Parsha Thought – Vayeishev

Joseph Reveals His Dream to His Brethren (watercolor circa 1896–1902 by James Tissot)

A short thought on this week’s Parsha

This week we are reading the portion Vayeishev (וַיֵּשֶׁב‬) – “And he lived”. Most of the portion is concerned with Joseph and the beginning of his journey to save his family from the famine just a few years away.

Genesis 37:3 says, “Now Israel loved Joseph more than any other of his sons, because he was the son of his old age. And he made him a robe of many colors.”

Rashi has an interesting interpretation to this verse. He says that “the son of his old age” is because Joseph was a wise son. He, of all the others, was able to be taught and receive the wisdom that Israel had been taught by his fathers (possibly even learning from Shem himself).

While Joseph is known as the “dreamer”, his father had just as many spiritual encounters as his son. Consider the times that Jacob dreamed, or encountered Hashem:
○ The vision of the ladder going to Heaven (Gen 28:10-22)
○ The dream about how to be successful with breeding the sheep (Gen 31:10)
○ The dream to leave Laban (Gen 31:13)
○ The vision of the army (Gen 32:1)
○ The wrestling with the “angel” (Gen 32:22-32)

Joseph came by his knowledge of the spiritual through the experience and teaching of his father! So must we, be willing to learn from those more experienced in the faith, more experienced in life.

2 Timothy 2:2 “and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.”

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