December 9th, 2020

Parshat Vayeishev contains one of the most tragic storylines of the entire Torah — the breakdown of family harmony among Jacob’s sons, followed by the sale of Joseph into slavery by his brothers. And, out of nowhere, we have the story of Judah and Tamar — out of place, and with seemingly no relevance to the unfolding tragedy of Joseph’s transformation from slave to Egyptian powerbroker.

Rabbi Dunner turns to the Nesivos Sholom, who quotes an enigmatic Midrash to unpack some meaningful lessons and explain why tragedy can lead to triumph, if the circumstances are right. Rather than being a dreadful tale of woe, Vayeshiv is the Torah portion that records nothing less than the birth of the Messianic dream.

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