1. Genesis: VaYeshev

Donny Osmond!!  I admit that one of my favorite Jew videos stars Donny Osmond.  Not the Donny Osmond of my youth, but the older Donny Osmond of Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat.  The Donny Osmond of this week’s Torah portion.  We’ve been watching this video since my kids were small and I totally love it.  The music is great and the way they tell the story is so creative.  Watch it.

Joseph is a tattle tale.  So the grown-ups love him and the kids hate him.  Typical.  But he’s also remarkably naive.  He doesn’t realize that flaunting your favored status is  just not smart and it gets him thrown in a pit and sold as a slave.  So the tattle tale-ing is not the biggest issue.  It’s Josephs’s naivete.  I think this is what gets him in real trouble.  And maybe this is what finally saves him.  But that won’t come this week.

Joseph is apparently not only a talented dream interpreter, he’s also extremely handsome.  And when he is sold by his brothers and eventually ends up in Egypt working for the pharaoh, the pharaoh’s wife covets him.  Joseph denies her.  But his naivete doesn’t allow him to realize that this might be a really good time to be a tattle tale.  He doesn’t betray Potiphar, the pharaoh’s wife, by revealing her intentions to the pharaoh, he just keeps denying her his attention.  Finally she lies to the pharaoh, telling him that Joseph made advances.  So Joseph ends up in jail.

He seems like a really good guy that bad stuff just keeps happening to because he’s such a good guy.  But I’ve known people like him.  There is a sense of feigned innocence in Joseph.  He seems to really believe that he can say and do things, like rat on his brothers and brag about his father’s love, and there won’t be consequences, so long as he does it with a virtuous look on his face.  This is how naive Joseph is.  He’s lucky that God is always on his side, and I think he does mean well, but his manner is grating.  A little too sacharine.

But maybe I just like the bad boys.

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