• August 28th, 2022
  • Elul 1st, 5782

VAYESHEV

And He Lived

Presented By
Torah Contributor

Power of Evil Eye and Jealousy

In this week’s portion of Vayeshev, we see how evil eye and jealousy can become manifest in our lives and have long lasting impact. By understanding the cause, we can hopefully limit our actions and prevent similar consequences from happening. We read how Jacob settles with his family in Canaan and that he favored his son Joseph, the first born of his deceased wife Rachael. To show his extra appreciation for Joseph, Jacob made him a special robe made of fine wool – a coat of many colors. This gift created great jealousy towards him from his brothers. We then read how Joseph had two dreams which he shared with his brothers, both implying that he would eventually rule over them. Jacob’s favoritism and Joseph’s dreams of dominance led his brothers to extreme jealousy, envy and hatred. We can learn a simple and important lesson here to avoid playing favorites to our kids or having too much bravado or ego amongst our siblings. By remaining humble and not taking a higher place within our families, we can hopefully limit inter-family jealousy and remove evil eye from our lives.

Connecting to Certainty

We can also connect through Vayeshev to the energy of certainty and maintaining our trust in the Light of the universe – even when things seem bleak or negative. After his brothers plotted against him, Joseph was eventually sold as a slave to Potiphar, Pharoh’s captain of the guard and a high ranking official. It is said that “when Potiphar saw that God was with Joseph, and prospered in all that he did, Potiphar appointed him overseer of his house and gave him charge of all that he had.” It was the consciousness and positive attitude of certainty maintained by Joseph that enabled him to rise from slavery into a successful member of Egyptian society within Potiphar’s house. The Torah describes Joseph at this juncture as being “handsome and strong.” We then read how Potiphar’s wife, Zelicha, grew fond of Joseph and when he rebuked her advances, she falsely accused Joseph of assaulting her. At this point Joseph is thrown into prison. where the warden also saw how “G-d is with Joseph”. The warden provides him with favor and puts him in charge of all the other prisoners. We see here again how Joseph’s positive attitude and consciousness (G-d is with him) brings him favor and results in him having a leadership position – albeit while in prison. The key lesson we can learn here is to avoid seeing yourself as a victim. If you can maintain certainty and stay positive about everything that transpires in your life, then G-d or the Light will be with you, enabling you to transform seemingly negative situations, like those encountered by Joseph, into positive ones. Certainty does not necessarily mean eliminating doubts, but rather proceeding with a positive attitude despite them.