1. Many events happen to every one of us, both good and bad. Some people give God the credit for the good and bad, while others blame God for the bad and take credit themselves for the good (or just accredit it to good luck!). There are other variations on this theme, in which all events are attributed to God, yet with an attempt to see the bad in a positive light. In revealing himself to his brothers, Yosef clearly chooses one approach. Is there one approach which is considered more Jewishly authentic than the others? Is there an approach which is less authentic? Can someone be expected to take one approach over the others?
    Note: When Yaakov meets Pharaoh, he seems to take a somewhat different approach than does Yosef!

  2. Yosef creates a plan to prepare Egypt for the years of drought. The plan is so successful that it strengthens the Egyptian empire considerably and the royal house gains control of the lives of ordinary Egyptians (See Breishit 47: 12-26). Clearly, a strong government is a valuable asset to its citizens, but a government which is too strong serves its own purposes and not those of its citizens, and is easily led to abuse its excess of power. How does one know when the line between legitimate and illegitimate power has been crossed?

link to lookstein.org