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Life begins at 30

Written by d fine

In perek 41 pasuk 46 we are informed that ‘Yosef was thirty years of age when he stood before Pharaoh’ (and successfully interpreted Pharaoh’s dream). The Torah is not a storybook; it does not tell us details that are unimportant. So why is Yosef’s age an important thing for us to know? The Sforno writes that the Torah tells us this detail to inform us that Yosef was fitting and significantly mature for this job. The Netziv, however, writes that the key here is the rest of the pasuk. The full pasuk reads ‘and Yosef was thirty years of age when he stood before Pharaoh the king of Egypt. And Yosef went out from Pharaoh’s presence and surveyed the entire land of Egypt.’ The Netziv writes that the pasuk is highlighting the fact that Yosef managed to tour the entire land and weigh up the food-preserving opportunities in each province within his 30th year. He did it all in a year (without a limousine) Thus, we can see the immense zerizus that Yosef had for this project – he made sure that he took his job of ensuring the survival of a country of people seriously (and he probably knew from his dreams that his brothers would come down to him too) and went about it with alarming alacrity.

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