Parashat Vayeshev: Who do we see in our reflection?

Often, our sins stem from an error in our self-image.

By SHMUEL RABINOWITZ
December 7, 2017 18:28
3 minute read.
BOYS SEE their re ections in a pool with gold sh in Ashdod

SHOLEM ALEICHEM at his desk in St. Petersburg in 1904BOYS SEE their re ections in a pool with gold sh in Ashdod. (photo credit: REUTERS/AMIR COHEN)

 
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In this week’s Torah portion, Vayeshev, we begin to read one of the longest stories in the Torah – the story of Joseph, Jacob’s beloved and preferred son whose brothers were so jealous of him that they sold him into slavery in Egypt. This week, we read the pessimistic part of the story, stopping when Joseph is jailed in an Egyptian prison because of a story made up about him by his Egyptian master’s wife. Over the next few weeks, we will continue the story with Joseph getting out of jail and rising to greatness due to the Egyptian king.

But how did Joseph end up in an Egyptian prison? Joseph, who was a handsome and talented man, was pursued by his Egyptian master’s wife. Every day she would try to seduce him into sinning with her, but Joseph refused on moral grounds.

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