“Yaakov saw that food was being sold in Egypt. Yaakov said to his sons, Why would you have everyone gazing at you? He said, Behold, I have heard that there is food for sale in Egypt. Go down there and buy for us from there, so that we will live and not die.” 42:1-2
- Why would you have everyone gazing at you? Why do you show yourselves before the Yishmaelites and Children of Eisov as though you are well-fed? For at that time they still had grain - Rashi
Yaakov recognized that if his children gave the appearance of being well off while the rest of the population hungered for food, they would be the envy of their neighbors. Therefore, he implored his children to maintain a low profile and not flaunt their wealth. This attitude has been echoed by Torah sages throughout our long years in exile in an effort to avoid stirring up latent feelings of anti-Semitism.