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December 14, 1990 - Image 52

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-12-14

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

TORAH PORTION

WANTED
COLLE6 TiN ifibENTS:

The Story Of Joseph:
Clothes Make The Man

FOR SUMMER INTERNSHIPS

DR. MARGARET EICHNER

If you'd like to spend part of the summer working and learning about metro Detroit's
Jewish community...

Special to The Jewish News

N

Apply now for a summer JOIN internship. The eight-week JOIN (Jewish Occupational
Intern) program provides an opportunity for full-time college students to work in various
agencies serving the metropolitan Detroit Jewish community.

Earn $1,300 while you gain practical experience in the areas of human services, research
and planning, business administration, communication, recreation or public affairs.

Internships may be available at the following agencies: Anti-Defamation League, Jewish
Association for Residential Care, Jewish Community Center, Jewish Family Service, Jewish
Community Council, Jewish Home for Aged, Jewish Vocational Service, Jewish Welfare
Federation, Hebrew Free Loan, Holocaust Memorial Center and Sinai Hospital.

Written applications must be received by December 21. Personal interviews will be
scheduled during winter vacations. For more information and an application form, call
Elaine Goldman at Jewish Vocational Service, 559-5000.

Jvs

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ow we learn the cli-
max of Joseph's story.
Sold into slavery four
times and having spent 12
years in prison, he is about to
become the viceroy of Egypt.
Pharoah dreams of seven
emaciated cows consuming
seven healthy cows. Then he
dreams of seven ripe and
golden ears of corn being
overgrown by seven desic-
cated ears. Pharoah was
perplexed and agitated.
Neither he nor anyone he
summoned could interpret his
dreams. Joseph's ability to in-
terpret dreams is brought to
Pharoah's attention by his
wine steward and Joseph is
sent for.
It is said that Joseph left his
dungeon on Rosh Hashana
2230. He quickly shaved and
changed his clothing out of
respect for the king. If one
showed disrespect for such a
personage he could be put to
death. If one must dress well
in the presence of a mortal
king, all the more so when he
addresses the Divine King.
In the Amidah, because we
are petitioning God, we must
dress in a manner indicating
the highest respect. This is a
lesson that should not go un-
taught to our children. The
Torah goes to the trouble of
telling us that Joseph "chang-
ed his clothes" when he ap-
peared before Pharoah. This
teaches us that we must dress
well when we worship.
After hearing Pharoah's
disjointed description of his
dream, Joseph, giving credit
only to God for his inter-
pretive abilities, tells
Pharoah its meaning: Seven
years of plenty followed by
seven years of severe famine.
Joseph instructs Pharoah on
how the grain must be stored
and preserved during the
years of plenty to supply the
hungry during the years of
famine. Pharoah, awed and
grateful, appoints Joseph to
the second-highest position in
Egypt and puts him in charge
of the massive effort to
prepare for the famine seven
years hence.
When Pharoah invests
Joseph with the position of
viceroy, he gives Joseph his
ring and has him dressed in
clothing befitting the
aristocracy. Pharoah has
Joseph garbed in an outfit of

Dr Margaret Eichner is
headmaster of Yavneh
Academy.

pure linen to protect him
from evil. The Egyptian
sorcerers were jealous of
Joseph. By being dressed in
white linen robes, Joseph
would be protected from
harm. Thus we see a third oc-
casion in the life of Joseph
(beginning with the Coat of
Many Colors) when clothing
has tremendous impact on his
fortunes.
The years of abundance
begin. All preservable food is
stored. Joseph marries
Asenath and has two sons:
Manasseh, who becomes his
assistant, and Ephriam. The
famine begins with horrible
suddenness and Joseph starts

Miketz,
Fourth Day of
Chanukah:
Genesis 41:1-44:17,
Numbers 7:30-35,
Zechariah 2:14-4:7.

to sell grain to the hungry.
Famine spreads to lands, in-
cluding Canaan, which
border Egypt.
Now Jacob must send his 10
sons, not including Benjamin,
to Egypt to buy grain.
The brothers return to Ca-
naan with food for their
families, as well as the money
to purchase it with. Joseph
had seen to the money's
return. When they discovered
this they were terrified of be-
ing accused of thievery. When
Jacob hears that the viceroy
demands that Benjamin be
brought to him, he is
unalterably opposed. But
hunger prevails, and when
the original Egyptian grain is
depleted, he allows his sons to
take Benjamin to Egypt.
They are welcomed by
Joseph and dine together. He
reveals a disconcerting
knowledge of their family
order and lineage and they
are astounded. Afterward,
their sacks are filled with
food and money. Joseph has
his silver wine goblet placed
in Benjamin's sack. The
brothers set off for Canaan,
and Joseph has them follow-
ed and searched. The chalice
is found and they all return to
Joseph who confronts them.
Only the one who had the cup
will be his slave; the rest are
free to return to Jacob.
Why does Joseph, a saint,
cause his brothers such grief?
Not out of hatred and revenge
but out of love for them. He
wanted them to be lifted of
their sin through atone-
ment. 0

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