Posted by: mosesfromsinai | November 29, 2015

Vayaishev – And He Settled

This week’s Torah reading is Vayaishev – And He Settled.

In this week’s Torah Reading we discover that Yoseph clearly stated that he was Jewish.  This the Torah reveals to us when Potiphar’s wife announces that Yoseph “misbehaved”.  (She was actually the guilty culprit and Yoseph resisted her advances).

We will see much later when Moshe flees Egypt and meets the daughters of Yisro, he will say that he is Egyptian and not own up to being Jewish.

We are further told in a Midrash that this is one of the reasons that Yoseph is buried in Israel, (because he admitted that he was a Hebrew – Jewish), while Moshe is buried outside of Israel (because he did not admit to being a Hebrew – Jewish).

Indeed we can find differences in their upbringing.  Yoseph was raised in the house of Yaakov until he was 17.  This was apparently enough time to instill in him the qualities for admitting to being Jewish and surviving his ordeals in Egypt.

Moshe was raised in his real home, the house of Amram only until he was about 2, when he no longer needed to be nursed.  This was enough time to give him certain strengths, obviously, as we will later see him defend the honor of a Jewish woman and kill the man that raped her.  This is why he had to flee Egypt and the family that adopted him. (A simple family actually, Pharoh’s daughter – the King of Egypt’s daughter).  (Life was good for him and he lacked nothing in that home – accept his real parents, his sister Miriam and his brother Aaron).  Yet he held back from admitting he was Jewish to Yisro’s daughters.  Now again, there could have been another reason.  He was on the 10 most wanted list as an escaped Jewish prisoner from Egypt.

He of course does end up marrying one of Yisro’s daughters, Tziporrah,  Later Yisro and his family will indeed learn that Moshe is Jewish.  (Yisro was pro – Jewish.  He had advised Pharoh to treat the Jewish people in a positive fashion.  He too had to leave – flee Egypt when his advice was rejected.)

However, bottom line here is that standing up firm for whom we are plays an important role. We have to be proud always of who we are, even in the darkest times. (Note, in a life threatening situation there is some room as long as your actions do not go against Torah.)  This pride in being the Al-mighty’s chosen will lead to the final redemption and building of the 3rd Holy Temple


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