Clothes make the person

After Pharaoh chose Yosef to be second-in-command, we read (Breisheet 41:42) “Pharaoh then took off his ring from his hand and he placed it on Yosef’s hand. He dressed him in linen (shesh) garments and put a gold chain (revid) around his neck.”

Rashi comments that the giving of the king’s ring is a sign for the one to whom it is given that he is to be second in command to him.

Ramban adds that the king’s ring contains his seal (as we see as well in Megillat Ester 8:8). The king gave Yosef his seal so that he should be a leader and a commander of the entire government and seal with the king’s ring whatever he desires.

Rashi also points out that linen garments are considered very valuable in Egypt.

Chizkuni adds that only kings and important people wore this type of linen in Egypt.

Rashbam mentions that Yechezkel 27:7 states in reference to Tyre’s beauty: “Of embroidered Egyptian linen was your sail”.

In Eshet Chayil, Woman of Valor (Mishlei 31:22), which is recited each Friday night we read “Marvadim astah lah, shesh v’argaman levusha”, “She makes herself coverlets, her clothing is fine linen and purple”.

The same terminology that describes what Yosef wore when he became second in command to Pharaoh is used by King Solomon to describe the way that the accomplished woman dressed.

We learn from here the level of respect that the woman was given at the time of the First Beit HaMikdash (Temple). She had a spouse, children, a household to run and a few careers yet she was dressed in beautiful garments. This can be compared to Yosef who commanded a presence wearing royal garments while taking care of Egypt and beyond, making sure that everyone was provided for.

About the Author
Sharona holds a BA in Judaic Studies from Stern College and an MS in Jewish Education from Azrieli Graduate School, Yeshiva University. Sharona was the first Congregational Intern and Madricha Ruchanit at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, NY. After making aliya in 2004, Sharona founded Torat Reva Yerushalayim, a non profit organization based in Jerusalem which provides Torah study groups for students of all ages and backgrounds.
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