It is reasonable to assume that no one reading our weekly Torah portion, Vayeshev, will consider these innocuous lines of Torah to be of any particular importance. Coming as they do inside the dramatic first part of the Joseph story, the narrative which will continue until the end of the Book of Genesis, there seems no reason to take special note of this rather curious mention of “a man” meeting Joseph on his way to find his brothers and giving Joseph directions. Rather, the camera is fixed on Joseph, the major protagonist of the narrative, whose tragic life story begins to unfold in our Parasha. Tension mounts as we read about Joseph’s narcissistic dreams, his visions of grandeur, his preferential status in his father’s eyes and his antagonistic relationship with his brothers ending in his being sold into slavery and his eventual imprisonment in Egypt. With all these action scenes to cover in the Parasha, who would possibly pay attention to the few lines describing “the man” giving directions to Joseph.
Death and Life Are In the Power of The Tongue (Proverbs 18:20)
“These are the words that Moses spoke to all of Israel(1:1)….”
Thus opens the fifth book of Torah, with Moses exhorting the people: where they have been, where they are now and ….towards where are they going. For a moment let us return to the outset of Moses’ mission: God’s summons him, empowering him to redeem the People of Israel.
“Let this land be given to your servants as a heritage; do not take us across the Jordan.”(Bamidbar 32,5b). This is what two and a half tribes ask of Moses as the people of Israel are getting ready to cross over the Jordan River and conquer the promised land. Why would they ask to stay on the eastern side of the Jordan valley? They have the explanation in the first phrases of the portion Matot:
In accordance with protocol, Carole Sterling as chair empaneled a resolutions committee to spearhead the process of requesting, formulating and editing possible resolutions to be introduced before the IA at the meeting on 17-May 2017, at 14.00-16.30, in Jerusalem, prior to the opening of CONNECTIONS 2017. The committee was chaired by Philip Bliss of Australia, […]