Parashat Vayeishev Sibling Rivalry
Genesis – it’s all about family dynamics
Links and rifts make their way through the generations
Children struggle or thrive – because of or in spite of …
Everyone competes for love
“Israel loved Joseph more than all of his sons…” (Genesis 37:3).
Perhaps Ecclesiastes is right that “there is nothing new under the sun (1:9)
We become lost in the stories we spin
And, though they do not serve us well,
They follow us into our adult lives.
Departing this world, our parents bequeath unfinished “family business”
Leaving us to…
Reconcile with our siblings
Build or rebuild trust
In truth, this is avodat ha-kodesh –sacred family work.
“[Joseph’s] brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers so they hated him…”
A hate so deep that “they could not speak with him peacefully” (37:3-4).
Peace is built out of the rubble of past deeds
Not so dissimilar to Jacob and Esau’s story
Which began with guilt and despair
And ended with a “good enough” peace.
Paradigms for reconciliation
Reveal that even estranged siblings can live in relationship to one another.
Facing a choice point –
Choosing to forgive yourself and the other
Infuse love into the heart of the pain
Imperfect peace ends exile
Discovering spiritual, emotional and ethical resources
Fill the cracks of what is broken,
Build something – anything – from the remains.
Joseph’s dreams caused trouble with his brothers
And he desire to forgive saved his family
Choosing to travel toward a beacon of possibility
Frees us to live our lives with forgiveness, hope and love
Bivracha – Sending blessings for peace, Reb Nina, Community Rabbi
19 Kislev 5776/1 Decembre 2015