Every week I follow a certain process as I approach each Torah portion. On Monday morning when that week’s Dvar is made available to anyone who wants to invest two or three minutes of their life reading my thoughts on a small slice of Torah, I am preparing the following week’s portion scribbling down a sentence or two for each chapter. I then set those notes aside go back to living my life while my subconscious and Torah court each other resulting in a marriage of insight I capture the following day in words. Well, that didn’t really work so well this week. Of course I did my part, while you were reading Vayishlach last Monday morning I was reading Vayeshev just as my process demands, but here I am on a Sunday a full seven days later still drawing a blank. What to do? What to do? Skipping a Dvar is just not an option it is not fair to you or me.
Vayeshev is the story of Joseph, his coat, his many brothers, his relationship with Mr. and Mrs. Potiphar, and his interactions with the chief Baker and Butler of Pharaoh’s court. If that is not enough for you an interlude involving Judah, his daughter-in-law and the conception and birth of their twin sons Zerah and Perez takes place.
Maybe I approached this week’s portion with a cocky naivety, can you blame me? Vayeshev’s brim is overflowing with people who can just as easily play the hero as well as the villain. All four chapters are full of jealousy, deceit, envy, and self centeredness only to be garnished with modesty, self realization, spiritual growth, and overcoming the hurdles of life, and yet I have nothing insightful to share. In fact I had for lack of a better term an Anti-Vayeshev week. I had a great week. I work from home the majority of the time so when it snowed I was happy to camp out indoors and admire the winter wonderland from my windows and balcony. A couple days after being snowed in the temperature dropped to single digits during the day and sub-zero temperatures over night, again no worries my home is warm and I didn’t have to venture out. Towards the end of the week I went to a surprise party for my best friend, and I received a lot of recognition from my boss for going above and beyond this past year for the company I consult for. I lead a rough life.
As one week ends and the next begins I am looking forward to gleaning spiritual nutrition from the various commentaries I listen to and read which will only help me grow in a way where any arrogance sprouting within me will be plucked like a weed in a garden before causing ill intent in others, where I will not let jealousy drive my actions, and where I will have the foresight to avoid acts which will later result in being outed as a hypocrite.
How does the lessons found within Vayeshev aid you in your day to day acts? What advice can you offer the rest of us? We want to know comment below or send me a message. firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: CirclePitBimah.