Parasha Miketz

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According to Wikipedia: “Miketz or Mikeitz (מִקֵּץ‬ — Hebrew for “at the end,” the second word, and first distinctive word of the parashah), is the tenth weekly Torah portion (פָּרָשָׁה‬, parashah) in the annual Jewish cycle of Torah reading. It constitutes Genesis 41:1–44:17. The parashah tells of Joseph’s interpretation of Pharaoh’s dreams, Joseph’s rise to power in Egypt, and Joseph’s testing of his brothers.”

* Christians on brink of extinction in Middle East, warns Archbishop of Canterbury

* Joseph took revenge on his brothers. Is revenge always bad? From a Christian perspective, yes, from a Jewish perspective, I’m not so sure.

* Rabbi Berel Wein writes: “The psalmist asks the question “from where shall my salvation arise?””

We don’t know from where salvation will arrive. We don’t know if it will arrive. We can maximize our chances by maintaining a strong network of ties to other people, developing our own emotional resilience, and developing mastery of as much of life as possible.

* Rabbi Wein writes: “Yosef is saved from a life of slavery and prison and transformed into a royal magistrate in an instant.”

If Yosef didn’t have himself together and own a serious set of skills, his good fortune would not have occurred and would not have lasted.

* Rabbi Wein writes: “…every person in the world is potentially God’s messenger.”

* Rabbi Wein writes: “One of the great characteristics of Yosefs personality, as we view it through the lens of the Torah narrative, is his adaptability to change circumstances while retaining his inner self-confidence and rock-hard faith.”

While conserving their own practices, Jews have usually been quick to adapt to new technologies and economies.

* Rabbi Berel Wein writes: “In the rough and tumble of Jewish and Israeli politics, organizational life and competitive societal forces, the temptation for excluding others and even punishing them is very strong. But the lesson of Joseph should remain instructional to all of us today as well. A Jewish society that can cast away old hatreds and feuds and truly attempt to be conciliatory one to another will certainly be stronger and holier in purpose and action. In this respect, we should all profit from and attempt to emulate Joseph’s wisdom and course of behavior.”

My mate says: >A lot of the commentary (including Rashi) says that 41:55 “says” that Joseph told the Egyptians to circumcise themselves in that verse. Is my translation bad or what? I don’t see it saying that explicitly.

>Joseph shaved before meeting Pharaoh. 41.14

>Joseph establishes that it’s not himself, but God, who can interpret the dreams. Call me paranoid but I’m suspicious.

>42.2 Jacob and his family incapable of being self-sufficient

42.16 vs 42.19 — send one vs send 10… why the reversal?

43.11 makes it seem like the famine wasn’t exactly a famine in Canaan

43.32 — the *Egyptians* find it abominable to eat with the Jews! Based! Segregated lunch tables.

From Wikipedia page on A. Philip Randolph, desegregating hero:

In 1950, along with Roy Wilkins, Executive Secretary of the NAACP, and, Arnold Aronson,[20] a leader of the National Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council, [A. Philip Randolph] founded the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR). LCCR has been a major civil rights coalition. It coordinated a national legislative campaign on behalf of every major civil rights law since 1957.

This week’s Torah portion tells the story of “Joseph’s interpretation of Pharaoh’s dreams, Joseph’s rise to power in Egypt, and Joseph’s testing of his brothers.”

* The story of Joseph illustrates why Jews have rarely been popular with non-Jews but have often been useful to gentile rulers. Joseph was the first court Jew. He became second in power to the Pharoah and he took on, to some degree, an Egyptian point of view. He accuses his brothers of being spies. An ethnocentric group is quick to view outsiders as spies. Jews have sometimes accused me of being a spy in my conversion to Judaism. Anglos, being the least ethno-centric group around, are unlikely to view outsiders as spies.

* Joseph did not learn much from his experience. In Gen. 43:34, he gives Benjamin portions five times as large as the portions given to the rest of his brothers.

* Joseph is ruthless in the way he exercises his power. I can’t imagine greater cruelty in the way he treated his brothers. When I converted to Judaism, I was shocked by how ruthless rabbis were in the way they exercised their power. Great powers are ruthless in how they use their power. Bosses are ruthless in the way they exercise their power depending upon how much power they have over you. If they feel like you could leave for another job at any time, they will treat you better than if they feel they own you.

The more confident people feel, the more ruthless they will be in wielding their power.

* How does it help America to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital?

* How does white nationalism compare with Jewish nationalism?

* John J. Mearsheimer’s three recent lectures at Yale on liberal hegemony.

* What is the basis of morality? God, the state, evolutionary biology?

I asked Greg Johnson (Editor

Luke: “Do you believe in objective morality and objective good and evil?”

Greg: “Yes. I think that morality and good and evil and things like that are based on nature. I follow the classical Greek notion of Natural Law and Natural Right. I believe those are reasonable views, that we can come up with an ethics that is based on nature, that’s not based simply on social convention or simply on revelation and appeals to religion. Science and socio-biology gives us a lot of useful information for constructing this ethic. Larry Arnhart has written a book called Darwinian Natural Rights. He’s influenced by classical political philosophy and natural rights thinking and yet he shows that socio-biology supports a lot of the naturalistic ethical ideas that you find in classical Greek and Roman political philosophy. That is the outlook that I think is most promising. By appealing to science and to classical philosophy, we can come up with a moral consensus and political consensus that is reason-based and science-based and that allows us to sidestep inherently contentious and sometimes violence-inducing things like appeals to religious revelation.”

On November 26, 2017, I asked Richard Spencer: “What is the source of morality?”

Richard: “That’s a very deep question.”

“Morality and theology are ways of building a group consensus without using direct force so that people feel like they are… There’s an evolutionary origin of morality.”

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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