Which is Better: to Be Righteous, or to Be Quick to Sin and Quick to Repent?

The story of Joseph sets up two archetypes: the righteous dreamer (Joseph) and the flawed but penitent sinner (his brother Judah). Both have a place in the tradition, but one is preferred.

From Tamar, Judah’s Daughter-In-Law, Chagall, 1960.

From Tamar, Judah’s Daughter-In-Law, Chagall, 1960.

Observation
Dec. 22 2016
About the author

Sarah Rindner is a writer and educator. She lives in Israel.

In the final chapters of Genesis, where this week’s reading of Vayeshev (37:1-40:23) plays a pivotal part, the stories of the patriarchs reach a dramatic crescendo with the extended Joseph narrative.

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More about: Hebrew Bible, Religion & Holidays, The Monthly Portion