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Student perspectives

Second in command


 In the parshah Vayeshev we learn about the story of Joseph. However, because I assume that most know the story, in typical Kayla fashion I decided to look for some sort of life lesson in the parshah that would apply to all of us here as college students. After doing my research I found an article that I really liked that talked about Joseph as a leader. 

Most of us have always thought about Joseph as a leader, I mean he saved the Jewish people when there was a drought in all the land, having risen to be Pharaoh's right hand man. However, if we look a little more closely we will see that in all the stories of Joseph's life he was never the number one man in command he was always the direct assistant to the leader. He was his father's assistant in watching over his brother which is of course what ended up causing him to be sold into slavery. In slavery he quickly rises through the ranks in his Master's home becoming his second in command. Then again when he is thrown into jail somehow he gains the trust of the administration and becomes an assistant to the head of the jail. Finally, and perhaps most importantly after being released from jail he becomes the right hand man to Pharaoh. 

Being the second in command to powerful people is a very important form of leadership on its own and I think all of us sitting in this room can stand to learn something from this. Joseph knew that he was an extremely good second in command, it was where he thrived so he capitalized on this strength. Most of us, including myself, are here at UT trying to figure out our purpose in life and what path we are planning to take. We can each be leaders in our own right and that does not necessarily always being number one. We each have the capability inside of us to be great leaders, so we should take this lesson from Joseph to figure out what kind of a leader we want to be and make the choice to strengthen our strengths. 

(Printed from speech given at last semester's end-of-the-semester Shabbat) 

Kayla Sokoloff is a student at UT. 



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