19 They answered, “An Egyptian rescued us from the shepherds; he even drew water for us and watered the flock.”
va-to-MAR-na ish mitz-RI hi-tzi-LA-nu mi-YAD ha-RO-eem v’-GAM da-LO LA-nu va-YASHK et ha-TZON
יט וַתֹּאמַרְןָ אִישׁ מִצְרִי הִצִּילָנוּ מִיַּד הָרֹעִים וְגַם־דָּלֹה דָלָה לָנוּ וַיַּשְׁקְ אֶת־הַצֹּאן׃
2:19 An Egyptian rescued us from the shepherds
Based on this verse, the Sages of the Midrash contrast Yosef and Moshe. Yosef identified himself with Eretz Yisrael, as he says, “I was kidnapped from the land of the Hebrews” (Genesis 40:15), whereas Moshe does not protest when Jethro’s daughters refer to him as an Egyptian. Yosef therefore merits to be buried in the Land of Israel, while Moshe does not. Rabbi Zalman Sorotzkin points out that Moshe’s behavior is understandable, as he was not born in Israel nor had he ever been there. However, once Hashem had promised Avraham that his descendants would inherit the land, it became their homeland. No matter where in the world a Jew may find himself, he is called upon to identify with Eretz Yisrael.