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Life through the windshield not the rear mirror

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How can the life of such a man,

Be in the palm of some fool’s hand?

To see him obviously framed,

Couldn’t help but make me feel ashamed

Bob Dylan, Hurricane

Why do we do it to ourselves? We put ourselves through the ringer. Living life in the rear-view mirror. Sheryl Sandber writes in Option B, “when we face the slings and arrows of life, we are wounded, and the scars stay with us. But we can walk away with greater internal resolve”. That is the challenge.

Judah’s emotional struggle for justice and identity in this weeks’ parsha drove me to question my own commitment to my ideals this week. Judah and Joseph’s iconic scene, in chapter 43 and 44 of Genesis, in which one brother entreats another unknowing brother to save Benjamin’s life – is enrapturing.

As humans, we crave connection. John Steinbeck, the great 20th Century American author, said “You can only understand people if you feel them in yourself”. The Bible itself implores the Israelites to “not stand idly by while your neighbor’s blood is shed” in Leviticus 19:16. Connection is key. Yet, throughout the Bible, we see those key connections put under strain. This week – Joseph and Judah. It is the exegetical tales of Genesis which set the bedrock for the Torah’s articulation of justice and identity. Conflict is onerous. Humility and grace during disagreements, grueling.

Remember, Judah, the fourth son of Jacob and Leah, was the brother who led the process of selling Joseph to Egypt. Throughout Genesis, we see Judah as a lonely man of shame and secrecy. Firstly, in the famous episode with Tamar, in which he learns how to be honest about his past. Later, as the ringleader of the sale of Joseph. As the perpetrator of this heinous familial crime, Judah is the last........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)

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