Vayeshev: Playing Favorites

A few months ago Good Morning America ran a story about a father who posted on his blog that he favored one son over the other. I shared this news clip with my day-school students, as we were at the time studying the story of Yaakov and his favoritism of Yosef. Yosef did not have such a great reputation among my students, since he went out of his way to share his self-aggrandizing dreams with his brothers. Upon watching the news clip, however, my students began to express feelings of empathy for Yosef, as he was burdened with the pressure of being the favorite son.

  • 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?

Special thank you to Gaby Marantz for painting this week’s Guest Midrash Manicure! preference!

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