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