Section: Parshas HaShavua   Category: Quick Vort
Parshas Vayeishev: Rav Shimon Schwab - Why Was Yosef Always Busy Combing His Hair?

"V'Hu Naar," (Vayeishev 37:2) Rashi says that this means Yosef was acting like a Naar always fixing his hair to look nice. Rav Shimon Schwab asks, "How could this be? Yosef was a tzaddik and the prized child of his Holy father, Yaakov.  How could he have a weakness for something so trivial like playing with his hair?"

Rashi again says the same thing later on when Yosef was promoted in Potifar's house; he again starts to play with his hair and forgets that his father is suffering because of his unexplained disappearance. Is this the "Nazir Echav" that the Torah talks about?

Rav Schwab answers that we find the Torah also calls Shchem ben Chamor a "Naar". Yet we know Shchem was the oldest and most important person in the kingdom after his father. There Rav Schwab therefore concludes, that "Naar" does not mean young, but rather impatient like young people. It means acting on impulse without thoroughly thinking things through. This is what Shchem was guilty of.

Yosef had two dreams that told him he would be King. The Halacha is that a King must be freshly groomed every day as the pasuk says (Yeshaya 33:17), "Melech B'Yafyo Techezena Einecha; A King should be seen in his glory."  Yosef acted impatiently and on impulse when at the young age of seventeen he already behaved as if his dreams of Kingdom materialized. Similarly, in Potifar's house, as soon as he was promoted and sensed an ascent to leadership, he once again jumped too fast and  began to take an interest in his regal appearance. For this the Torah calls him a "Naar" as he should have waited for the right time and not jumped at the first sniff of power.