Overview of the Torah Reading
To be read on Shabbat Vayeishev, 23 Kislev 5783/Dec.17
Vayeishev is the 9th Reading out of 12 in Genesis and it contains 5972 letters, in 1558 words, in 112 verses
Vayeishev describes how Yosef shepherded with his brothers and brought bad reports of them to Yaacov. Yosef was Yaacov's favorite son, to whom he gave a colorful coat, but this favoritism bred jealousy towards Yosef. By reporting in detail two dreams he had, Yosef provoked even more jealousy. One day, the brothers went to shepherd in Shechem, and Yaacov asked Yosef to go to them. Seeing Yosef approach, the brothers plot to kill the 'dreamer'. Reuven stopped them and suggested throwing Yosef into a pit instead, in the secret hope of saving Yosef later. After removing his coat, the brothers threw Yosef into the pit. In Reuven's absence the remaining brothers sold Yosef to merchants who were on their way to Egypt. To hide their deed, the brothers dipped Yosef's coat in goat blood. Believing his son killed by wild animals, Yaacov grieved inconsolably. Yosef was sold to Potifar, captain of Pharaoh's guard. Meanwhile, Yehuda married and had three sons, Er, Onan, and Shela. Er married Tamar. When Er died in consequence of a sin, Yehuda told Onan to marry Tamar and have a child to carry on Er's name. Onan died as well due to his sins. Yehuda was reluctant to let her marry his third son. When Yehuda went to shear sheep, Tamar disguised herself as a prostitute and became pregnant from Yehuda. As payment to the 'prostitute' he doesn't recognize, Yehuda promised a goat, and as collateral gave her his seal, wrap, and staff. Sentenced to death for unlawful pregnancy, Tamar sent Yehuda his seal, wrap and staff, hinting to her innocence but protecting him from embarrassment. Yehuda declared Tamar's righteousness. Tamar gave birth to twin boys, Peretz and Zerach. In Egypt, Yosef became manager of Potifar's house, but attracted the attention of Potifar's wife. Because Yosef evaded her advances, she became angry and accused Yosef of trying to rape her. Yosef was subsequently imprisoned. He became the supervisor of the other prisoners. Pharaoh's butler and baker were imprisoned in the same dungeon. Each dreamt a dream which Yosef interpreted correctly: The baker was to be sentenced to death, but the butler would be returned to his position. Yosef asked the butler to mention him to Pharaoh, hoping this would free him. Yet when the butler was released, he forgot his promise to Yosef.
(for a free weekly email subscription, click here)
This week's Torah portion, Vayeishev, begins with the conflict
between Yosef and his brothers and continues until we find Yosef unjustly imprisoned
in Egypt. The portion ends with the story about Yosef and the two stewards of
Pharaoh, who were also imprisoned. Yosef had been commanded to attend to their
needs. One day he notices that they are unhappy. Yosef asks, "Why do you
look so sad today?"
FROM THE SAGES OF KABBALAH ON KabbalaOnline.org
Specifically, for an overview
of the recommended articles in the columns:
Cord and Staff
But the Jew says to G-d, 'Gaze into my identity and you will see that my intimacy is shared only with You, G-d', to which G-d answers, "The Jew going astray is my fault because I did not give Tamar to my son Shelah," referring to the Mashiach.
To continue, click here.
For a free email subscription to our weekly anthology, click here.