Torah Readers Reflections

Summary of Parashat Vayeshev

Parashat Vayeshev introduces the lengthiest narrative in the book of Genesis: the story of Joseph and his brothers. Over the course of the next four parashiyot, we will follow the story of Joseph's meteoric rise to power as he grapples with fundamental questions of identity and purpose.
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Parashat Vayeshev starts with Jacob living in Hebron with his 12 sons. The naravitive then focuses on Joseph, Jacob's favorite son. He buys him a coat of many colors. Joseph angers his brothers by telling them of dreams that he has where he interprets the dream as meaning that they will all one day bow down to him.

The brothers plot to kill Joseph but instead sell him into slavery. Joseph is taken to Egypt where he is sold to Potipher - the head of Pharaoh's slaughterhouse. Josephe is good at his work and he is elevated to manage the house of Potipher. Potipher's wife desires the handsome Joseph and when he rejects her advances, she tells her husband that Joseph threw himself on her. Joseph is thrown into prison.

In prison Joseph is made responsible for the other prisoners While in prison he correctly interprets the dreams of Pharaoh's chief baker and chief butler. The parasha ends with the butler returning to his job and forgetting Joseph.  


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