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Bereisheit Mikeitz - 10

Genesis 41.1 - 44.17

Asnot A Praiseworthy Wife

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Osnat, A Praiseworthy Woman of Yaakov's House

Chapter 10

Bereisheit Mikeitz

Bereisheit / Genesis 41.1 - 44.17

 Bereisheit 41.45

וַיִּקְרָא פַרְעֹה שֵׁם־יוֹסֵף צָפְנַת פַּעְנֵחַ וַיִּתֶּן־לוֹ אֶת־אָסְנַת בַּת־פּוֹטִי פֶרַע כֹּהֵן אֹן לְאִשָּׁה וַיֵּצֵא יוֹסֵף עַל־אֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם:

And he, Pharaoh proclaimed Yoseif's [Egyptian] name Tzaw Pih Nat - Paheh Nay Ach and he gave everything from Aleph to Tav of Awsnat daughter of Poti Phera, Priest of On, for a wife, and He, Yoseif, emerged over the land of Mitzriam.   Bereisheit 41.45

In Parshas Mikeitz an interesting name surfaces. The name is אסנת Osnat, wife of Yoseif.  When we think of אסנת Osnat we should immediately think of אשרי Ahsh Ray... We should think of her as an individual who is praiseworthy.  We should also think of תקוה Teek Vaw...  We should think of Osnat as a woman of hope and expectation.

As a child Osnat was driven from Yaakov's house by her uncles according to Pirkei d'Rabbi Eliezer. This was because her uncles were concerned that people would speak of licentiousness in their tents.  They were concerned that people would think that they were morally perverse.  As a result Yaakov engraved a metal plate and put it around Osnat' neck to protect her.  The metal plate was engraved with words to the effect that Osnat' parents were Shechem and Deenah and that whoever married her would be marrying a relative of Yaakov's family.  

At this point Osnat was placed under a bush in a field and left.  Her name is a derivative of the word Si Neh {thorn bush}.  Through providence a Malach {messenger} took Osnat from under the thorn bush to the house of Potifer in Mitzriam.  He and his wife raised her as their own daughter.  Twenty-two years later Pharaoh ordered that Osnat marry Yoseif to vindicate Yoseif from any guilt brought on by the false accusation of her foster mother, Potifer's wife.  Potifer's wife accused Yoseif of sexual assault.  It is at this point that we make mention of the fact that the Midrash points out that at every birth of Yaakov's sons a twin daughter was born.  The purpose was so that the sons could marry sisters as wives.  However when Yoseif was born without a twin sister this was a sign that Yoseif would marry someone else, Osnat.  See Rabbi Meir Zlotowitz and Rabbi Nosson Scherman, The Artscroll Tanach Series - Bereishis Vol. I(b) (Brooklyn, New York: Mesorah Publications, Ltd. 3rd Impression, 1989), pp 1800, 1801; Rabbi Dr. H. Freedman, Midrash Rabba (New York, NY: The Soncino Press 1983) - Midrash Rabbah writes, Tamar was the daughter of Shem. p 829

From the inscription on the plate around her neck left under a bush she knew that she was a descendant of Yaakov as was Yoseif.  Somehow this surfaced.   

We know that Yoseif would not have married outside of his household.  So we know at some point this connection had to be revealed to both of them.  Mystically the greatness is noted in Osnat.  The Gematria of her name is 511.  This is the same Gematria as that of Ahsh Ray {praiseworthy} and Teek Vaw {expectation}.  Osnat is praiseworthy for rejecting the lies of Zulaicha. Osnat is praiseworthy for returning to Judaism and she is praiseworthy for raising her children by Yoseif's tradition instead of her own.   Her praiseworthiness is so great that all Judaism blesses their children as Yaakov blessed Ephraim and Menasheh.

Aws Nays / Aws Nayt{daughter of Deenah}

א1ס60 נ50 ת400 = 511

Ahsh Ray {Praiseworthy}

אש300 ר200 י10 = 511


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