In this week’s reading from Parashat Vayeshev (Bereshit / Genesis 37:1-40:23) we learn that Yaakov (Jacob) loved Yoseph (Joseph) more than his brothers (37:3, וְיִשְֹרָאֵל אָהַב אֶת-יוֹסֵף מִכָּל-בָּנָיו). Yoseph had a dream about his future (37:5-10) as a result his brothers become jealous (37:11). As the narrative continues, Yoseph’s brothers are plotting murder in their hearts (37:18-22) but instead put him into a pit (37:23) and then sell him into slavery to the Ishmaelites (37:27-29). The Ishmaelites sell Yoseph to Potiphar in Mitzrayim (Egypt) where Yoseph acts righteously (וּצְדָקָה) and God prospers him. Potiphar’s wife falsely accuses Yoseph and he is placed in jail (39:1-20). The Lord God makes Yoseph prosperous in jail and Yoseph interprets dreams for the baker and butler, two people Pharaoh had placed in prison (40:5-23). This week’s parashah primarily discusses Yoseph, however in the midst of the narrative on Yoseph there is a short story on Judah found in Bereshit 38:1-30. Yoseph was the eleventh son born to Yaakov and was the first born of his wife Rachael. As a result, Yaakov showed Yoseph favoritism over his brothers (וְיִשְֹרָאֵל אָהַב אֶת-יוֹסֵף מִכָּל-בָּנָיו כִּי-בֶן-זְקֻנִים). The favoritism of his Father caused Yoseph to be a spoiled son based on what we read in 37:2 וַיָּבֵא יוֹסֵף אֶת-דִּבָּתָם רָעָה אֶל-אֲבִיהֶם He brought a bad report about his brothers. Though Yoseph was spoiled by Yaakov, he walked in righteousness (וּצְדָקָה) and justice (מִשְׁפָּט) more so than his brothers. The juxtaposition of the story of Judah (38:1-30) with Yoseph and Potiphar’s wife (39:1-20) illustrates for us that Yoseph chooses the path of righteousness. As a result, the Lord was with Yoseph (וַיְהִי יְהוָֹה אֶת-יוֹסֵף וַיְהִי אִישׁ מַצְלִיחַ) prospering him and preparing him for the plans He has for him. Today have you chosen the path of righteousness regardless of what comes your way in life? Read More here.
Home Weekly Parashah Parashat Vayeshev, Understanding the Messiah by the life of Yoseph