Larchmont Temple Chevra Torah

Questioning faith in the parsha

Vayeishev

11.27.2010/20 Kislev 5771
Modern Author: S.Y. Agnon “Fable of the Goat

KOSHI: What does father Jacob’s response to his sons’ question (is that your son’s tunic?) teach us about love in the family of Israel? What does the story teach us—as Israel—about finding our way/coming home?

Parashah Overview (Genesis 37:1-40:23)

  • Jacob is shown to favor his son Joseph, whom the other brothers resent. Joseph has dreams of grandeur. (Genesis 37:1-11)
  • After Joseph’s brothers had gone to tend the flocks in Shechem, Jacob sends Joseph to report on them. The brothers decide against murdering Joseph but instead sell him into slavery. After he is shown Joseph’s coat of many colors, which had been dipped in the blood of a kid, Jacob is led to believe that Joseph has been killed by a beast. (Genesis 37:12-35)
  • Tamar successively marries two of Judah’s sons, each of whom dies. Judah does not permit her levirate marriage to his youngest son. She deceives Judah into impregnating her. (Genesis 38:1-30)
  • God is with Joseph in Egypt until the wife of his master, Potiphar, accuses him of rape, whereupon Joseph is imprisoned. (Genesis 39:1-40:23)
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3 responses to “Vayeishev

  1. Pingback: Sant’ Angelo, by Arthur Miller « Larchmont Temple Chevra Torah

  2. Pingback: S.Y. Agnon: Fable of the Goat « Larchmont Temple Chevra Torah

  3. Emily November 28, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    I was particularly taken when Reb Sirk said, “Blind Isaac still sees the future, but Jacob is blinded by his deception.”

    Makes me thing how Jacob’s life is one of the most tragic in the Torah — he never escapes the mistakes of his youth, his children hate him, etc. etc.

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