(Genesis-37:1-40:23)

(Haftara: Amos 2:6-3:8)

  1. [37:5] Yosef’s brothers hated him because Yosef was his father’s favourite son. [37:4] Then Yosef told them about his dreams in which his brothers bowed down to him. This is strange behaviour. The Chezkuni (France, 1250) says that by doing this, Yosef hoped that his brothers would hate him less. How could he have expected that they would hate him less?
  1. [37:13] Ya’akov sent Yosef to find his brothers. This was immediately after Ya’akov seemed to be angry with Yosef. [37:10] Are there any hints in the rest of the story that Yosef suspected Ya’akov of conspiring with the brothers against him.?
  1. [38:1] King David is a descendant of Yehudah and Tamar and he is also a descendant of Lot and his daughter. King David is the ancestor of the Messiah. Why does the Messiah have so much sexual sin in his ancestry?
  1. [39:10] “…he didn’t listen to her to lay with her…” Yosef is considered a person of great self-control. He is considered a prince among his brothers. Yehudah is also considered a prince among the tribes. But in this story about Yehudah and Tamar, Yehudah does not seem to have self-control. What happens in this story with Tamar that shows that Yehudah has great nobility of character? Is that enough reason for him be a prince among his brothers?
  1. [Amos 3:2] “You only have I known of all the families of the earth. Therefore I will bring upon you all your sins.” Because God is closer to us he makes us suffer for our sins. Is this fair?

Commentary

[37:14] “Go now and see about the peace (the wholeness) of your brothers.”

Ya’akov was telling Yosef to look at the complete aspects (shlaymut) of his brothers. He was telling him to look at the positive and Godly qualities in his brothers. In this way, they would avoid arguing.

–R. Simcha Bunim of Pszycha – 1765-1827

This study page is dedicated to the memory of Gad Eliahu ben David and Kochava–Eli Zucker

And to the memory of Sarah Beila Kummer bat Yitzchak and Chana, Chaim Yosef Yechiel ben Eliyahu Kummer and Eliyahu and Margaret Kummer