Yosef and Donald Trump

Donald Trump is not very popular right now because of his recent comments about Muslim immigration, but he made earlier comments about terrorism and terrorists that echo an important lesson from this week's parshah, and from yesterday's daf yomi page.When Pharaoh was having trouble finding a satisfying interpretation to his recent dreams, the Sar Hamashkim [...]

By | December 8th, 2015|

Yosef and Morgan Freeman

After successfully interpreting the dream of Pharoah's chamberlain in prison, Yosef asks him if he would remember him and mention him to Pharoah.  The parshah ends by saying that once the chamberlain was freed, not only didn't he remember Yosef but he also forgot him. Rashi asks, why the double language?  "Since Yosef depended upon [...]

By | December 4th, 2015|

Yosef and Unwrapped

Yosef was stripped completely naked by his brothers.The Torah says, "They stripped him of his tunic, the fine woolen tunic that was on him."Rashi comments on the obvious superfluous words.  He says they stripped him of the special coat that his father made for him, and they also stripped him of his regular clothes that [...]

By | December 3rd, 2015|

Yosef and Forest Gump

The main question that Rashi is usually addressing with his comments is "Who Cares?"In the Yosef episode we find this around every detail.Yaakov sent Yosef to look for his brothers and the Torah says, "he sent him from the depths of Hevron and he arrived in Shechem."Rashi says that the depths of Hevron is inaccurate. [...]

By | December 3rd, 2015|

Yosef and Esav

As I mentioned in an earlier post, Rashi points out at least twice that Yaakov saw himself in Yosef, more so than the other brothers.  But did he also see his brother Esav?I find it interesting that Yaakov made the mistake of favoring his son Yosef after his own experience where his own father seemed [...]

By | December 2nd, 2015|

A New Look at Yosef’s Dreams

It occurred to me as I was going over the parshah this week, why was Yosef dreaming about binding sheaves in the field?  That was NOT the family business.  The Torah tells us a few verses back that he and his brothers were shepherds. This was Yosef's vision of the future.  He was trying to [...]

By | December 1st, 2015|

Yosef and Sigmund Freud

So much psychology in this week's parshah!  Before we even get into the dreams, there is so much to learn in the few verses about the initial hostility between Yosef and his brothers.One good thing Rashi teaches us about the brothers comes from Rashi's comment on "They were not able to speak to him peaceably." [...]

By | November 30th, 2015|

Esav and radical Islam

I mentioned in an earlier post how commentaries in the past have drawn parallels between Esav and Christianity.  In that genera of commentary, Yishmael is used as a representative of Islam.  I think today, there is a far stronger and more relevant parallel between Esav and Islam. The Torah forbids us in parshat Ki Tetze [...]

By | November 27th, 2015|

Esav and Isaac Asimov

Esav made money.  Lost of it.  He married into the tribe of Seir, and they were loaded. One of the princess of Seir was a lady named Meheitavel the daughter of Mei-Zahav.Rashi says, how did her family get the name Mei-Zahav?  It means, "What's gold?"  As if to say, gold was nothing in their eyes. [...]

By | November 27th, 2015|

Esav and Christianity

The Torah has an entire chapter, 43 verses, dedicated to the descendants of Esav and what became of them. We have a specific commandment not to hate Esav's descendants (Devarim 23:8).  Rashi comments on that verse, "even though it would be appropriate for you to hate him, for he came out against you with the [...]

By | November 26th, 2015|