Parsha Talk Vayeshev with Rabbis Eliot Malomet, Barry Chesler and Jeremy Kalmanofsky. Parashat Va-yeshev [Genesis 37-40] is the beginning of the Joseph story, the longest extended narrative in the Book of Genesis. So even though, properly speaking, Joseph is not a patriarch, he is not a recipient of the covenant with its twofold promise of land and numerous descendants conveyed directly by God, he is the subject of the longest story in the Book. Chapter 37 introduces us to an adolescent or young adult Joseph, who at 17 is the favorite of his father, Jacob, the recipient of what has come to be known as the Coat of Many Colors, and a noted dreamer and interpreter of dreams, all of which will conspire, together with his brothers, to land him in Egypt as a slave. Chapter 38 is an interlude of sorts, the story of Judah and Tamar, whereby Tamar is widowed twice, by Judah’s two oldest sons, and then will become, through Judah, the ancestress of King David. Chapter 39 resumes the Joseph story, this time in Egypt, where he will serve in Potiphar’s house, land in prison, and there interpret the dreams of the butler and baker. Both before our recording and during the show, Eliot made a great case for the literary art in the Joseph story, which is, first and last, a great story. Give a listen, and send comments and criticisms to [email protected]. Shabbat Shalom!