Miketz: Chapter 42 Verse 9: Dressing Down

In Miketz Joseph is elevated to Viceroy due to his insights about Pharoh’s dreams and the upcoming famine. The brothers come to Egypt to buy food and stand before Joseph. Joseph sees them, recognizes them and then accuses them of being spies.

The Ramban says something wild. The brother were all dressed up. All decked out. They were as my kids we say: “looking natty”. Ramban says they were handsome and wearing fancy clothes in contrast to the other poor people lining up for food. What does this say about the brothers.

The SD would like to suggest you don’t wear your Rolex watch or your Brioni suit when you are on a bread line. You recognize that others around you are in bad straits. Maybe you should recognize that if you are in the middle of breadline wearing “natty duds” is not that smart. It raises suspicion it makes you stand out. Standing out is what got them to be thought of as spies. It gave Joseph cover to accuse them. Standing out by wearing the fancy or natty duds is just plain wrong all the time.

While the SD does not wear the standard yeshiva clothes, the SD admires that dress for the simple reason that no one stands out. Everyone looks the same. When everyone wears a black suit and white shirt there is no haughtiness or arrogance. You stand out with character not clothing.

Stand out with character not clothing.

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