Parshas Mikeitz
Bereishis 41:1 - 44:17

The Essence of Yoseif’s Name
as Spoken by Pharaoh...

By Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk

This study is dedicated in the loving memory of Mr. Michael & Mrs. Channah Sakash, may they rest in peace.

Ha Torah says, And Pharaoh called Yoseif by the name ‘Tzafnat Paneiach’... Bereishis 41:45 Rashi and Onkelos indicate that this name means, ‘the explainer of hidden things.’ The Septuagint indicates it means ‘salvation of the world’. The Gematria combination of both words is 828:

The Gematria Kotel {regular Gematria plus total number of letters} 836 reveals Lee Shoo Aw Sih Chaw {For your salvation} This appears to be in agreement with the Septuagint understanding. Certainly Yoseif was used by Hashem to save the world from starvation. Ha Torah states in next week’s parsha to preserve life and to insure your survival in the land. {Bereishis 45:7}

Now, holy classmates, the word Pee Nawch which has the same spelling as Pah Nay Ach means to decipher, decode, interpret, unravel [a puzzle]... This is what Yoseif did to Pharaoh’s dream. {Bereishis 41} This second word certainly is in agreement with both Rashi and Onkelos’ understanding. The Gematria of each of these words is 208.

The result of Yoseif’s revealing was actually Hashem’s revealing. Yoseif said to the Chief Butler and the Chief Baker regarding their dreams, Do not interpretations belong to G-d? Bereishis 40:8

Next we observe Yoseif before Pharaoh.
And said Pharaoh to Yoseif, I had a dream and no one can interpret it. And I have heard it said you hear a dream and interpret it.

And Yoseif answered everything from Aleph to Tav of Pharaoh’s [dream] saying, ‘Elokim will give you everything from Aleph to Tav of peace Pharaoh.’ Bereishis 41:15,16

Yoseif’s response was in keeping with Parshas Va’Eira, meaning I revealed Myself to Avraham and to Yaakov... Shemos 6:3. From Yoseif’s response to Pharaoh’s dream, it is also clear that Hashem revealed Himself to Yoseif, the great grandson of Avraham and the son of Yaakov.

In the Gematria of the first word of Tzawf Naht, the first three letters form the word Tzaw Pahn {to be hidden, conceal}. Again this reinforces the understanding of Rashi and Onkelos: ‘the explainer of hidden things.’

It also points to the beginning and end of Yoseif’s slavery. In the beginning Yoseif was sold for twenty {Eh Saih Reem} pieces of silver by his brothers. [The] Midianite merchants passed by. They [the brothers of Yoseif] pulled everything from Aleph to Tav of Yoseif up from the pit and sold everything from Aleph to Tav of Yoseif to the Yishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver... Bereishis 37:28 In the end Yoseif soared above his problems. He soared above it all, Cah Ni Shaw Reem, implying [he soared] like eagles.

Also within the name {Tzawf Naht - Pah Nay Ach} given to Yoseif by Pharaoh we see the Gematria Mispar Katan 54. This is also the Gematria of Mah Teh, meaning Rod {of leadership}. This Rod of leadership was passed from Yoseif to Moshe who was the next great leader. So the rod that Yoseif laid down Moshe took up. We quote from our article entitled The Rod of Moshe: Then at the conclusion of the conversation, Hashem charged Moshe, saying, Take 'THE ROD' in your hand, for with it you will perform the [miraculous] signs. Shemos 4:2,17 Ha Mah Teh, meaning THE ROD has the Gematria 59. Fifty-nine years represents the time from Yoseif laying the rod down at his death and Moshe picking the rod up at his birth. Remember that Pharaoh ordered the Hebrew midwives to kill every male child in Shemos 1:16. Why? Rashi states that Pharaoh’s astrologers had told him that a son was to be born who would liberate the Hebrews.

So we observe much powerful Torah Mysticism in Yoseif’s name Tzawf Naht - Pah Nay Ach.

Blessings and peace!

Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk

Written in 5760
Updated in 5764

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