One gets the distinct impression that Yaakov's final seventeen years - spent in Goshen, Egypt - were his golden years. Reunited with his beloved Yosef, surrounded by his children and grandchildren, it was for all intents and purposes the epitome of Sabbas and Savtas call Yiddishe nachas.
After Yaakov received the delightfully shocking news that his son Yosef was alive and well in Egypt (and gainfully employed!), the Torah records his gut reaction. 'And Yisrael said: How incomprehensible it is that Yosef is still alive. I will go down [to Egypt] and see him before I pass away." Sometime thereafter, the patriarch took a more thoughtful approach to his predicament, and a monstrous predicament it was.
Arguably, Parashat Miketz is Bereshit's most dramatic chapter. And that is saying quite a lot, especially considering the riveting subject matter contained in each and every one of Genesis’ twelve parshiyot. Do they not comprise episodes and narratives chock-full of esoterica, intrigue, and bafflement that stretch man's imagination, reason, and intellect?
This parasha is the first of four parshiyot that deal with one of Tanach’s most protracted scandals: The Selling of Yosef by his brothers into Slavery. That single topic is at the very heart of these chapters. At root, perhaps one question towers above the rest. It is this.