Let’s start “Joseph and His Brothers.” (Genesis, 37- 47)
Joseph is the “apple of Jacob’s eye.”
He shows it. And the brothers see it.
They’re very jealous.
And to top it off?
Joseph tells his brothers about his dreams.
How the brothers bowed down to Joseph.
He seems to want to rule over them.
And that gets them even angrier.
… Joseph’s brothers are out with the sheep.
And Jacob sends him to check on them.
The brothers are alone with him and decide to “deal with the problem.”
They sell Joseph as a slave and he’s taken down to Egypt.
Joseph rises to prominence in Egypt. Becoming second only to the King.
… Meanwhile, “back at the ranch?”
There’s a famine in the Land of Israel.
And Jacob sends his sons to buy food in Egypt.
Who’s in charge of the food?
They don’t recognize him. But he recognizes them.
Joseph seems to really “put them through the ringer!”
And take his revenge.
Finally, Joseph reveals himself to his brothers.
They bring Jacob down to Egypt to be reunited with Joseph.
And Jacob and his family settle in Egypt.
(Before you turn around? We’ll be up to the Exodus!)
… There’s good news and bad news.
The bad news?
This is a very troubling story.
How could our forefathers do something like this?
And for thousands of years, we’ve been trying to figure it out!
We’ll be spending some time on the story.
There are many layers of meaning to it.
And we may even get a better idea of what “the brothers were thinking.”
But the bottom-line?
It was very wrong!
… And the good news?
This story tells us two very important things about the Torah.
One? That it’s true!
Because who would invent a history like this?
A story that makes us look so bad.
And of all places. Who would put it into the Bible!
The Torah is unique among “Bibles.”
The “Saints” of other Bibles are perfect.
But the Torah says it the way it is.
Including the major failings of our great people.
And that’s the Torah’s stamp of truth!
The second thing it tells us about the Torah?
Sorry. My minute’s up!
All the best,
P.S. I was so inspired by last week’s story of the “Kosher Olympics Hotel”, that we decided to share it with the whole Shabbat Fax Readership. But you saw it first!