This Week’s Shoafim Story: The Case of the Jealous Sisters

Shoafim Stories were composed by last summer’s Shoafim as part of their Take Ramah Home project. Each Shoafim Story is inspired by a weekly Torah portion, and concludes with discussion questions which relate each story and its lessons to their Torah portion. We hope that you will take the opportunity to read these stories and questions with your family, and we encourage you to post your family’s responses to the discussion questions, in the comments section of this blog post.      

Shoafim Story: The Case of the Jealous Sisters  

Inspired by Parshat Miketz (Genesis 41:1-44:17)

In this Torah portion, Pharaoh has two dreams. His baker remembers Joseph from prison, and Pharaoh brings Joseph to interpret the dreams. Pharaoh is so impressed by Joseph that he makes him his advisor. There is a famine, and Jacob sends his sons, minus Benjamin, to Egypt to buy food. They do not recognize Joseph when they meet him. Joseph tests his brothers by accusing them of being spies. Joseph arrests Simeon and demands the brothers bring Benjamin to Egypt to prove they are not spies. When Benjamin arrives, Joseph puts a goblet in Benjamin's bag and accuses him of stealing it.

-Summary from  For a more in-depth summary of the Torah portion, please click here.  

The Case of the Jealous Sisters  

Tayla and her older sister Suzanne are hanging out in their room at home.  Suzanne is playing with her new gameboy, which she just received for her birthday. 

Talya: Hey Suzanne, Mom and Dad are always favoring you, like you got a gameboy for your birthday and I only got a dumb marble.

Suzanne: It’s not my fault they like me so much. I’m just nicer to them.

Talya: I’m sick of you.   I don’t want Mom or Dad to hear your voice ever again!

Talya puts a piece of tape over Suzanne’s mouth.  Suzanne angrily rips off the tape.

Suzanne: What the heck?! You’re such a jerk! I’m locking you in a place where nobody will ever see or hear you again.

Suzanne pushes Tayla into the closet and closes the door on her.  Tayla bangs on the closet door for Suzanne to let her out.  Just then their friends Hillel and his sister Rachelli arrive at their house to play.  They notice that Suzanne is sitting in the room against the closet door.      

Hillel: Suzanne, where is your sister Talya?

Suzanne: In the closet, whatever.

Talya: Let me out!

Rachelli: Why is she in the closet Suzanne?

Suzanne: I put her in there because she was being annoying. She deserved it.

Hillel: Locking her in the closet doesn’t solve anything.

Suzanne: No, this is gonna teach her a lesson.

Rachelli: How would you feel if you were locked in a closet?

Suzanne: It’s not me in the closet; I wouldn’t have been so annoying.

Hillel: She might run out of air; you might really hurt her.

Rachelli: And she’s your sister, you love her, you shouldn’t do that to your sister

Talya: Listen to them! It’s not comfortable in here!

Suzanne: I guess I should let her out, I wouldn’t like it if I was in her place.

Suzanne lets Talya out of the closet.   Talya is clearly very upset and starts to yell at Suzanne.  Their father Noah hears the yelling and comes into their room to see what is going on. 

Noah: What’s going on in here?

Talya: Dad! Suzanne locked me in a closet! All I did was put tape on her mouth!

Noah: Neither of those things was ok. You shouldn’t do either of them.

Talya: Well the fight started because I feel like you and Mom favor Suzanne because you treat her better than me and giver her better presents.

Rachelli: Talya, you might have blown this out of proportion, but favoritism is never ok, and it is important to treat people equally.

Hillel: Before you treat someone a certain way you should consider how others will feel.

Talya: I agree with that and I hope we don’t fight next time.

Suzanne: I also feel bad for Talya, but I still don’t want her to put tape over my mouth.

Noah: I’m sorry, Mom and I didn’t mean to make it seem like we favor one of you over the other.  I want you guys to apologize to each other also.

Suzanne: Sorry I shoved you in a closet.

Talya: Sorry I put tape on your mouth.

Rachelli: I’m glad we were able to help you work this out.

Hillel: Now we can all be friends.

Talya and Suzanne hug and the four children spend the rest of the afternoon playing together. 

Discussion Questions

1.  Why do you think Talya took out her anger about her parents on her sister?

2.  Do you think that Suzanne’s response to Talya’s anger was ok? 

3.  How can we treat our friends and family better so that these kinds of fights do not occur?

4.  What do you think the Dad and Mom could have done differently?

5.  How does all of this relate to Joseph and his relationships with his siblings and parents?


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