Posted by: mosesfromsinai | November 22, 2010

VaYaishev – And he Settled

This week, in the Parsha of VaYaishev, we have a look at Yoseph HaTzaddik (the Righteous) in some depth.

It may not look so good at a first glance in this Parsha.  In the previous Torah reading we saw Yoseph at an early age showing the courage to stand in front of his mother, Rochel, so his wicked Uncle Eisav would not see his beautiful mother, Rochel.  Now, however, we are getting an apparent different picture.  His brothers probably called him “Yoseph the Snitch” as he was constantly reporting the ‘evil’ that his brothers were doing to their father, Yakov.  To add further to the animosity Yoseph’s brothers were developing, Yakov made Yoseph his favorite son and gave Yoseph a special colored garment.  (Good move dad – actually the commentators indicate that this may have been a bad move in parenting.  Please note that Yakov’s father, Yitzchak, also chose a favorite son, Eisav, who turned out to be wicked. Yakov may have had concerns that also his first born from Rochel, Yoseph, would turn out wicked.)

After receiving his coat, Yoseph then has two special dreams that he shares with his brothers and father.  Both dreams contain the theme they would be bowing to Yoseph, their leader, in the future.  Just the concept his older brothers wanted to hear.  Yes the animosity, among the brothers towards Yoseph was growing in leaps and bounds.  Keep in mind, two of his brothers, Shimon and Levy, have killed an entire male population in the city of Shechem.  These are two brothers you may not want to get angry.

Now for the real strange event; Yakov personally asked Yoseph to go see what his brothers were doing with the flock in Shechem and bring back a report.  (Go be a ‘snitch’ on your brothers – great move again dad – and the city of Shechem of all places.  Where is Child Protective Services when you need help?)  Actually the Al-mighty sent Gavriel the Angel to inform Yoseph that his brothers were plotting to kill him and it may not be the best idea to go to them.  Perhaps here is where we can understand what is going on.  Yakov may want to see the attachment and strength in Yoseph’s personality to fulfill Yakov’s request and in general Yakov’s way of life, Judaism/Monotheism.  Yoseph HaTzaddik displayed this by continuing his mission from his father and even further remaining Yoseph HaTzaddik in the corrupt and immoral society of Egypt after being sold as a slave.  This set the stage for our survival in exile throughout our history, beginning in Egypt.  We have fulfilled Our Father’s mission (Torah), even in times and places of danger throughout the long exile.

Just as Yoseph, who remained steadfast in his commitment to his father, was united with his father (only 22 years later), may we, Am Yisroel, who have basically remained steadfast in our commitment ( a little longer than 22 years) soon be united with Our Father, with the end of exile, Galus, and the building of the 3rd Temple.

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