Here is the Torah text that children are exploring during week 4 of our Yosef (Joseph) theme:
Nursery and Kindergarten version:
Genesis 42 (בְּרֵאשִׁית מב)
(Remember that there’s not enough food right now, because the land isn’t growing enough. People are hungry.)
Ya’akov (Yosef’s father) heard that there was food in Egypt. So Ya’akov said to his sons, “Why are you just standing there looking at each other? I heard there’s food in Egypt. Go down there and buy some for us.”
So ten of Yosef’s brothers went down to bring food from Egypt. But Ya’akov didn’t send Binyamin, the youngest brother, Yosef’s brother.
Yosef was the person in charge in Egypt. He was selling food to everyone. Yosef’s brothers came and bowed with their faces right down to the ground.
Yosef recognized his brothers, but they didn’t recognize him. Yosef remembered the dreams he had dreamed about his brothers. He spoke not nicely to them, and said, “You’re spies! You came here to see this land’s secrets!” They said to him, “No! We just came here to buy food! We are really honest people, not spies!” But Yosef said to them, “No, you came to spy!”
Yosef put them all in prison together for three days.
Then Yosef spoke to his brothers again. “Go home, and bring food to your hungry families.” The brothers said to one another, “We did the wrong thing to Yosef. When Yosef was scared and crying out to us for help, we didn’t listen. That’s why this bad situation is happening to us now.” Reuven said to them, “Didn’t I say to you, ‘Don’t do anything bad to the boy,’ but you didn’t listen. Now things are bad for us because of what we did to Yosef.”
Now, the brothers didn’t know that Yosef could understand what they were saying, because there was an interpreter between them. Yosef turned away from them, and he cried. Then he came back to them.
Yosef told people to give the brothers food, and to return their money, and to give them the right amount of food for their trip home.
When the brothers got back to their father Ya’akov, they told him everything that had happened to them.
1st-5th grade version:
|א Now, back in Cana’an, Ya’akov saw that there was grain in Egypt. So Ya’akov said to his sons, “Why are you just standing there looking at each other?הִנֵּה ב, Look, I heard there’s grain in Egypt. Go down there and buy some for us, so we can live and not die.”||א וַיַּרְא יַעֲקֹב, כִּי יֶשׁ-שֶׁבֶר בְּמִצְרָיִם; וַיֹּאמֶר יַעֲקֹב לְבָנָיו, לָמָּה תִּתְרָאוּ|
ב וַיֹּאמֶר הִנֵּה שָׁמַעְתִּי, כִּי יֶשׁ-שֶׁבֶר בְּמִצְרָיִם; רְדוּ-שָׁמָּה וְשִׁבְרוּ-לָנוּ מִשָּׁם, וְנִחְיֶה וְלֹא נָמוּת
|ג So ten of Yosef brothers went down to bring grain from Egypt. ד But Ya’akov didn’t send Binyamin, Yosef’s brother, because he said, “What if something terrible happened to him?” ה So the sons of Yisrael went down with everyone else who was going to buy grain, since the famine was also in Cana’an.||ג וַיֵּרְדוּ אֲחֵי-יוֹסֵף, עֲשָׂרָה, לִשְׁבֹּר בָּר, מִמִּצְרָיִם|
ד וְאֶת-בִּנְיָמִין אֲחִי יוֹסֵף, לֹא-שָׁלַח יַעֲקֹב אֶת-אֶחָיו: כִּי אָמַר, פֶּן-יִקְרָאֶנּוּ אָסוֹן
ה וַיָּבֹאוּ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, לִשְׁבֹּר בְּתוֹךְ הַבָּאִים: כִּי-הָיָה הָרָעָב, בְּאֶרֶץ כְּנָעַן
|ו Meanwhile, Yosef was the person ruling the land, and the one selling grain to all the peoples of the earth. Yosef’s brothers came and bowed with their faces right down to the ground. ז Yosef saw his brothers and he recognized them. He disguised himself, and spoke harshly with them. He said to them, “Where are you coming from?” And they said, “From the land of Cana’an, to buy food.”|| ו וְיוֹסֵף, הוּא הַשַּׁלִּיט עַל-הָאָרֶץ–הוּא הַמַּשְׁבִּיר, לְכָל-עַם הָאָרֶץ; וַיָּבֹאוּ אֲחֵי יוֹסֵף, וַיִּשְׁתַּחֲווּ-לוֹ אַפַּיִם אָרְצָה|
ז וַיַּרְא יוֹסֵף אֶת-אֶחָיו, וַיַּכִּרֵם; וַיִּתְנַכֵּר אֲלֵיהֶם וַיְדַבֵּר אִתָּם קָשׁוֹת, וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵהֶם מֵאַיִן בָּאתֶם, וַיֹּאמְרוּ, מֵאֶרֶץ כְּנַעַן לִשְׁבָּר-אֹכֶל
|ח Yosef recognized his brothers, but they didn’t recognize him. ט Yosef remembered the dreams he had dreamed about them. He said to them, “You’re spies! You came here to see this land’s secrets!” י They said to him, “No, my lord! Your servants just came here to buy food! יא We are all the sons of one man. We, your servants, are really honest people, not spies.” יב But Yosef said to them, “No, you came to spy this land’s secrets!”||ח וַיַּכֵּר יוֹסֵף, אֶת-אֶחָיו; וְהֵם, לֹא הִכִּרֻהוּ|
ט וַיִּזְכֹּר יוֹסֵף אֵת הַחֲלֹמוֹת, אֲשֶׁר חָלַם לָהֶם; וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵהֶם מְרַגְּלִים אַתֶּם, לִרְאוֹת אֶת-עֶרְוַת הָאָרֶץ בָּאתֶם
י וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֵלָיו, לֹא אֲדֹנִי; וַעֲבָדֶיךָ בָּאוּ, לִשְׁבָּר-אֹכֶל
יא כֻּלָּנוּ, בְּנֵי אִישׁ-אֶחָד נָחְנוּ; כֵּנִים אֲנַחְנוּ, לֹא-הָיוּ עֲבָדֶיךָ מְרַגְּלִים
יב וַיֹּאמֶר, אֲלֵהֶם: לֹא, כִּי-עֶרְוַת הָאָרֶץ בָּאתֶם לִרְאוֹת
|יג They said, “We, your servants, are twelve brothers. We’re the sons of one single man in the land of Cana’an. But – הִנֵּה, the youngest one is with our father right now, and one of them… well, he’s gone.’’||יג וַיֹּאמְרוּ, שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר עֲבָדֶיךָ אַחִים אֲנַחְנוּ בְּנֵי אִישׁ-אֶחָד–בְּאֶרֶץ כְּנָעַן; וְהִנֵּה הַקָּטֹן אֶת-אָבִינוּ הַיּוֹם, וְהָאֶחָד אֵינֶנּוּ|
|יד Yosef said to them, “It’s just like I said. You’re spies! טו If you want to prove you’re not, I swear, as Par’oh lives, you will not leave this place unless your youngest brother comes here too. טז Send one of you to get your other brother, and the rest of you will be imprisoned here, to prove you’re telling the truth. If not, I swear, as Par’oh lives, I’m sure you’re spies!”||יד וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵהֶם, יוֹסֵף: הוּא, אֲשֶׁר דִּבַּרְתִּי אֲלֵכֶם לֵאמֹר–מְרַגְּלִים אַתֶּם|
טו בְּזֹאת, תִּבָּחֵנוּ: חֵי פַרְעֹה אִם-תֵּצְאוּ מִזֶּה, כִּי אִם-בְּבוֹא אֲחִיכֶם הַקָּטֹן הֵנָּה
טז שִׁלְחוּ מִכֶּם אֶחָד, וְיִקַּח אֶת-אֲחִיכֶם, וְאַתֶּם הֵאָסְרוּ, וְיִבָּחֲנוּ דִּבְרֵיכֶם הַאֱמֶת אִתְּכֶם; וְאִם-לֹא–חֵי פַרְעֹה, כִּי מְרַגְּלִים אַתֶּם
|יז He put them all in prison together for three days. יח Then Yosef said to them, on the third day, “If you do this, you will live, because I am a man who fears God. יט If you are honest people, leave one of your brothers here in this place where you’re in prison, but the rest of you, go and bring grain to your starving households, כ and bring your youngest brother to me. That way you’ll prove your words were truthful, and you won’t die.” |
So they did this.
|יז וַיֶּאֱסֹף אֹתָם אֶל-מִשְׁמָר, שְׁלֹשֶׁת יָמִים|
יח וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵהֶם יוֹסֵף בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁלִישִׁי, זֹאת עֲשׂוּ וִחְיוּ; אֶת-הָאֱלֹהִים, אֲנִי יָרֵא
יט אִם-כֵּנִים אַתֶּם–אֲחִיכֶם אֶחָד, יֵאָסֵר בְּבֵית מִשְׁמַרְכֶם; וְאַתֶּם לְכוּ הָבִיאוּ, שֶׁבֶר רַעֲבוֹן בָּתֵּיכֶם
כ וְאֶת-אֲחִיכֶם הַקָּטֹן תָּבִיאוּ אֵלַי, וְיֵאָמְנוּ דִבְרֵיכֶם וְלֹא תָמוּתוּ;
|כא They said to one another, “We are guilty about our brother. We saw when he was scared and crying out to us for help, and we didn’t listen. That’s why this bad situation is happening to us now.” כב Re’uven answered them, “Didn’t I say to you, ‘Don’t do anything bad to the boy,’ but you didn’t listen. Now his blood הִנֵּה now we’re paying the price for it.”||כא וַיֹּאמְרוּ אִישׁ אֶל-אָחִיו, אֲבָל אֲשֵׁמִים אֲנַחְנוּ עַל-אָחִינוּ, אֲשֶׁר רָאִינוּ צָרַת נַפְשׁוֹ בְּהִתְחַנְנוֹ אֵלֵינוּ, וְלֹא שָׁמָעְנוּ; עַל-כֵּן בָּאָה אֵלֵינוּ, הַצָּרָה הַזֹּאת|
כב וַיַּעַן רְאוּבֵן אֹתָם לֵאמֹר, הֲלוֹא אָמַרְתִּי אֲלֵיכֶם לֵאמֹר אַל-תֶּחֶטְאוּ בַיֶּלֶד–וְלֹא שְׁמַעְתֶּם; וְגַם-דָּמוֹ, הִנֵּה נִדְרָשׁ
|כג Now, they didn’t know that Yosef could understand what they were saying, because there was an interpreter between them. כד Yosef turned away from them, and he cried. Then he came back to them, and spoke to them, and took one of them – Shim’on – and put him in prison while they all watched.||כג וְהֵם לֹא יָדְעוּ, כִּי שֹׁמֵעַ יוֹסֵף: כִּי הַמֵּלִיץ, בֵּינֹתָם|
כד וַיִּסֹּב מֵעֲלֵיהֶם, וַיֵּבְךְּ; וַיָּשָׁב אֲלֵהֶם, וַיְדַבֵּר אֲלֵהֶם, וַיִּקַּח מֵאִתָּם אֶת-שִׁמְעוֹן, וַיֶּאֱסֹר אֹתוֹ לְעֵינֵיהֶם
|כה Then Yosef instructed people to fill up their jars with grain, and to return their money to each of their bags, and to give them the right amount of food for the journey. So this was done for them. כו They loaded up their donkeys with grain, and they left.||כה וַיְצַו יוֹסֵף, וַיְמַלְאוּ אֶת-כְּלֵיהֶם בָּר, וּלְהָשִׁיב כַּסְפֵּיהֶם אִישׁ אֶל-שַׂקּוֹ, וְלָתֵת לָהֶם צֵדָה לַדָּרֶךְ; וַיַּעַשׂ לָהֶם, כֵּן|
כו וַיִּשְׂאוּ אֶת-שִׁבְרָם, עַל-חֲמֹרֵיהֶם; וַיֵּלְכוּ, מִשָּׁם
|כז When they got to where they were staying for the night, one of them opened up his bag to get food for his donkey. He saw his money! וְהִנֵּה – it was right in the opening of his bag! כח He said to his brothers, “My money is back! הִנֵּה, right here in my bag!” Their hearts sank. They trembled and said to each other, “Oh, NO! What has God done to us?”||כז וַיִּפְתַּח הָאֶחָד אֶת-שַׂקּוֹ, לָתֵת מִסְפּוֹא לַחֲמֹרוֹ–בַּמָּלוֹן; וַיַּרְא, אֶת-כַּסְפּוֹ, וְהִנֵּה-הוּא, בְּפִי אַמְתַּחְתּוֹ|
כח וַיֹּאמֶר אֶל-אֶחָיו הוּשַׁב כַּסְפִּי, וְגַם הִנֵּה בְאַמְתַּחְתִּי; וַיֵּצֵא לִבָּם, וַיֶּחֶרְדוּ אִישׁ אֶל-אָחִיו לֵאמֹר, מַה-זֹּאת עָשָׂה אֱלֹהִים, לָנוּ
|כט When they got back to their father Ya’akov in the land of Cana’an, they told him everything that had happened to him. They told him,ל “The man who is the lord of the land spoke harshly to us, and he thought we were spies of the land. לא But we said to him, ‘We’re honest men, we’re not spies! לב We are twelve brothers, sons of our father, but… one of us is gone, and the youngest one of us is with our father in Cana’an in right now.’ לג And the man who is the lord of the land said, “This is how I will know you are honest: Leave one of your brothers with me, and take grain for your starving households, and go. לד And then bring your youngest brother to me, and then I will know that you’re not spies, that you’re honest, and I’ll give your brother back to you, and you’ll be able to travel around the land.” (This is what they told their father.)||כ וַיָּבֹאוּ אֶל-יַעֲקֹב אֲבִיהֶם, אַרְצָה כְּנָעַן; וַיַּגִּידוּ לוֹ, אֵת כָּל-הַקֹּרֹת אֹתָם לֵאמֹר|
ל דִּבֶּר הָאִישׁ אֲדֹנֵי הָאָרֶץ, אִתָּנוּ–קָשׁוֹת; וַיִּתֵּן אֹתָנוּ, כִּמְרַגְּלִים אֶת-הָאָרֶץ
לא וַנֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו, כֵּנִים אֲנָחְנוּ: לֹא הָיִינוּ, מְרַגְּלִים
לב שְׁנֵים-עָשָׂר אֲנַחְנוּ אַחִים, בְּנֵי אָבִינוּ; הָאֶחָד אֵינֶנּוּ, וְהַקָּטֹן הַיּוֹם אֶת-אָבִינוּ בְּאֶרֶץ כְּנָעַן
לג וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלֵינוּ, הָאִישׁ אֲדֹנֵי הָאָרֶץ, בְּזֹאת אֵדַע, כִּי כֵנִים אַתֶּם: אֲחִיכֶם הָאֶחָד הַנִּיחוּ אִתִּי, וְאֶת-רַעֲבוֹן בָּתֵּיכֶם קְחוּ וָלֵכוּ
לד וְהָבִיאוּ אֶת-אֲחִיכֶם הַקָּטֹן, אֵלַי, וְאֵדְעָה כִּי לֹא מְרַגְּלִים אַתֶּם, כִּי כֵנִים אַתֶּם; אֶת-אֲחִיכֶם אֶתֵּן לָכֶם, וְאֶת-הָאָרֶץ תִּסְחָרוּ
|לה Then they all emptied their bags, וְהִנֵּה everyone’s packet of money was in his bag, and when they saw their packets of money, they, and their father – they were all afraid.||לה וַיְהִי, הֵם מְרִיקִים שַׂקֵּיהֶם, וְהִנֵּה-אִישׁ צְרוֹר-כַּסְפּוֹ, בְּשַׂקּוֹ; וַיִּרְאוּ אֶת-צְרֹרוֹת כַּסְפֵּיהֶם, הֵמָּה וַאֲבִיהֶם–וַיִּירָאוּ|
|לו Ya’akov their father said to them, “You have made me suffer loss! Yosef is gone, and now Shimon is gone, and you want to take Binyamin too? Oh, why me? Why has all of this happened to me?”||לו וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵהֶם יַעֲקֹב אֲבִיהֶם, אֹתִי שִׁכַּלְתֶּם: יוֹסֵף אֵינֶנּוּ, וְשִׁמְעוֹן אֵינֶנּוּ, וְאֶת-בִּנְיָמִן תִּקָּחוּ, עָלַי הָיוּ כֻלָּנָה|
|לז Re’uven said to his father, “I’ll bring him back. If I don’t, you can kill MY two sons. Let me take responsibility for him now, and I’ll bring him back to you.”||לז וַיֹּאמֶר רְאוּבֵן, אֶל-אָבִיו לֵאמֹר, אֶת-שְׁנֵי בָנַי תָּמִית, אִם-לֹא אֲבִיאֶנּוּ אֵלֶיךָ; תְּנָה אֹתוֹ עַל-יָדִי, וַאֲנִי אֲשִׁיבֶנּוּ אֵלֶיךָ|
|לח But Ya’akov said, “My son will not go down there with you! His brother is dead! He’s the only one left. If anything terrible happens to him on the journey you’re going on, you will send my gray hair down into death.”||לח וַיֹּאמֶר, לֹא-יֵרֵד בְּנִי עִמָּכֶם: כִּי-אָחִיו מֵת וְהוּא לְבַדּוֹ נִשְׁאָר, וּקְרָאָהוּ אָסוֹן בַּדֶּרֶךְ אֲשֶׁר תֵּלְכוּ-בָהּ, וְהוֹרַדְתֶּם אֶת-שֵׂיבָתִי בְּיָגוֹן, שְׁאוֹלָה|