The cycle of Joseph stories begins in this portion. Joseph, Jacob’s favorite, angers his brothers by tattling and by recounting dreams in which he is clearly designated lord over his family. In retaliation, the brothers sell him into slavery and he is brought to Egypt. The story is interrupted at this point to recount an incident in the life of Judah. The narrative resumes with the account of Joseph’s fortunes in Egypt. He is sold to a high official and becomes his major domo, but he runs afoul of his master’s wife and is jailed. There, Joseph interprets the dreams of two fellow prisoners, Pharaoh’s chief cupbearer and chief baker. The cup-bearer is subsequently restored to his office, but he completely forgets about Joseph. The events of this story demonstrate the working out of God’s carefully devised plan for His people and serve as the prelude to the drama of oppression and redemption which is the heart of the Biblical narrative.


Torah Reading:

Genesis 37:1 – 40:23


Amos 2:6 – 3:8