The Yosef we see in our Torah portion resonates with today’s teens. He is pretty into himself and curates his public image. 

It is so nice to see who he proves to be at his moment of temptation. There we read:

One such day, he came into the house to do his work. None of the household being there inside, she caught hold of him by his garment and said, “Lie with me!” But he left his garment in her hand and got away and fled outside. (Genesis 39:11- 12)

Simply he walks away from Potiphar’s wife. But why? On this portion the Gemara learns:

At that moment his father’s image [deyokeno] came and appeared to him in the screen. The image said to him: Yosef, the names of your brothers are destined to be written on the stones of the ephod, and you are to be included among them. Do you desire your name to be erased from among them, and to be called an associate [ro’eh] of promiscuous women? As it is written: “But he who keeps company with harlots wastes his riches” (Proverbs 29:3), as he loses his honor, which is more valuable than wealth. (Sotah 36b) 

The simple reading is that at the moment when he was tested he passed by a mirror/ window and saw his reflection. Instead of just seeing his own image he saw how much he looked like his father. His father challenged him to find his place amidst his brethren. 

So too we are asking our teens if they just see themselves in the screens of their smart phones. What would it look like for them to see their parents generation let alone the role they might play in their nation? We need to trust that our teens like Yosef will not get get lost taking “Yoselfies”. 


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