September 22, 2018 |

My Weekly Drash (a mini D'var Torah) -- Vayeshev (3)

Joseph's problems emerge in the opening verses of Parshah Vayeishev: "And when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of his brothers, they hated him so that they could not speak a friendly word to him." (Gen. 37:4) Jacob, who saw his own father favoring his brother and saw the tensions between his wives Rachel and Leah, who were sisters, should have been supremely sensitive to such things. He may have doted on Joseph but when the situation became so toxic that his own brothers wouldn't speak to him, the situation had gotten out of control. We know what's coming, and we know how Jacob will suffer during the long years he believes Joseph to be dead, but in a sense Jacob is again reaping what he has sown. Instead of correcting himself, by showering love on the other brothers or, at the very least, toning down his blatant favoritism, Jacob might have averted a situation where the brothers actively conspire against Joseph. It's not enough to tell your kids to make nice. You have to lead by example.

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Daniel M. Kimmel

Joined: October 2, 2007

Daniel M. Kimmel is a Boston area film critic, lecturer and author. He does these weekly mini-lessons for the Mishkan Tefila Brotherhood's newsletter. You are free to use them for similar purposes.

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