Genesis 37:1 - 40:23

Amos 2:6 - 3:8

In this Torah portion, Jacob favors Joseph, and this angers Joseph’s brothers. Joseph has dreams in which he predicts reigning over his brothers, provoking them further. They decide to sell Joseph into slavery in Egypt. Tamar disguises herself as a prostitute and sleeps with her father-in-law, Judah. In Egypt, the wife of Joseph’s owner tries to seduce Joseph, and when he rejects her, she accuses him of trying to rape her and has him sent to prison. In prison, Pharaoh’s baker and butler have dreams, and Joseph interprets them correctly.

FULL SUMMARY

From Pride Comes Loneliness

Joseph's experience in prison teaches him, and us, that we succeed and flourish when we support those around us.

More on this Torah Portion

Honor Your Parents

The story of Joseph and his brothers is a cautionary tale of parenting and brotherhood.

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

A positive outlook on the world can go a long way towards making situations feel more manageable.

Tamar’s Tragedy

Parashat Vayeshev introduced us to one of the most famous women in the Bible.

They Remained Silent

No one ever told Jacob that his son Joseph was still alive.

Tamar & the Sex Trade

Sex workers--like Tamar--are fueled by cycles of sexism and poverty.

Parashat Vayeshev Quiz

Test your knowledge of this Torah portion.

Dreamers in Prison

Incarceration can be a tool of fear--not a place of rehabilitation.

Shepherd Consciousness

The thoughts of a shepherd may be sublime, but they cannot take him away from the task at hand.

Courage to Dream

It takes a dream to save the Jewish people.

God Was In That Text

It is important to seek God in times of fortune, and to hear the divine voice in our texts.

Mindfulness

Like Jacob, who paid attention to Joseph's dreams and their effect on the family, we should be mindful of events and experiences that evoke a sense of the Divine presence.

Joseph: Tzadik or Tattletale?

The complex character of Joseph raises questions about what it means to be righteous.

Parashat Vayeshev: Summary

Joseph's dreams anger his brothers, who sell him into slavery in Egypt, where he eventually ends up in prison, still interpreting others' dreams.

Controlling Love

Joseph teaches us to temper love with a sense of duty and a knowledge of right and wrong.

The Challenge Of Changing

Despite Jacob's negative experiences with favoritism, he repeats this trait in his own family and home.

When the Brothers Got Violent

The brothers could not speak peacefully with Joseph because they allowed their anger and resentment to control them.

Leadership Traits

Judah merits the position of kingship because of his ability to acknowledge and overcome his mistakes.

Before The Law: Creating Real Systems Of Justice

Parashat Vayeshev teaches us the importance of ensuring that we enact justice in light of the ease with which our systems of justice can be abused.

Improving Our Speech

The consequences of what we say are extremely far-reaching, demanding that we choose our words carefully.