I tried thinking about this week’s Parsha, and of course it is an easy one– Pharoah’s dream, Yosef meeting his brother– the middle of the show “Joseph”. But nothing really spoke to me, at first.
Over Shabbat I had a conversation with a friend of mine about life, and how I am a bit frustrated with life being static. I have this desire to rebel, but I don’t know how. I want to be different than what I am,but that idea makes me nervous even though that is what I want. I feel like there are just so many external and internal expectations that make me feel like I can’t break out of being me.
My friend suggested that I do something like not keep Kosher once. Not that I should eat shrimp or pork, but eat a non-Kosher cheese sandwhich or drink non-kosher wine or not wait that long between milk and meat. I don’t know if I could actually do that- although there is something really intersting about this idea.
Then I was in shul listening to the Parsha, and we hear about Yosef. Yosef was about to become someone else than he was. He was able to play lots of different roles, and potentially able to just be different in each context. He had a chance (or took a chance) to explore who he is and who he isn’t. We hear about him doing things that are not “befittting” for a nice Jewish boy, but he still took those risks to figure out who he is.
I know that in the grand scheme of things, there is nothing bad with the idea that I have no clue who I am without my Jewishness, but I do think there is something wrong with it. I think that I want to not have it be everything of who I am and what I do. I want to be able to not feel guilt (?). I want to get out of my head and be able to explore and try new things.
I want to have the opportunity to be someone different. I want to be like Yosef,going to somewhere but allowing myself to try other things; to be known not only because of my Jewishness.