Week of Chanukah Shabbat December 8, 2023
Our Torah portion begins the last great section of Genesis, which recounts the saga of Joseph and his brothers. The title means “he settled” i.e. Jacob settled in the land of Canaan. Immediately we are introduced to Joseph, seventeen years old, who is a precocious teen and brings an evil report about his brothers to his papa, Jacob. We read of the famous story of Joseph’s dreams, and his interpretations thereof, which cause great “tsourus” with his brothers. Basically these are dreams that are a foreshadowing of Joseph’s future greatness. As you may recall, the brothers plot to rid themselves of Joseph, and toss him into a pit, hoping to forget about him. Reuben, the eldest, argues that they cannot kill Joseph, but simply leave him in this “pit.” Then Judah comes along and pushes the idea of selling Joseph to the Ishmaelites, who eventually sell him to the Midianites. Ultimately Joseph lands up in Egypt. In Egypt Joseph sits in jail, but ultimately because of his ability to see into the future, he is elevated to the service of the Pharoah’s court. Though he can predict the future for many individuals, he does not take personal credit for his knowledge.
Joseph always says, “the solution lies with God,” meaning that the Almighty has given him the gift of this special power.