels to the Yakov vs.
Eisav split or by showing other examples where they knew the details of
their parents' generation?:

 a)	Yosef and Eisav were their father's favorites.
 b)	Yakov (& his wives and children) bowed down to Eisav, brought
gifts and called themselves servants just like Yosef's brothers at their
 c)	The brothers thought that Yosef "hated" them and wanted to kill
them when the mourning days for his father were completed, which is the
same verb used to describe Eisav's impulse to murder Yakov when the
mourning days for his father were completed. The word "hate" only
appears one other time in Chumash besides these two instances.  Yosef
responded with a quote from Yakov to Rachel, indicating that Yosef saw
himself as playing the role of Yakov at that point, not of Eisav as they
had assumed.
 d)	Eisav according to Yitzhak's hashkafa was to be the physical
ruler who supported Yakov's spiritual pursuits, which is what Yosef
tried to do.
 e)	Sarah (and later Avraham), Rivka and Yosef received Divine
instruction as to who would receive Avraham's mantle.  Sarah, Rivka and
Yosef's brothers acted behind the back of Avraham, Yitzhak and Yakov to
break up the family and decide the fate of the bechora. Rivka and Yosef
took direction from their prophecies about the family pecking order to
initiate schemes of questionable propriety.
 f)	Yosef praised God for making him forget his father's house,
indicating he saw himself as outside of the family like Yishmael and
Eisav. He also married a descendant of Ham against the instructions of
Avraham and Yitzhak, just as Yishmael and Eisav did.

3) Can anyone think of other incidents where one person alluded to
another by quoting his speech? I am referring to Yosef's allusion to his
father's "ha tachat elohim ani."  Also relevant would be other examples
where unintentionally significant 'Freudian slips' occur, such as Noah's
"arur Canaan" after Ham's sin, Rivka's telling Yakov to stay "yamim
achadim" when his seven years would seem to him like "yamim achadim,"
Lavan's saying that "we never give the tzirah before the **bechira.**"


End of Volume 11 Issue 51