Sedra VaYeshev 120 words – So What’s with the Coat?
And Yisrael loved Yosef from all his sons … and he made him a coat of Passim [37:3]
Often explained to be of stripes.
Medrash suggests that it had longer sleeves that extended and covered the Pas – the palm – of his hands.
The equivalent of our blue and white collars; of rolling up our sleeves to get to work, manual labour that is, whilst the bureaucrats don’t roll up their sleeves, don’t wear blue collars and don’t have blackened thumbs and fingers.
People find all sorts of devices for displaying their station, some more subtle than others.
The armed services all have their dress codes and markings, and people fall into place accordingly. Everyone is saluted – some more formally with a smart movement of the hand, palm showing forward, fingers and thumb held just so; whilst other salutations are less formal, more subtle and more deadly.
How deep is the “hello smile” offered to a subordinate? Know your place, you don’t get a warm hand-shake or a clap on the shoulder.
Just a little bit of extra cloth, a slightly longer sleeve -not the only trigger – but a significant contributor to the test that is our eternal shameful history.