Now that Yosef was Viceroy,
he had everything a house, a chariot, a job. The only thing he
was missing was a wife. Of course, Yosef the tzadik couldn't
marry an Egyptian woman. But where does a nice Jewish boy find a
Yiddishe girl in Egypt? Here's a twist... how about in
his own house! Confused? - Here's what happened...
It all started when Shechem kidnapped Dinah. Shimon and Levi destroyed
the entire city but Dina was left with a baby fathered by Shechem. Yaakov
was afraid that this baby girl would become Shimon and Levi's next
target, so he hid her under a bush (sneh - thus Osnat, get it?). From
there, a Malach (angel) whisked her off to Egypt, but not before Yaakov engraved a message in a locket and stuck it around her neck.
The writing in the locket remained a mystery as Osnat
grew up in the home of a rich Egyptian aristocrat. From time
to time she would ask a wise man or one of Pharoh's advisors
to examine the script. But, let's face it, not too many people
outside of Yaakov's family were speaking Hebrew in those days.
Little did Osnat realize that she should have asked the house
slave from Canaan to try his hand at deciphering the script.
That's right - Osnat grew up in the house of Potifar and she
never knew that the person serving soup was her very own uncle
When Yosef was promoted from lowly prisoner to Viceroy, Pharoh had him
led through the streets on a beautiful chariot. Yosef was very handsome. Local women stood on their roofs and threw their jewels at him to attract his attention.
Osnat was no different. Since she had no jewels, she threw her locket.
Lucky her: Yosef recognized the writing in the locket. It read
"Whoever marries this girl should know that his children will be
descendants of Yaakov."
Of course, you know the rest of the story. Yosef and Osnat were
married and had two children, Menashe and Efraim. This teaches us a
great lesson, that Hashem always ties up all the loose ends. Here's how
things worked out in our story:
When Yaakov went to meet Esav, he hid Dinah in a chest. But the truth was
that if Esav would have seen and married Dinah, he might have
been influenced by her righteousness and done teshuva.
For this, Dinah was kidnapped by Shechem. Since Yaakov had hidden
her with the best of intentions, Dinah's child remained pure
in Egypt and married Yosef.
At that same meeting with Esav, Yosef was the only
son who stood in front of his mother and "hid" her from Esav's
sight. Since he hid his mother, he was given the zchut
to marry Dinah's daughter who was also hidden!