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Daily Aliya for Miketz, Chamishi (5th Aliya)

Aliya Summary: On the third day, Joseph released them all, aside for Simon, whom he held hostage. He bid the rest of the brothers to return to Canaan and return with their youngest brother, Benjamin, and thus establish their innocence. The brothers recognized that this was punishment for the sale of Joseph, and expressed regret for their deed. Joseph instructed his servants to place the monies the brothers had paid for the food in the sacks of grain they were given. The brothers arrived back in Canaan and recounted the entire episode to Jacob. Jacob was highly disturbed by the happenings, and initially refused to send Benjamin, unwilling to consider the possibility of losing Rachel’s only remaining son. Eventually, though, after the food provisions ran low, and Judah personally guaranteed Benjamin’s safe return, Jacob acceded to send him. He sent them to Egypt with a prayer on his lips, and armed with a gift for the Egyptian ruler.

Reuven offered that his sons should die if Binyamin is not returned. Although the offer was refused, and Binyamin did return to his father, nonetheless Reuven said something he should not have said. His “two sons” are seen as referring to two famous descendants of Reuven who did die prematurely – Datan and Aviram. This is meant to underscore the importance of watching what we say. Once words are uttered, their intent and circumstance is separated, and the words live on their own.