The Chess Match

Nov 7th, 2010 by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Portion of the Week
It all seems like a chess match in which the pieces are human beings struggling to live according to their values and beliefs.

Joseph is different than his brothers. He likes colors, as in a coat of many colors. He battles Leah’s sons for the sake of the underdog children of Bilhah and Zilpah. He is willing to challenge them on everything they do. As they say, “He just don’t fit in!”

The brothers perceive Joseph as a threat. He does not fit in. People such as he always disturb things. The brothers are very practical minded; they purchase shoes with the proceeds from their sale of Joseph.

He is a dreamer with visions of grandeur while they are out tending Jacob’s flocks. Joseph knows that each dream he retells provokes his brothers. The brothers know that Joseph knows he is goading them.

The youngest brother believes that his expansive approach to life, even his time in front of the mirror combing his hair, is exactly what will qualify him, brother number 11 to rise above the 10 older men. In fact, Joseph believes that he will even rise above his father, who, although refereeing the chess match, is doing a poor job ever since he decided to live in peace.

Joseph is not only intentionally exasperating his brothers; he is doing his best to needle his great father back into life as an adventure.

Joseph made his moves, and dances ahead to Dothan to “visit” with his brothers, knowing full well that an unguarded pawn is highly vulnerable.

The young man was not the only Kasparov at the board. Jacob knew full well that sending the “pawn” that was convinced it was a king all the way to the other side of the board would cause havoc.

The brothers, master strategists themselves, picked up on Joseph’s game plan and on Jacob’s seemingly Laissez-faire refereeing approach as a tactic, and developed a plan of their own. They wanted Joseph to appreciate the risks he was taking, and actually threatened to kill him.

They didn’t, they chose to let the boy try his approach with the referee protecting him and, “Let us see what will happen to his dreams.”

We are more accustomed to people attempting to fit in and keep the peace than we are to people who thrive on challenging the status quo and willing to fight to the death for what they believe.

Just think for a second: Which approach did the Chashmonaim take?

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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