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Joseph Forgot His Parental Home?

For December 20, 2022

Genesis 41:51

וַיִּקְרָ֥א יוֹסֵ֛ף אֶת־שֵׁ֥ם הַבְּכ֖וֹר מְנַשֶּׁ֑ה כִּֽי־נַשַּׁ֤נִי אֱלֹהִים֙ אֶת־כׇּל־עֲמָלִ֔י וְאֵ֖ת כׇּל־בֵּ֥ית אָבִֽי׃

"Joseph named the first-born Manasseh, meaning, “G-d has made me forget completely my hardship and my parental home.”"

The text tells us that when his son was born Joseph forgot his parental home - this raises the question, "what about having respect for his father". Shouldn't Joseph, now that he is in such a high post, "finally" inform his father where he was?

Nachmanides explains that Joseph understood that his dreams were actual prophecies and would be fulfilled in their entirety. In Joseph's first dream, his eleven brothers were bowing down to him. In the second, his father was included too. Joseph concluded that the first dream must be realized in its entirety before the second one would be fulfilled. Had he sent a message to Jacob, he certainly would have come to see him immediately—and the second dream would have come true before the first. He therefore waited until after all eleven of his brothers – including Benjamin – had come to him, in fulfillment of the first dream, before revealing his identity to his brothers and instructing them to bring Jacob down to Egypt.

When his father, eventually, travels to Egypt, we do see that Joseph gives his father deep respect.(Genesis 36:28)

From this we can learn that we should respect our parents. But that we cannot always take our Noahides message to them in a way that they want to accept it. That we have to wait for them to come to us with questions and be open and then we embrace them with all the respect we have always held for them. This can cause us much grief, but we must trust that HaShem knows exactly what He is doing and that everything happens according to His will.

Joseph knew he had to act according to HaShem's will and wait for the time when his father would come. All those years had been very hard on him. Now that his son was born, that task was easier.

Because once a man marries - and where possible - receives children, the focus will be more on his own family and less on his paternal home. This is the natural path that a man takes, as we learn from Genesis 2:24 "Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and cling to his wife and they shall become one flesh", meaning they wil have childeren, because a child is the physical reality of becoming one flesh of two flesh.

This assignment also applies to Noahides. (and this also makes the ban on forbidden relationships easier). It means the establishing of a society, which is accomplished through a man bonding with his wife and having children with her, as it says, "The L-rd, Creator of the Heavens; He is the G-d, the One Who fashioned the earth....He did not create it for emptiness; He fashioned it to be inhabited..."Thus it is HaShem's will that people shoud settle the world.

When we are a happy and steadfast family, a family that respects HaShem, in times when divorce rates are huge, it will hopefully make our surroundings and our family and our parents curious and bring them to us with questions and an open attitude.

Brought By Angelique Sijbolts


Angelique Sijbolts is one of the main writers for the Noahide Academy. She has been an observant Noahide for many years. She studies Torah with Rabbi Perets every week. Angelique invests much of her time in editing video-lectures for the Rabbis of the Academy and contributes in administrating the Academy's website in English and Dutch. She lives in the north of the Netherlands. Married and mother of two sons. She works as a teacher in a school with students with special needs. And is a Hebrew Teacher for the levels beginners and intermediate. She likes to walk, to read and play the piano.



The Divine Code by rabbi Moshe Weiner p 430 of the 4e edition


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It is fascinating that the word "Elokim" is used in the verse reference you posted instead of the Sacred Name. It got me thinking about there possibly being a connection between focusing only on the "Elokim" (the physical tangible reality of all existence) and how Yosef "forgot" where he came from regarding his parental home. Spiritually speaking, what if when we forget the Infinite Intangible Light of HaShem (the true reality of all existence) we too "forget" where we truly come from? That is, we forget that ultimately we all come from Hashem's Light. So when we forget His Light (pun intended for the relevance of Chanukah) we also forget our "parental" origins. Meaning we lose consciousness of the concept…

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