Vayeishev (Genesis 37:1-40:23)

37:1 Why are the accounts of Esau “settling” and Jacob “settling” so different?
How are the accounts similar to Noah and to Abraham?
37:2 Why does it only mention Joseph?
How were Jacob’s and Joseph’s lives similar?
What does “and he was a youth” teach us?
Why was he with the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah?
What does “evil reports of them” mean?
37:3 Why was Joseph called “a child of his old age”?
What does the Midrash say about the Hebrew word “pasem” to describe Joseph’s tunic?
37:10 His mother, Rachel, was dead. Who is the mother referred to in this verse?
Why did Jacob appear to discount Joseph’s dream?
What does “waited for the matter” mean?
37:12 Why are there dots over the Hebrew word “et”?
37:13 What does “here I am” connote?
37:14 What things happened at Shechem?
37:15 What does “a man discovered him” connote?
Who was the man?
How does this verse help Joseph later on in his tribulations?
37:17 What does “journeyed on from here” mean?
37:20 Who is saying “And we shall see what will become of his dreams”?
37:23 What is the difference between “his tunic” and “the fine woolen tunic”?
37:24 What does “no water in it” imply?
37:25 Why the detail of what the camels carried?
37:26 What does this verse teach us?
37:28 Who pulled Joseph from the pit?
37:29 Why was Reuben not there?
37:31 Why did they slaughter a male goat?
37:33 What is Jacob alluding to in this verse?
37:35 What daughters did he have?
38:1 What does “Judah went down from his brothers” mean?
What does “unto an Adullamite man” mean?
38:7 How was Er evil?
Why did Er do this?
38:23 What does this verse have to do with “measure for measure”?
38:30 Who was Perez?
39:1 Why did the Torah interrupt the story of Joseph with the incident of Judah and Tamar?
39:9 What does this verse have to do with the Yiddish saying “es pasht nicht”(that does not become you)?
40:18-19 Why did the chief of butlers live but the baker die? (Hint: how were their dreams different?)
40:23 What does this verse have to do with G-d’s relationship to tzaddikim?

Additional Questions:
1. In the sale of Joseph, who acted worse, Judah or his brothers?
2. Why was Judah punished by burying his wife and children?
3. What do we learn about G-d’s Divine Plan from the story of Joseph?
4. What was Reuben’s reward for saving Joseph’s life?
5. What is the connection between a coat and a goat in the story of Joseph, Yehudah and Tamar, Potiphar’s wife, Isaac, Jacob and Esau?
6. What is the connection between Tamar and Potiphar’s wife?
7. Why was the episode of Potiphar’s wife an appropriate punishment for Joseph?
8. What is the ceremony of Chalitzah?
9. What does the story of Joseph have to do with the story of Chanukah?

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