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After [Two Years]

At the end of two years' time Pharaoh had a dream: there he was, standing by the Nile, when seven cows came up out of the Nile, handsome and fat. - Genesis 41:1-2

  • Joseph interprets Pharaoh's two dreams and predicts seven years of prosperity followed by seven years of famine. (41:1-32)
  • Pharaoh places Joseph in charge of food collection and distribution. (41:37-49)
  • Joseph marries Asenath, and they have two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. (41:50-52)
  • When Joseph's brothers come to Egypt to buy food during the famine, Joseph accuses them of spying. He holds Simeon hostage while the rest of the brothers return to Canaan to retrieve Benjamin for him. (42:3-42:38)
  • The brothers return to Egypt with Benjamin and for more food. Joseph continues the test, this time falsely accusing Benjamin of stealing and declaring that Benjamin must remain his slave. (43:1-44:17)

When do we read Mikeitz?

2017 Dec 16
/28 Kislev, 5778
2018 Dec 8
/30 Kislev, 5779


  • By Ellen M. Umansky

    Many years ago, I taught an adult education class on biblical heroes. Among those we studied was Joseph. We focused on Parashat Mikeitz and discussed Joseph’s contentious relationship with his older brothers and their later reconciliation. We also talked about Joseph’s learning to use his ability to interpret dreams for others and recognizing that his talent was a gift from God. Although intellectually I believed that Joseph had indeed matured, emotionally I felt otherwise, and sensed that somehow, we hadn’t grasped the full story. I asked the class: if Joseph had indeed matured, why hadn’t he communicated with his father? After all, he had been his father’s favorite. Jacob hadn’t thrown him into a pit or plotted to sell him into slavery. It’s not as if Jacob would have inquired about him, for the brothers had taken Joseph’s tunic, dipped it in blood and let Jacob think that Joseph was dead. Surely, Joseph could have imagined the impact of such news on Jacob.

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