[An interesting post outlining how food and jewelry interact in the Torah, by a friend and faithful blog reader from Israel. CS]
This week’s Torah portion – Vayeshev – kicks off one of the most exciting stories in the TaNa”CH, the story of Joseph. What many don’t know is that much of it revolves around food and jewelry. The food: Joseph’s first dream, 11 sheaves of wheat bowing to Joseph’s proud bundle. Everything goes south from there. The jewelry: Pharaoh takes off his ring and gives it to Joseph. Everything goes up from there.
But then another food wave comes and brings us down again. The Israelites, living in Goshen in Egypt, are exempt from paying the food tax instituted by Pharaoh at the end of Genesis. They are, after all, Joseph’s family. (Uh oh…) The next Pharaoh avenges this by making the Jews build his grain storage cities by force. Slavery begins.
Jewish history takes another upswing with jewelry, as we literally empty Egypt of every precious metal stone. We are rich beyond our wildest dreams…only to then use it all on a golden calf.
Jewelry takes another turn around when we build the Tabernacle (Mishkan) to Hashem instead, but comes down again at food when complaints stream in about the lack of meat.
The cycle between jewelry and food is indeed an interesting one, with more waves that follow, both up and down, ever repeating. The key is to use them both correctly, in a kosher way and in tune with the Divine purpose for our lives.
Senior Marketing Manager, Zoara.com