Our portion this week is from Genesis 37:1 through 40:23. Its title, Vayeishevmeans "and he settled" and it is the story of Jacob settling in the land where his father had sojourned, in the land of Canaan. But it actually chronicles the life of his sons and it begins with the story of Joseph, the dreamer! At seventeen years, he had a dream of sheaves bowing down to one of them. In it, he was the one being honored by his brothers and his parents. Then, in a second dream, the sun, moon and stars bowed to one star which was, guess who? Yes, it was Joseph And, no, his brothers didn't think this was too appropriate at all. In fact, it caused them to hate him and so they sold him into slavery and told their father that he had been killed.
Chapter 38 is an aside in which the story turns to the tale of Tamar, a very crafty woman and of her two husbands and of her father-in-law from whom she conceived twins. But in chapter 39, we return to Joseph's life and we find him in Egypt in the house of Pontifar, a member of the court of Pharaoh. Although he was a slave, the favor of HaShem brought him much success. His master saw the favor of G-d and so promoted him over his entire household. From that very day, everything in the house of the master prospered. But, you know the story; the wife of the master saw not a faithful Hebrew servant, but a young man much to her liking! When her wiles were ineffective, she plotted to discredit Joseph and had him cast into prison. Even there, he was found faithful and was used by G-d to bring glory to His Name and to bring solace to others there.
Because he interpreted the dreams of two prisoners there, this anointing became known in the house of Pharaoh and he was brought before the strongest ruler in the world at that time. But, that's for next week. So for now, read this portion and seek the will of G-d for your life during this special week of our celebration of the birth of Messiah. Are you talking about how great the L-rd will make you., as Joseph did as a lad? Are you living in a way that brings comfort to those around you? Are you seeking the welfare of others more than your own? Are you living like the teenager Joseph or like the adult? How mature has the L-rd made you so far? All of the stages are before us all, but how fast we adapt will determine our role in the lives of many.
Next week's lesson will really show off the power of G-d to overcome our circumstances.
This week, try to do so on your own.