"A Beautiful Man?" Joseph and the Character of Masculinity in Judaism and Islam.
Joseph (favored son of Jacob, the last of the Biblical patriarchs) is famously beautiful, “of fine face and figure” (Genesis 39:6). He is also one of the shared heroes of Judaism and Islam. Through a textual twin experiment and close analysis of the two traditions, we'll look together at ethnic constructions of beauty and ugliness: What is Jewish beauty?What is masculinity and what is Jewish masculinity? What is femininity and Jewish femininity?
Is being beautiful a requirement to achieve positions of power? Can beauty ever be a disadvantage? Join Sandra Lilienthal in exploring some stories of Biblical characters to uncover ways in which beauty and power are intertwined, and discover what those ancient stories can teach us us today. Use this video to guide or supplement your use of the 2017 curricular unit, "Beauty, Power and Temptation".
Joseph and His Master's Wife: A Tale of Love, Obsession, Temptation and Piety
Few characters in the Bible are as complex and ambiguous as the one of Joseph. What adds to the allure of his character are the many Biblical, Talmudic and Midrashic references to his exceptional physical beauty. In this class we will savor this beauty, as well as the beauty of the many tales that are told about the handsome Hebrew slave who has become the grand prince of Egypt, thus irreversibly changing the course of his people's history. We will also ask the question that lurks between the lines of this epic love tale: what really went on in the bedchamber of the wife of Potiphar the Egyptian?