Have we forgotten Yosef?
The Torah has many teachings about our "fourth father" Yosef. Indeed there are more verses associated with him than any other patriarch, and the Talmud and Midrash are rich with references to his story. And yet we are also reminded again and again that this is a figure we LOST and needed to REGAIN and RESTORE to his proper place.
In this cutting-edge new volume of essays on the Jewish holidays, Jorian Polis Schutz shows that this regaining of Yosef is a task we must be involved with even now, in our generation, using the tools of interpretation available only to us, re-viewing the sources we've been bequeathed in the light of our day. In this way the "bones" or "essence" (etzem / atzamot) of Yosef may be recovered, and we may succeed in transcending our exile just as his pivotal spirit transcended his.
Yosef was the first of our forefathers to wield a pen, and the first to serve in a clerical capacity: viewing and re-viewing documents, summing columns, managing accounts, calculating probabilities, and sealing decrees. He was called beautiful, he was aligned with beauty; he was stripped of his garments and given new garments again and again; his "remains" were lost and forgotten and regained; he was sent to the pit and the dungeon and yet sprouted forth from it; he nourished his family from near and from afar, and saved them when they were starved; and he labored to help not only his own people but the people of his adopted nation, because he apparently believed and was part of the universal redemption. If these subjects interest you then this is a book you might want to read!