Do We Learn Only through Terrible Pain?

It’s hard to read the story of Joseph and his brothers without asking that question.

Joseph’s Bloody Coat Brought to Jacob by Diego Velazquez. Wikimedia.

Joseph’s Bloody Coat Brought to Jacob by Diego Velazquez. Wikimedia.

Atar Hadari
Observation
Dec. 24 2014
About the author

Atar Hadari’s Songs from Bialik: Selected Poems of H. N. Bialik (Syracuse University Press) was a finalist for the American Literary Translators’ Association Award. His Lives of the Dead: Poems of Hanoch Levin earned a PEN Translates award and was released in 2019 by Arc Publications. He was ordained by Rabbi Daniel Landes and is completing a PhD on William Tyndale’s translation of Deuteronomy.


The Torah reading of Vayigash (Genesis 44:18 – 47:27) shifts about in time and space between Egypt and Canaan, but starts and ends at the throne of Egypt. Its central theme is who should wield power and how, and the choice is illustrated through two sons of Jacob, neither of them the eldest, who square off in front of the throne.

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More about: Joseph, The Monthly Portion, Torah, Vayigash