This week in 4th and 5th grade we looked at the relationship between Yosef and his brothers. At the very best, we could describe this relationship as a “troubled one”. The brothers’ jealousy and dislike of their brother was so great that they sold him into slavery and lied to their father reporting that he had been killed by an animal. So the question we grappled with this week was “why?”. We read the words of two commentators of the Torah from our history.
Rashbam who you may remember was the grandson of Rashi and lived in France about 1000 years ago, said that the reason they disliked their brother was because of the relationship between Yosef and their father Ya’akov. Yosef would tell his father about the actions of his brothers and not always their best actions. Ya’akov outwardly showed his favoritism for Yosef by giving him his fancy coat.
Ramban who lived most of his life in Spain about 900 years ago, said the core reason for the dislike of their younger brother was because of his dreams. He dreamed that they would all bow down to him.
Both of these explain why they might have felt this way.
The main point of our discussion is that these emotions, jealousy and hatred, are negative feelings that can cause humans to do bad things. Everyone should try to live a life of peace. Shabbat Shalom.
Morah Yiska and Morah Donna