Tag Archives: Judah

Vayekhi (Genesis 47:28 – 50:26)

No “happily ever after.”  Jacob doesn’t forgive his sons.  They forgive neither themselves nor Joseph. Joseph does not say he has forgiven his brothers.  Joseph continues his life as Zaphenat-Paneah, in but not of the royal court, and as Joseph, … Continue reading

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Vayigash (Genesis 44:18 – 47:27)

Why are we spending so much time on Joseph?  He’s not a patriarch.  He doesn’t emerge as the family’s leader; that’s Judah.  His sons do not become major players, nor do his descendants long term; they’re part of the 10 … Continue reading

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Vayeishev (Gen. 37:1-40:23), Chanukah

Joseph: extremely gifted and extremely alone.   A brilliant outsider. Vayeishev is the first of four Torah portions that relate the Joseph story and bring us to the end of the book of Genesis.  My opinions of Joseph have varied a … Continue reading

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Vayigash (Genesis 44:18 – 47:27)

When I went to grad school, I was not prepared for how cold it would be.  I don’t mean the weather. Yes, this was Boston, but I had a heavy wool coat and, after some months of neglect, very long … Continue reading

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Vayeishev (Gen. 37:1-40:23), Chanukah

It can be really difficult to be exceptional, even “exceptional” in a positive sense.  Case in point: Joseph, whose story we read over the next four weeks. Jacob has settled down with his family in Canaan.  Joseph, now 17, is … Continue reading

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Vayekhi (Genesis 47:28 – 50:26)

Is Joseph in ancient Egypt like a Jew in 21st century America?  He is successful, respected, even publicly honored, and moves freely in Pharaoh’s inner circle.  Yet he is still a Hebrew, and thus “outside”.  His brothers are kept geographically … Continue reading

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Vayigash (Genesis 44:18 – 47:27)

We have reached the climax of the Joseph story.  Judah eloquently pleads to Joseph on Benjamin’s behalf, emphasizing the pain his remaining in Egypt would cause his father and offering himself as a substitute slave.  At this, Joseph reveals his … Continue reading

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