Parshat Vayeshev: Joseph and his Colorful Coat

It was time for Jacob to settle down – After battles and hassles and running around Jacob had found no peace until now So he prayed that the days of struggle would be behind him So calm and ease could find him Now Rachel was Jacob’s favorite wife And having a favourite made for some strife Amongst the sons of the other mothers There was much dis-ease amongst the brothers The twelve of them knew that until now Each generation of the family saga, it was a recurring sibling drama Only one brother would get singled out To get their dad’s blessing And, no doubt from their perspective you were either the one selected or else you’d get rejected And this was the model they’d accepted They didn’t know a new way would prevail That they, the twelve tribes of Israel would form a people of rich and varied talents Coexisting in perfect balance A multi-dimensional society of of Jews Shining through many different hues But this they couldn’t compute Competition was the only way they knew So when Jacob gives Joseph a many-colored coat It causes hatred in a way that might have been anticipated ‘Cos Joseph was clearly his Daddy’s chosen favourite And remember, Joseph was only seventeen He didn’t know better than to tell his dreams: “Listen to this – we were binding sheaves In the field, and our destinies were revealed When my sheaf stood up tall and proud And yours all gathered around and bowed.” Now his brothers were angry and jealous And Joseph began to sense their menace And although he was young and naïve and vain He already had a deeper faith That everything would work out for the best And with this he passed the test When the brothers were tending sheep in Shechem, Jacob sent Joseph to check up on them He knew his brothers would be there waiting He knew the danger that he was facing By putting on a brave face He made his way to that strange place Where he’d be told he’d find his bros, And sure enough, as he approached They saw him from a distance They knew his strutting in an instant All they saw was peacock pride They didn’t know, deep inside The dreamer had begun to change He’d realised what was on the way They grabbed him but he wrestled free And threw himself at each one’s feet And begged for freedom, life, and peace He begged that he might be released But that wasn’t what was meant to be The brothers stripped Joseph of his colorful coat And cast him into a deep moat They gave the coat to Jacob, dyed bloody red And he mourned his son, his favorite Now presumed dead So instead of dwelling in peace Jacob lived the years with tears and grief Meanwhile, merchants found Joseph in that deep pit And they sold him as a slave And he ended up in Egypt Where a powerful Egyptian Baselessly accused him of rape So he was most unjustly thrown in jail But in the end his faith prevailed Joseph became a chief inside the prison Because it seemed God was with him Interpreting dreams for imprisoned servants He knew who’d be hung And who would return to Pharaoh’s service And that is where Vayeshev ends The curtain falls and our good friend, Joseph is living in an Egyptian prison. Producer: Sarah Lefton Animation Director: Nick Fox-Gieg Animation: Matthue Roth Theme Music: Tim Cosgrove Written and performed by Daniel Silverstein, aka Danny Raphael Sound Recording: Mark Specter

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