Friday, November 30, 2007

VaYeishev - Loose Ends

Aviva Zorenberg writes of how Yaakov's life is an elaborate, turbulent process. Eisav's was a smoother but less meaningful life. This is why Eisav's progeny is listed so quickly with no elaboration. But the road to a meaningful life is covered with bumps. She suggests that Yaakov was hoping that, despite the fuzzy math, the years of suffering that were foretold to Avraham had ended with all the intense personal suffering Yaakov had gone through. But he was told that it was just about to begin with Yosef - and that was the way it had to be.

Rabbi Yitzchak Twersky points out that a ketonet appears by Adam and Chavah and the Kohein as well as by Yosef. This fits with the idea that Yosef was helping the brother's acheive teshuva. Thus, the common thread in these three different contexts is teshuva.

He also points out that the brothers at first thought that just like their father was entitled to trickery that wasn't really trickery in order to keep the birthright in the correct hands, so too they had a right to protect themselves from Yosef. Interesting.

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