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Section: Parshas HaShavua   Category: Quick Vort
Parshas Mikeitz: Rav Shlomo Zalman Zalaznik - Reuven Offer The Lives Of His Two Children
The Shevatim needed to return to Mitzrayim for more food, but they knew they cannot do so without bringing Binyomin with them.  Yaakov refused, and Reuven tells him that he will take personal responsibility and will put up the lives of two of his children as collateral.  What exactly was he thinking?

The Shnayim Mikra brings from Rav Shlomo Zalman Zalaznik, the Rosh Yeshiva of Eitz Chaim in Yerushalayim, as follows: When the daughter of Nichunya, the well digger, fell into a well, they went to Rebbi Chanina ben Dosa to daven for her.  He said, "Not to worry; she is fine."  An hour later they came crying to him again, and again he told them that she was doing fine.  The third time they came back, he said that she is already out of the well.  They were amazed.  "I am not a Navi," he told them.  "It is obvious that Nichunya the tzadik, who dug wells for Bnei Yisrael, would not lose his child in a well, which is his greatest ally.

When the Shevatim wanted to Kill Yosef, only Reuven felt his father's pain and protested.  "He knew," says Rav Zalaznik, "that after his Mesiras Nefesh to save his own father from suffering the loss of his child, nothing bad could ever happen to his children, and he would be able to bring home Binyomin safely."