Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Does Yom Kippur atone for the sale of Joseph?

PROF. JASON RADINE: Shoeless on Yom Kippur (
The book of Jubilees claims that the brothers sold Joseph on Yom Kippur. Amos accuses the wealthy of selling the righteous for shoes. Reading this as a reference to the sale of Joseph, Eleh Ezkarah tells how Caesar fills his palace with shoes, and executes ten sages as a punishment for this crime. Is this connected to the prohibition to wear shoes on Yom Kippur?
For more on the story of the Ten Martyrs, which also appears in the Hekhalot literature and elsewhere, see here, here, and here. In the story as told in the Hekhalot Rabbati (§108), a textual variant refers to the selling of Joseph as the reason that Samma’el, the evil angelic prince of Rome, received permission to kill the ten martyrs. But there is no reference to shoes.

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