LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON

December 18th, 2019

The portion of Vayeishev begins by informing us that Jacob now resided in the same land in which his father lived, the Land of Canaan, and then talks about Jacob’s son Joseph, and the problems that erupted between Joseph and his older brothers.

The commentaries all puzzle over the words used by the verses to describe Jacob’s circumstances, especially the word “Toldot”, which some commentaries want to interpret beyond its literal meaning.

Rabbi Dunner offers a compelling range of rabbinic interpretations, including a startling Rashbam, in which Rashi (his own grandfather!) is taken to task for his non-literal interpretations, and also a heartwarming piece by R. Nachman of Breslov, who finds a connection between the early verses of Vayeishev and the festival of Chanukah.

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