July 13, 2020

Rabbi Moshe Scheiner on Genesis 45:4 -- "The Beginning of Forgiveness: Joseph Reconciles with His Brothers"

Mark is delighted to welcome his good friend, Rabbi Moshe Scheiner, to the podcast this week. Rabbi Scheiner was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, and he holds a Masters degree of Talmudic studies and Jewish philosophy from the Rabbinical College of America. He has also lectured to communities in Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, Singapore, Colombia, and other communities throughout South America and the United States. In 1994, he became the founding Rabbi of the Palm Beach Synagogue, and he and Mark met almost two years ago on a United Hatzalah Mission which was the beginning of their friendship around Torah that remains to this day. The passage Rabbi Scheiner has selected for today is Genesis 45:4.

After a brief discussion about Rabbi Scheiner’s practical and inspirational daily Torah reflections, the pair explore the context of today’s passage, and then embark on a remarkably insightful analysis of the text, drawing out its relevance to the present day offered from the passage and each other. They then look at the example of reframing or narrative therapy the passage offers, the impact that Joseph’s mindset has had upon future generations right up to today, and provide powerful examples both of Pope John XXlll’s reference to this text, and of being able to begin again regardless of the painful events one has endured. Rabbi Scheiner finishes by sharing the two profound lessons he has learned about mankind. As Mark states, his esteemed guest provides a ‘characteristically fascinating conversation about Torah and how it can inspire us and help us live more meaningful lives’, and you have the unique privilege today to share in this knowledge and wisdom.

Episode Highlights:

Rabbi Scheiner’s daily practical and inspirational Torah reflections The context of today’s passage The common life themes found in this passage including personal hurts and forgiveness, family feuds, betrayal, overcoming trauma from childhood, bonds which should never be severed, living in the present rather than the past, rebukes, and beginning again Reframing or narrative therapy The impact of Joseph’s mindset upon future generations The significance of the term ‘brother’ Pope John XXlll’s deeply meaningful reference to this passage A powerful example of choosing to begin again Two lessons Rabbi Scheiner has learned about mankind


“What others do to you, that is not the reason it is really happening…God is in control...find the purpose and the meaning in every experience in life.”

“Joseph, in this case…is really the first person to manifest the psychological principle we now know as ‘reframing’.”

“I think Joseph’s mindset has really infected every Jewish mind, and that’s the way we survive through millenniums of antisemitism and oppression.”

“By declaring himself to be their brother…in an existential sense, he is giving them the permission to change their relationship.”

“It’s as close as he can come to an apology for the history of his predecessor and predecessors…that the relationship between the Catholic Church and the Jewish people could begin to change.”

“Repentance or forgiveness is giving someone the space to become the type of person that would never have hurt you in the first place.”

“There’s just so much pregnant in every passage in the Torah.”

“You never know the depth of someone’s goodness.”

Genesis 45:4 Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come forward to me.” And when they came forward, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, he whom you sold into Egypt." https://www.sefaria.org/Genesis.45.4?lang=bi&with=all&lang2=en


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