Weekly Torah Portion: Vayeishev (Genesis 37:1−40:23)


In this Torah portion, Jacob favors Joseph, and this angers Joseph’s brothers. Joseph has dreams where he predicts reigning over his brothers. The brothers decide to sell Joseph into slavery in Egypt. Tamar disguises herself as a prostitute and sleeps with her father-in-law Judah. Potiphar’s wife tries to seduce Joseph, and when he rejects her, she accuses him of trying to rape her, and has him sent to prison. In prison, Pharaoh’s baker and butler have dreams, and Joseph interprets them correctly. Read an extensive summary on My Jewish Learning

Related D’var Torah

“Stories invigorate us; motivate us; strengthen us by their wisdom. The great legends of old give us a glimpse of the possibilities of our future.” – Rabbi Heather Miller in 2016. Read the full drash

“On World AIDS day we need take note the battles are far from over.” – Rabbi Lisa Edwards in 2007. Read the full drash

Why I became a member of BCC? – by Jay Soloway. Read the drash

Torah Verse of the Week*

“He [Potiphar] left all that he had in Joseph’s hands and, with him there, he paid attention to nothing save the food that he ate. Now Joseph was well built and handsome.” (Genesis 39:6; Parashat Vayeshev)

Other Suggested Readings

Who are those random people who come into our lives just when we need them – whether we know it or not? (The person who happens to be in the right place at the right time and can give us directions for example) This week’s Torah portion may have something to say about these “minor characters” in our lives. On Sacred Ground

Vayeishev is an action-packed parashah, memorable particularly for its exciting stories of Joseph in Egypt. Read from our Telephone Torah Study archives

Union of Reform Judaism (URJ) weekly Torah commentary, David Segal’s ‘Clothes Make the Story.’ He discusses how the recurring motif of clothing is the driving force in Vayeishev. Read the article


*Torah Verse of the Week is chosen by the Torah class during Tuesdays’ studies with Rabbi Lisa Edwards. Check out when our next Torah Study takes place

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