Joseph in the Era of #MeToo

Rabbi Daniel Plotkin wrote a recent column for T’ruah: the Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, that looks at the stories of Joseph and Tamar. Great read on Parshat Vayeshev.

Commentary on Parshat Vayeshev (Genesis 37:1 – 40:23)

In Andrew Lloyd Weber’s telling of the Joseph tale from Genesis, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, one of the biggest laugh lines comes when Joseph, sexually pursued by the wife of his master Potiphar, yells out “I don’t believe in free love!” After this, in both Weber’s telling and the biblical account, Potiphar’s wife accuses Joseph of trying to assault her and Joseph goes from being the favored slave of Potiphar to an apparent lifetime in prison.

In recent months, we have seen the deserved downfall of many prominent men due to a pattern of sexual discrimination, harassment, and assault: Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, and numerous politicians. We have also seen, especially in the political realm, those who have attained and maintain high position despite credible accusations and even outright admitting to such behaviors, often with defenders telling us it’s no big deal or it didn’t happen. read more…

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