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Vayeshev Midrash Top
Vayeshev Midrash Bottom
Like Father - Like Son Yosef’s coat of "many colors" was just the top layer in a heart to heart relationship between Yosef and his father, Yaakov. Yaakov understood prophetically that Yosef was destined for greatness. Outwardly, he played down Yosef’s dreams, but inside he knew that they would come true. While Yaakov loved all his sons (and daughter), Yosef and he shared a bond that stayed strong even through the 22 years of separation.

The Parsha tells us "These are the chronicles of Yaakov" - then it adds in - "Yosef". What about the other sons (and daughter)? The Torah is hinting to us that the lives of Yaakov and Yosef are so similar that the story of the father is the story of the son.

Yosef reminded Yaakov of himself. Not only did they physically look alike, but the events of their lives had uncanny similarities.

Check these out:

  • Yaakov and Yosef both had mothers who couldn’t have children for a long time. The Rabbis tell us that it was a miracle that enabled them to eventually have kids. And when Yaakov and Yosef were born, it was a "no-mohel-necessary" situation — both were born circumcised!
  • Yaakov’s brother, Esav, hated him and tried to kill him; Yosef’s brothers, too, hated him and attempted to kill him. (Of course, Yosef never snitched on his bothers, so Yaakov wouldn’t know about the snake pit part).
  • Yaakov married outside of Eretz Yisroel and became a rich man before returning home; Yosef married in Mitzrayim and became a wealthy man in Pharoh’s court. This proves that Hashem gave these two Tzadikim special attention. Usually the Shechina rests in Eretz Yisroel, but these two were so holy that the Shechina tagged along past the borders of the Holy Land.
  • Malachim accompanied both Yaakov and Yosef: Yosef met up with three Malachim on the way to meet his brothers in Shechem; two groups of Malachim guarded Yaakov. One as he left Eretz Yisroel on his way to Lavan, and another when he returned.
  • Yaakov and Yosef both received blessings in the form of a dream:
    Yaakov’s famous dream of Malachim on a ladder ended with Hashem’s promise to make him great; Yosef was given a clear interpretation of Pharoh’s dreams, which rocketed him to fame, fortune and the job of Viceroy.
  • Both of their fathers-in-law made fortunes on the backs of these two holy men: Yaakov’s shver, Lavan and Yosef’s shver, Potifar, became very wealthy under the guidance of their sons-in-law.
  • Both ended a famine in Mitzrayim: Yosef came up with the seven-year food storage program; the moment Yaakov stepped foot in Mitzrayim, Hashem ended the famine in his merit.
  • On his deathbed, Yaakov made his sons swear that they would take his remains back to Eretz Yisroel. Yosef too, made his brothers swear that when Bnei Yisroel leave Mitzrayim, they would take along his remains. Both died in Mitzrayim and were embalmed.

It is obvious that Yaakov saw Yosef as the true continuation of himself. Even the way he chose to pass along his knowledge was a sure sign that Yosef was heir to Bnei Yisroel’s future. There was the halachic knowledge Yaakov had learned at the Yeshiva of Shem and Ever. This he taught to Yosef directly. Yosef would then teach it to his brothers. Yaakov also taught Yosef secrets of the Torah, which were not to be passed on to his brothers.

Yaakov - Yosef; like father, like son!

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