Oct. 29, 2020

David Mark on Genesis 45:5-7 – “Lessons Learned from The Reunion of Joseph and His Brothers”

Senior editor at the Washington Examiner, David Mark, joins our host for today’s episode. Among many other roles, David has also been a senior editor at Politico and at CNN Digital Politics, is the author of two books, and appears regularly as a political analyst on television, radio and other forums. The passage he has selected to discuss today is Genesis 45:5-7, which recounts one of the most famous stories in the Bible.

The conversation begins with David sharing his summary of the passage, the many lessons it contains, and his focus today on two of those lessons. He and Mark then explore the notion of divine reframing, the impact upon Joseph of the near fratricide he experienced, and the genius of Pope John XXIII. Calling upon his vast knowledge of Washington politics, David reveals his perspective on the sense of brotherhood he finds there, how social media has impacted it, the current level of partisanship evident, and the difference in the way politicians respond to the media as opposed to their constituents. The episode draws to a close with David’s suggestions for structuring the Presidential Debates effectively, and the lessons about humankind that he has learned. While the lessons of this remarkable passage are timeless, the expert analysis and extrapolation of them here today could not be timelier, given the current, and future, state of politics and the world.

Episode Highlights:

  • · David’s summary of the passage and the lessons it provides
  • · Growing from previous mistakes
  • · Finding the positive in negative situations
  • · An act of divine reframing
  • · How near fratricide impacted Joseph
  • · The genius of Pope John XXIII
  • · The status of a sense of brotherhood in Washington DC politics over the years, and the impact of social media upon it
  • · Seeing government as a mutual endeavor rather than a game
  • · A comparison between a politician’s response to the media and to a constituent
  • · How to structure the Presidential Debate so that Americans win
  • · The lessons about humankind that David has learned


“One that…gives a lot of different lessons, different takeaways, that you can get on personal growth, forgiveness, reconciliation, all kinds of other important themes.”

“You can grow from your previous mistakes.”

“You can find positive from the most negative situations.”

“He’s a jerk when he’s young, but he’s a genius.”

“No matter what has happened with family members in the past…you could always find a way to get back together.”

“When you announce yourself as someone else’s brother, all the barriers drop.”

“You’re treating them as an equal.”

“Overall, it is pretty bitter, and we could use a whole lot more reconciliation.”

“We all got here the same way.”

“Social media puts immediate pressure on these people to make very harsh statements they might not otherwise say.”

“Essentially, you are on one team or another.”

“The Bible, in so many instances, is so insistent on creating a positive structure…it’s basically all throughout.”

“It seems like there’s got to be some kind of a penalty for just constantly interrupting the person you’re debating.”

“In Congress, there’s still very much a sense of decorum.”

“Language is important.”

“You don’t want to question people’s motives.”

“I think that the majority of people who go into public service mean it for the right reasons.”

Genesis 45:5-7 - https://www.sefaria.org/Genesis.45.5-7?lang=en&with=all&lang2=en


The Rabbi’s Husband homepage: http://therabbishusband.com/

Mark’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/markgerson?lang=en

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