The portion Miketz begins with the discussion of the time after the two additional years that Joseph was in jail, for a total of twelve years, for a crime he didn’t commit. So, Joseph is finally getting out, and it should be a happy time. However, the portion begins with the word vayehi, which connotes something negative. Why?
The reason, kabbalists explain, and there are a few understandings of this, is that Joseph, for his own spiritual process, purification, and correction, was supposed to be in jail for only ten years, not twelve. Miketz begins at the end of those two years; what is special about them?
At the end of the previous portion Vayeshev, Joseph is in jail with the Pharaoh’s wine steward and baker, and they have dreams, which he interprets. He interprets for the baker that he is going to be hanged, and for the wine steward that he is going to go back to his position. Joseph... read more