Common Cause?

In this week’s portion, we read about an incident involving Potiphar, Potiphar’s wife (never named in the Torah), Joseph, who is enslaved within Potiphar’s house, and other menservants of the household. Nechama Leibowitz points out how Potiphar’s wife uses different language when telling the servants her story and when telling her husband: this reflects an attempt to use servant/noble class consciousness to create common cause, however temporary, Leibowitz argues.

This week’s portion is Vayeishev, Genesis 37:1 – 40:23. More about Nechama Leibowitz (1905-1997) at Jewish Women’s Archive.

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