The Crucial Saying by Chanan Strassman


In Parshat Mikeitz we are told how Yosef is made the viceroy over Egypt because he told Pharaoh the meaning of his dream.  From this episode, we can see how each word in the Torah has its own special significance. 

Consider the following: In Perek 41, Pasuk 15 it says reads, “…and I heard about you, saying, (leimor) you can hear a dream and interpret it.”  The very next Pasuk, Pasuk 16, it says, “Yosef answered Pharaoh, saying, (leimor) That is beyond me; God will respond to Pharaoh's welfare.”  It would appear that the Torah adds an extra or unnecessary word to this Pasuk.  Why couldn’t the Pasuk have said, “Yosef answered Pharaoh…”?  Why does the Torah add the word “Leimor”(saying) here?

Rabbi Pinchas Winston offers an answer.  He says that the word “Leimor” is added here ao that we can see, and understand, the dialogue between Pharaoh and Yosef better.  There is a Gemara in Sanhedrin (56b) that says certain words allude to certain mitzvot, and “Leimor” alludes to not being involved in illicit relationships.  So when Pharaoh is talking to Yosef, he uses the word “Leimor” as if to say, “You can’t be an interpreter of dreams!  You are an adulterer!  Your God hates such illicit behavior, why would He choose you as His means of explaining my dream?”  Then, when Yosef replies, he uses the word “Leimor” in order to show Pharaoh, “The fact that God has allowed me to interpret dreams correctly proves I am innocent of adultery.”  We see the significance of one word, “Leimor”, is crucial to our fully understanding the story.

Message in a Wagon by Rabbi Ezra Wiener

A Hidden Connection Etan Bluman