Thursday, December 10, 2009

Yossi Jacobson on the cover of GQ magazine

I'm not talking about the heintiker Yossi Jacobson.
I'm talking about the original Yossi Jacobson. Yosef Ben Yakov. Joseph, son of Jacob, son of Isaac (for symmetrical reasons, it would have been a lot cooler if Yitzchak's English equivalent started with a J), son of Abraham.

He is 17 years old, and has the life. He's gorgeous, and knows it. He does his hair, and puts on eyeliner. He has the classiest style of fashion. He wears his Kutones Pasim, the most dashing hand-crafted coat, like he owned the place. He is adored by his father, and spoiled.

A tragedy occurred that not even Shakespeare could have envisioned. 10 of his brothers sought to kill him. Only after cold feet and quick thinking, did his brother Reuven try to save him, and have him thrown into a pit. Later his brother Yehudah had them sell him to Arabs, and tell their father that Yosef was mauled by a wild animal.

In Egypt, Yosef did what he did best- work hard and gain the admiration of those around him. He especially caught the attention of his master's wife, whom we'll call Mrs. Potifar.
Yosef was drop-dead gorgeous. The cutest guy in all of Egypt. Girls would climb up on walls just to get a peak at him. He made heads turn.
Mrs. Potifar tried everything she could to seduce Yosef. Of course, Yosef resisted temptation.
Mrs. Potifar's friends couldn't stand to listen to her complain about how there could be such a good-lucking heartthrob working for her, but who would have nothing to do with her, and her friends started to doubt her sincerity.
She invited all of her friends to lunch, and gave out oranges, with knives to peel them. After a few minutes, she called Yosef into the room, gave him some sort task, and he left.
The women who had been entranced by Yosef's beauty all looked down back to their oranges- they had cut their fingers with the knives, and were bleeding, but had failed to notice!

Mrs. Potifar finally got her chance to be alone with Yosef, and after lots of inner turmoil, Yosef overcame temptation, ran out of the house, was framed for the crime he did not commit, and was thrown into jail.

To my limited knowledge, this was the first test of its kind for our forefathers. It was a test of lust and temptation. They had been through tests of other kinds, like of their faith, and for money.
Because of how close he came to sinning, he actually lost 10 tribes that would come from him (if you don't know how or why, this aint the place for me to tell you), and instead had only Menashe and Efraim.

How did he pass this test?

Yosef was about to give in, but saw his father's image, realized he would be ruining the connection to his father and Am Yisroel, and found the strength he needed. I remember reading somewhere that he actually looked in the mirror, and saw his own face. He was similar in appearance to his father, so looking at himself reminded him of his father.
Even if that isn't true, sometimes all we need to do is take a good look at ourselves. Oftentimes, if we would take a minute longer to think about whatever we want to do, we'll think more about the consequences of such actions.
We just need to look in the mirror, but not like Yosef was doing, to curl his hair. To look in the mirror to really see yourself.