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Section: Parshas HaShavua   Category: Quick Vort
Parshas Mikeitz: Spies Don't Drink Wine

"Vayishtu Vayishkiru Imo." (Mikeitz 43:32) When Yosef invited the Shvatim to dine with him upon their second arrival, they drank wine with him. Rashi says this was the first time since the sale of Yosef twenty two years prior, that either Yosef or the Shvatim drank wine. Yosef drank wine because he had his brothers with him, but why did the Shvatim allow themselves to indulge in wine when nothing changed to their knowledge with regard to Yosef?

The Iturei Torah brings from the HaMedrash V'HaMaaseh that the Shvatim were still under the accusation of being spies. A spy cannot allow himself to become intoxicated as he must always be on guard--careful of what he says and how he acts in order not give himself away. Had the Shvatim refused to drink with Yosef, they would be furthering his suspicion. For this reason they went along and agreed to drink wine.