Throughout Jewish history, since our people’s slavery in Egypt, Jews in the Diaspora have experienced periods of physical, economic or food insecurity as they did in Yosef’s time. Many of us are familiar with the scene from “Fiddler on the Roof” in which the Jews of Anatevka are told during a wedding reception that they must leave within a few days, and some of us may have heard stories about older relatives who always kept a packed suitcase under the bed. So what do we do as a result of our fear? What impact does this pressure have on our way of life and on our relationships? How does it affect our relationship with our brothers and sisters? As the first “Diaspora Jew,” there is much we can learn from the story of Yosef to help us answer these eternal questions.
Yosef = Joseph • Avraham = Abraham • Moshe = Moses • Yehuda = Judah • Binyamin = Benjamin • Shimon = Simeon • Yacov = Jacob • Eisav = Esau • Yitzchak = Isaac • Hevel = Abel
The Jewish Story Explained is based on the book Letters to Auntie Fori: 5,000 Years of Jewish History and their Faith by Martin Gilbert.