Shabbat, 9 Tevet, 5777
7 January, 2017
Be’rashith (Genesis) Chapter 45
17 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph: […]
18 “And take your father and your households and come to me, and I will give you the best of the land of Egypt, and [you will] eat the fat of the land.'”
RASHI: the fat of the land: Heb. חֵלֶב הָאָרֶץ. Every [instance of] חֵלֶב is an expression meaning the best. [From Targum Onkelos] –
YOCHANAN: “and [you will] eat the fat of the land.” Here, the fat of the land is an expression equivalent to the best of all the land of Egypt (47.6). In this instance we see HaShem’s having gave the blessing of Yitzchaq (Isaac) over to Ya’acov being fullfilled. There Brashith (Genesis) 27.28 it is written in the future tense, “So God give thee of the dew of heaven, and of the fat places of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine.
Compare: 27.39 “And Isaac his father answered and said unto him [Esav]: Behold, of the fat places of the earth shall be thy dwelling, and of the dew of heaven from above;”
What is the difference between the Blessing of Israel (Ya’acov-Jacob) and that of Esav (Esau)?
First, Yitzchaq (Isaac) when blessing Ya’acov sets the blessing of the dew of heaven before the fat places of the earth;
Second, while when blessing Esav, Yitzchaq sets the blessing of dwelling in the fat places of the earth before the blessing of the dew of heaven.
The difference – the Blessing from heaven (the dew of heaven) is more valuable than the blessing from the earth (fatness of the earth)! They were more dear to Yitzchaq, so he reserved them (the Blessing of Perfect Peace 27.29) for the one (Yisrael) whose mind is set on HaShem. Isaiah 26.3 and,
Isaiah Chapter 55.2 “Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your gain for that which satisfieth not? Hearken diligently unto Me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.”
Now in our current parshah we see Divine Providence at work, as it is Pharoah who, in the middle of a famine says (45.18), “and I will give you the best of the land of Egypt and [you will] eat the fat of the land.”
45.20 “And let your eye not be concerned about your utensils, for the best of all the land of Egypt is yours.’ ” (past tense)
Hoshea 14.6 “I will be as the dew unto Israel; he shall blossom as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon.”