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Torah QueeriesWeekly Commentaries on the Hebrew Bible$
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Gregg Drinkwater, Joshua Lesser, and David Shneer

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780814720127

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814720127.001.0001

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Joseph’s Fabulous Technicolor Dreamcoat

Joseph’s Fabulous Technicolor Dreamcoat

Parashat Vayeshev (Genesis 37:1–40:23)

(p.53) Nine Joseph’s Fabulous Technicolor Dreamcoat
Torah Queeries

Gregg Drinkwater

NYU Press

This chapter provides a queerly interpretation of Joseph's account in the readings of Parashat Vayeshev of Genesis. Scholars, rabbis, and LGBT activists searching for “queer openings” in the Torah often focus on Joseph. The emotional drama of his life are pregnant with queer subtexts, making Joseph the figure many LGBT readers would vote the “most likely to be gay” of any character in the Torah. The great rabbinic and medieval commentators make the modern task of “queering” Joseph even easier, with all of them having noted that Joseph had a certain “sensibility.” For example, Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki claims that Joseph “dressed his hair” and “touched up his eyes so that he should appear good looking.”

Keywords:   queerly interpretation, Jacob, Parashat Vayeshev, Genesis, Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki

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