In Parashat VaYeishev, Yosef repeatedly resists the advances of Potifar’s wife. In the wake of modern and contemporary sexual revolutions, there has been pushback on a sexual ethics based on boundaries and “purity” in favor of a sexual ethics that focuses primarily on consent. Consent is critical, but sometimes too narrow a lens to understand the significance of sexuality in our lives. Upon closer look at Yosef’s encounter with Potifar’s wife, we find an approach to sexual ethics that intersects with fundamental questions of identity and purpose.
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