Well, this week’s parsha is pretty racy.
But let’s start at the beginning.
Joseph, who has been sold into slavery in Egypt, turns out to be an awfully good manager. As the Torah puts it, God was with Joseph. Joseph is so good that his owner, Potiphar, puts him in charge of his whole household.
So far so good. But here’s where it gets complicated. Joseph is a good-looking guy. Potiphar’s wife takes one look at him and decides she wants him. She keeps after Joseph, insisting he fool around with her. (I’ll bet you didn’t know that women could sexually harass men!) Joseph keeps saying no. My master “has withheld nothing from me except for yourself…So how could I do this great sin?”
Potiphar’s wife is pretty angry. Would you believe, she frames Joseph, accusing him of trying to have his way with her! And off to jail Joseph goes.
While he’s in jail, of course, he’s such a good manager that he gets put in charge of all the prisoners .
One day, the chief of the guard moves in two prisoners, servants of the Pharaoh who have made Pharaoh angry. These two each have a dream and Joseph offers to interpret them.
One man, Pharaoh’s baker, dreams he is carrying baskets of bread on his head and birds come and eat from the basket. That means, says Joseph, that you will be killed and birds will eat your flesh.
The other man, Pharaoh’s cup bearer, dreams of a vine with grapes. He dreams he squeezed the grapes into Pharaoh’s cup and Pharaoh drank. Joseph says: That means you will be restored to your position as cupbearer. When that happens, please remember me.
Sure enough, the baker dies and the cupbearer gets returned to Pharoah’s court.
But the cupbearer forgets all about Joseph.
Food for Thought
If God is with Joseph, why does he remain a prisoner?