Sometimes the line between heroism and cruelty can be difficult to discern. Faced with severe famine, Joseph shows himself to be a skilled and effective administrator; with great foresight and planning, he repeatedly brings the Egyptians back from the brink of starvation. Joseph is obviously an adept manager, but he is also seemingly a ruthless one: He saves the Egyptians but, as we shall see, he also enslaves them. In so doing, he runs afoul of the Torah's vision of how an ideal society should function.
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|Saving and Enslaving: The Complexity of Joseph|