[This essay on Joseph, his father and his brothers, Potiphar & prison, Pharaoh and slavery, is Chapter II of the book Rabbi Phyllis Berman and I wrote together, Freedom Journeys: The Tale of Exodus & Wilderness Across Millennia (Jewish Lights).
Two years ago, my life-partner, co-author, and often co-teacher Rabbi Phyllis Berman and I wrote and Jewish Lights published a reinterpretation of the biblical stories of Exodus and Wilderness: Freedom Journeys. (If you’d like to have this kind of biblical reinterpretation available to stir your own journeys toward freedom in the world – and/or you’d like to give its gift of freedom for Hanukkah or Christmas -- you can receive Freedom Journeys, with a personal insciption, by clicking to https://theshalomcenter.org/civicrm/contribute/transact?reset=1&id=5 )
Our book beckons toward freedom. Yet it begins with a story of enslavement, not liberation. It begins with the story of Joseph, which we enter this week in reading the Torah.
The story of Joseph is a novel that takes up one-third of the Book of Genesis. There is a recurrent pattern in Joseph’s life: He depends on a powerful overlord in his life to lift him above others who feel they ought to be treated as his equals, and who are enraged by his arrogance.
The pattern begins when with his father’s help in favoring him. He rises above his brothers
Rabbi Arthur Waskow, in GODWRESTLING -- ROUND 2, 12/10/2004
[This essay was originally written for the book GODWRESTLING, published in 1978, and then incorporated in GODWRESTLING — ROUND 2 (Jewish Lights, 1996; available by clicking on the "Bo
Rabbi Arthur Waskow’s newest book Dancing in God's Earthquake: The Coming Transformation of Religion is now available!
Gloria Steinem calls it, “A wonderful book! Before the hierarchies and divisions of religions, there was the all-inclusive circle of spirituality. In Dancing in God’s Earthquake, Rabbi Arthur Waskow helps us trace our path back to our spiritual home.”
For an inscribed book, write him at The Shalom Center. Otherwise, order at Orbis, 1-800-258-5838). He calls this book the “harvest of my whole life-experience – and like a harvest, intended not only to draw on the past but to feed the future.”