The Torah is not meant to be a history book.
Sometimes it will spend pages and pages on one story.
Like Abraham taking care of guests. Or Joseph and his brothers.
And then it will skip a few hundred years.
Not a very complete history!
The stories are there because they teach us about life.
And Jewish tradition sees meaning on many different levels.
… Take the story of Joseph.
On one hand?
There’s the actions of the brothers. And how Joseph responds.
Their responsibility for their actions. And lessons to learn about relationships.
On another level?
This story is about Divine Providence.
Its part of G-d’s “master plan.”
For Jacob’s family to go down to Egypt.
Where we would become a nation. Be enslaved.
And eventually experience the Exodus.
Then go on to Mount Sinai and receive the Torah.
And change the world.
… So many things had to “happen just right.”
Jacob favors Joseph. The brothers get jealous.
Jacob sends Joseph to check on his brothers.
Was Joseph anxious to go?
He knew how angry his brothers were. How they felt about him.
But he goes. And can’t find them.
Joseph could have gone home and told Jacob, “Couldn’t find them, Dad.”
(We know how it is when we have to make a call we don’t want to make?
You let the phone ring twice and hang up. “They’re not home!”)
Instead, Joseph asks around until he finds them.
So the brothers have their chance and he’s sold as a slave.
… A caravan heading to Egypt happened to pass by. And Joseph is taken to Egypt.
If the caravan would have been heading to Afghanistan?
Who knows what the world would look like today!
… Joseph becomes second in command in Egypt.
Ever wonder how a “small town Jewish boy” could begin to know how to run a country?
No problem. He happened to get some on the job training.
Joseph was sold to a high officer of Pharaoh. (Genesis, 39)
His master was so taken with Joseph that he puts him in charge of all of his affairs.
Joseph runs his entire estate.
And develops his “organizational skills.”
… It just happens that my minute is up!
All the best,