Drash Cards for VaYeishev (5760)
• We have the start of the Joseph story: Jacob settles down, favors Joseph over his brothers who sell him, and Joseph ends up in prison.
• I want to focus on Ch 37, v15-17: A man found him. Who is this man? An actual man? An angel?
• Does this tell us the importance of chance events – or that there is a plan but we don’t see it.
• Old joke: River rising. A woman refuses to be rescued by a 4 wheel drive, boat, helicopter because “God will save me”. When she meets God she asks why God did not save her and God say “I sent a warning, a 4 wheel drive, a boat, and a helicopter. Why did you not use any of them”? This is the fundamental problem of monotheism — why do evil/bad things exist in a world with an omniscient and omnipotent God.
•We also have Er’s death (Ch 38, v 7): God caused him to die, but then with Yosef in Egypt (Ch 39, v 2): God caused him to succeed.
• Back to Ch 37, v20: God is missing from this story; Reuben is the one who saves Joseph. From this we learn that God does not always intervene (think of Cain and Abel, Ch 4, v 3)
• When we think of human-induced evil in the world the question is not “Where is God?”. The question is “Where are the righteous humans?”