Mikketz is dominated by two of the great encounters in the Torah. The first is the reversal in Joseph’s fortunes. Forgotten and abandoned in prison, he is brought out to interpret Pharaoh’s dreams, which he does with ease. Having told Pharaoh that the dreams portend eventual drought and famine, he then articulates a solution to the problem. Pharaoh, impressed, appoints Joseph to high office in Egypt, second only to himself.

The second occurs when Joseph’s brothers, driven by famine in Canaan, come to Egypt to buy food. They come before Joseph, but fail to recognise him as their brother, though he recognises them. Joseph, without disclosing his identity, sets in motion a complex scenario, designed to test his brothers, that reaches a climax in the next parsha.

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