Beit Midrash

  • Torah Portion and Tanach
  • Vayeshev
To dedicate this lesson
An Overview of the Torah Portion

Parasha Summary - Vayeshav


Rabbi Stewart Weiss

Yakov settles in Israel. Yosef incites his brothers by recounting dreams of being master over them. The brothers want to execute Yosef, but throw him in a pit instead. He is then sold to a caravan of passing Ishmaelites. The brothers dip Yosef's coat in goat's blood & show it to Yakov, who assumes Yosef has been killed by a wild beast. In Egypt, Yosef is sold to Potifar, Paro's Chamberlain.

In the sedra’s sub-plot, Yehuda's sons Er & Onan die as punishment for preventing their wife Tamar from becoming pregnant. When Yehuda's wife dies, Tamar resolves to have children with Yehuda. She poses as a prostitute, is impregnated by Yehuda, & Zerach & Peretz (ancestor of David) are born.

Yosef rises to power in Potifar's house. Potifar's wife seduces him. When rejected, she accuses him of rape & he is jailed. Yosef interprets the dream of Paro's wine steward, who is reinstated, and the dream of Paro's baker, who is hanged. Despite promising, the wine steward forgets Yosef, who stays in jail.
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