Parashat Vayeshev: Playing Favorites
The Canadian blogger Buzz Bishop recently posted about how he favors his older son Zacharie over his younger son Charlie. It’s hard to imagine that in this day and age, parents would publicize that they have a favorite child. This week’s Torah portion, Parashat Vayeshev, demonstrates child favoritism gone awry. We are introduced to Yosef who is the favorite son of Yaakov and Yaakov gives him a multicolor coat. Yosef is not afraid to boast about his favored status, as he subjects his family to hearing the details of his self-aggrandizing dreams. Ultimately his brothers throw him into a pit and he is sold into slavery in Egypt. Why do you think Yaakov’s favoritism of Yosef contributed to Yosef’s difficulty connecting with his brothers? How does parental favoritism impact the favored child and his or her place in society?