The Secret Meaning of Joseph's Name... in a Chiasm | Aleph Beta

Join 180k users across the globe. Gain unlimited access to 1,100+ videos, podcasts, articles and more.

Start your free trial today to unlock the full library with unlimited and uninterrupted access

Get Started

The Secret Meaning Behind Joseph's Name

Joseph's Name: Unraveling The Chiasm

In Parshat Vayetze, Jacob sets off from home and begins to build his family, the future 12 Tribes of Israel. But while his wife Leah gives birth to child after child, his other wife Rachel remains barren for many years. Finally, Rachel gives birth to a son, whom she names Joseph, because, as she puts it, “ God has gathered in assaf, my shame.”

And we all understand what she means. For so many years, she’s been watching from the sidelines as her sister has risen to become the matriarch of this great family. This must have been a painful and agonizing experience. It’s no wonder she would have felt shame.

But what if this wasn’t what she was referring to in naming Joseph? What if the shame she experienced was actually from another event, a crisis that finally got resolved in this moment?

Join Rabbi Fohrman as he uncovers a dizzying number of textual parallels that reveal a chiasm running through this entire parsha. The hidden structure behind these verses shows us a whole new way to understand the story of Jacob’s journey from his parents’ home to the house of Lavan, and helps us understand Rachel’s own difficult journey... Come see it for yourself!

For a more in depth discussion of the ideas introduced in this video, be sure to listen to Jacob: Man of Truth? next!

Rabbi David Fohrman

Founder and Lead Scholar






Download Transcript

Related Content

Popular on Aleph Beta

Trending Now

About Aleph Beta

Torah Like You’ve Never Experienced it Before! Unlock new layers of meaning in the text with over 1,000 beautifully produced Torah videos and podcasts