Shaya Cohen -


Curses: Ten Women

One of the most vivid curses in all of the Torah is as follows:

26:23… And if you behave casually with me … ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall deliver you your bread again by weight; and you shall eat, and not be satisfied.

This is a mystifying curse: what on earth could it mean?

#2 son suggested an answer that I think answers this beautifully. Think back to Joseph and his brothers. When the brothers disposed of Joseph, they were concerned with evading guilt, and, to a lesser extent, cushioning the blow for their father. But they gave no consideration whatsoever to what Hashem might want: they behaved casually with G-d.

There are consequences to all of our actions.

And what was theirs? The 10 brothers (ten women) took their money down to Egypt (the oven), and came back with grain that was apportioned, measured by weight. And after Yaakov and his sons had eaten, they found themselves back at square one all over again – they were not satisfied.  Joseph’s brothers lived this curse.

Comments are welcome!