Miketz | מקץ | “From the end ” -There are two ‘ends,’ one on the spiritual ‘right’ and one on the spiritual ‘left.‘ So, the “end of the spiritual left” refers to the day when evil will cease to exist, with the end of exile, i.e. “the end of days”. Spiritual “Right,” on the other hand, represents goodness and holiness.
– The testimony of Divine Tzaddik (i.e., “the voice of Tiferet”) is the Ruach (i.e., via Da’at) of Prophecy / Spirit of Prophecy.The Tzaddik ( righteous) is the foundation of the world.
–The great tzaddikim don’t just study the Torah, they are themselves a living Torah.The true tzaddik helps man achieve this goal, for he is a Torah made flesh. He unites their souls with the soul of the Torah, and thus with G-d.
The Tenth reading from the book of Genesis is named Miketz (מקץ), which means “the end.” “Now it happened at the end of two full years that Pharaoh had a dream” ( Genesis 41:1 ). The portion begins with Pharaoh’s dreams, Yosef’s interpretations and his subsequent rise to power over Egypt. When a famine strikes the land of Canaan, his brothers come to Egypt seeking grain, but they do not recognise Yosef.
At the end of two years’ time Pharaoh had a dream: there he was, standing by the Nile ( i.e The Nile was Egypt’s source of spiritual as well as physical power ), when seven cows came up out of the Nile , handsome and fat. – Genesis 41:1-2
- Joseph interprets Pharaoh’s two dreams and predicts seven years of prosperity followed by seven years of famine. – Genesis 41:1-32
- Pharaoh places Joseph in charge of food collection and distribution. – Genesis 41:37-49
- Joseph marries Asenath, and they have two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. – Genesis 41:50-52
- When Joseph’s brothers come to Egypt to buy food during the famine, Joseph accuses them of spying. – Genesis 42:3-42:38
- Joseph continues the test, this time falsely accusing Benjamin of stealing and declaring that Benjamin must remain his slave. – Genesis 43:1-44:17
The first place we read of miketz is in the book of Genesis and we can see that miketz is used to define the end of a period of time:
And in the process of time [miketz] it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to HaShem. -Genesis 4:3
And G-d said unto Noah, The end [miketz] of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. -Genesis 6:13
And it came to pass at the end [miketz] of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made: -Genesis 8:6
And Jacob called his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, and I will tell you what will befall you at the end of days – Genesis 49 : 1
In all history there has never been such a time of terror. It will be a time of trouble for my people Israel. Yet in the end they will be saved! – Jeremiah 30 : 7
For there is yet another vision about the appointed time; it will speak of the End and it will not deceive. Though it may tarry, await it, for it will surely come, it will not delay -Habbukkak 2:3
But you, go your way until the end comes. Then you will rest and rise for your reward, at the end of days.” –-Daniel 12:13.
From the book of new testament: But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And this good news of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come – Matthew 24 : 13-14
The word Mikeitz means “At the end,” as in the saying, “the end of days”…….it happened At the end of two years to the day: Pharaoh was dreaming that behold! – he was standing over the River . . . -Genesis 41:1
Zohar : “…that Pharaoh dreamed, and behold, he stood by the river” concerns the dream of Joseph, NAMELY A DREAM OF REMEMBRANCE THAT REFERS TO JOSEPH, because every river is part of Joseph the Righteous. This is the hidden meaning of the thought that whoever sees a river in his dream sees peace, WHICH IS THE GRADE OF YESOD, THAT IS, JOSEPH, as it is written, “I will extend peace to her like a river” ( Isaiah 66:12), so “river” alludes to Joseph Righteous.
“And it came to pass at the end of two years“ (Beresheet 41:1). Rabbi Chiya opened the discussion with the verse, “He puts an end to darkness, and searches out all perfection, the stone of darkness and the shadow of death” ( Job 28:3). “He puts an end to darkness” is the end of the left, WHICH IS NOT INCLUDED WITHIN THE RIGHT; IT IS THE SATAN, THE ANGEL OF DEATH. He hovers about the world AND INCITES PEOPLE TO SIN; he hovers above and stands before the Holy One, blessed be He, and blames and accuses the world. As it is written, he “searches out all perfection (Heb. tachlit),” for his deeds are not intended to achieve good, but rather to exterminate (Heb. lechalot) and bring extinction to the world, AS HE TAKES THE SOULS OF MEN AND KILLS THEM.
It is about miketz [at the end]. The verse begins says, Yet the chief butler did not remember Joseph, but forgot him. -Genesis 40:23
“And it came to pass at the end.” HE ASKS, What is the meaning of “the end?” Rabbi Shimon replied that this is a place in which there is no remembrance the end of the left. What does this mean? For it is written, “But think of me (lit. ‘remember’) when it shall be well with you” (Beresheet 40:14). HE ASKS, Is it proper for Joseph the righteous to say, “But remember me.” AND HE ANSWERS, When Joseph looked at the dream, he said, ‘This is assuredly a dream of remembrance’ but he was wrong, because it all came from the Holy One, blessed be He.
In Aramaic the word “days” is almost identical to its Hebrew equivalent, but the last letter switches from a mem to a nun (ימין = ימים). The Zohar (I 62b) notes that this Aramaic word, ימין is identical to the Hebrew word ימין, meaning “right” and on this basis, the Zohar concludes:
There are two ‘ends,’ one on the spiritual ‘right’ and one on the spiritual ‘left.‘”In Jewish mysticism, “left” represents the side of evil. So, the “end of the spiritual left” refers to the day when evil will cease to exist, with the end of exile, i.e. “the end of days”. “Right,” on the other hand, represents goodness and holiness. Thus we refer to the “end of the right,” to indicate that there is no dilution of values in the realms of holiness, so the end is as good as the beginning. The term קץ הימין. (“end of the spiritual right”) is thus an allusion to the’ final redemption, when good will triumph over evil.
Which “End” does the word Mikeitz refer to-the “end of the left” or the “end of the right”? In fact, both could be discussed:
a) Yosef is released from jail. This was the end of Yosef’s exile, i.e. the “end of the left.”
b) On the other hand, we then read how Yosef suddenly rose to power and became ruler over Egypt-his redemption, represented by “the end of the right.”
Zohar Miketz 2:25 “And it came to pass in the end.” Rabbi Chizkiyah began with the verse: “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven” (Kohelet 3:1). Come and behold what the Holy On, blessed be He, did below: He set a time for everything, and a fixed term for it. He fixed a term for light and darkness. He set a time for light for all nations except Israel, which now have mastery over the world, and He set time for darkness, when Israel are in exile and under the dominion of other nations. The Holy On, blessed be He, appointed a season for all and, therefore: “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose. “ He asks: What is the meaning of, “and a time to every purpose?” He replies: It means a time and season for everything that is below, that is, for all the goodness found below has a set time and season.
Another explanation for “…and a time to every purpose.” HE ASKS, What is “time?” HE ANSWERS, It is the same as mentioned in the verses, “It is time to act for Hashem: they have made void Your Torah” –Tehilim 119:126
He answered, You don’t need to know the dates or the times; the Father has kept these under his own authority – Acts 1 : 7
“The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah. – Jeremiah 31 : 31
The Exile and Messiah:
Yosef was exiled to the nations, and his exile brought the first exile to Israel; there, in the exile, he became a righteous leader; as it’s written: “He will judge among gentiles” -Psalms 110:6.
“How strong is the force of the Sitra Achra that he managed to hide from the eyes of our holy forefathers the danger of the klipot layers: from the eyes of our forefather Abraham, the klipaof Ismael; from the eyes of our forefather Isaac, the klipa of Esau; and from the eyes of our forefather Jacob, the klipa of the terafim. During the footsteps of the Mashiach, the Sitra Achra becomes even stronger, in order to strike Biblical scholars with blindness.”
-Kol HaTor 5, translated by R’ Yechiel bar Lev and K. Skaist, pg. 122
A major component of this concealment is that Yosef was given a new name by the Gentiles, Tzofnat Paneach, which the Targumim translate as “the man who reveals mysteries.
Thus Yosef is called: Tzafnat-Paneakh – ‘He to whom mysteries are revealed’ -(cf. Genesis 41:45 Onkelos ).
As Messiah has the Spirit of G-d (Genesis 41:38), and the Spirit of G-d hovers over the face of the waters (Genesis 1:2), ‘He to whom mysteries are revealed’ – ‘Tzafnat-Paneakh’ also means that he will bring a new level of understanding the Torah. He will bring the: “Torah of Messiah”. Because the Wisdom of the Torah is compared to water, as Moses stated: “May my teaching drop like the rain” (Deut 32:2) and also: “all who are thirsty, come for water” (Isaiah 55:1; cf. Baba Kama 82a), and Messiah brings a new revelation as stated: “A [new] Torah will come forth from me” (Isaiah 51:4; cf. Vayikra Rabbah 13:3), and also: “God will reveal newness to the world” (Jeremiah 31:21). The Torah of Messiah comes from the higher level of revelation possible, from Atika Kadisha as stated in the verse: ‘with the clouds of Heaven came one like a son of man and he approached Atik Yomaya’ (Daniel 7:13). Messiah is to reveal all things. This Torah of Messiah not only reveals mysteries, but also brings people to reach unity with their Creator, as stated: “I will place my Torah within them and inscribe it upon their hearts” (Jeremiah 31:32).
For the Torah will go out from Zion; and the word of HaShem from Yerushalayim.…… – Micah 4 : 1 – 4;
In fact, “The Torah which we study in this world is naught in comparison to the Torah of Moshiach” (Midrash Rabbah,Eccl 11 : 12)
And they were amazed at his torah, because Rebbe Melech HaMoshiach’s dvar torah was with samchut (authority) – Luke 4 :32
Nevertheless, while there is only one Torah, this Torah is Multi-Layered.
The Zohar teaches that there are several “layers” in the Torah, each associated with an essence of the Divine. Why would the Talmud make such statements as the above two? The Talmud correctly recognizes that there is more than one “level” of Torah. The 613 commands of the historical Torah, given at Mount Sinai, are at one level. At another, more sublime level, is the Supernal Torah – the deeper level of understanding that reveals Most High ultimate plan. (i.e., the Torah of Messiah which is the Torah of Binah, and Torah of Mount Zion as referred to in Galatians and Hebrews ).
The Different Levels of Torah:
- Garments Torah, Body Torah, Soul of Torah/Hidden Torah / Torah of Mashiach and Soul of the Soul Torah
“Zion,” “the city of the living Elohim” Zion is based on the better promise of Messiah, the sinless, Heavenly Divine Tzaddik that was sacrificed to effect tikkun above and below.
“Zion” is a higher level of following Torah and not an abolishment of Torah (i.e., Matthew 5:17-21; Romans 3:31).
Those following Yeshua are to first put their trust in the atonement He provided, and then follow Torah within this framework of trust/faith. This includes gentiles who follow Him as well (Acts 15:21), who are now included in the faith of Israel and its Torah (Ephesians 2:11-12).
One of the promises regarding the Messianic Redemption concerns the Torah we will then study: “A new Torah will emit from Me” (Midrash Rabbah Leviticusbased on Isaiah 51 :4
Zohar: Come see..The Torah has a body and a soul. The Torah’s body is its commandments which are called gufei Torah, literally “limbs of torah”. This body itself covered with garments which are none other than the mundane stories of the Torah. Fools do no attempt to see beneath these outer garments. Those who understand more do not look only at the garments, but at the body underneath. Those who are truly wise, the servants of supernal king….Look at the soul of Torah(Mashiach Torah), its essence. In the ultimate future, they are destined to behold the soul of the soul of the Torah. Woe to those who think that the torah is nothing but its stories…Happy are those who see the Torah as it is meant be seen, has its origin in Tif’eret. The fourth stratum is the “soul of the soul” of the Torah, and it originates in Attika Kaddisha.
As stated: “And his perception/smell (והריחו – vaHarikho) will be in fear of HaShem, and he will not judge after the sight of his eyes… with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked” (Isaiah 11:3). Messiah judges by the smell (reiakh) (Sanh 93b). Messiah has the spirit of G-d (Genesis 41:38; Is 11:2), of whom it is said: “he reveals the deep and secret things, he knows what is in darkness, and the Light dwells with him” (Daniel 2:22).
On the aspect of Messiah’s nose it is stated: “his breath will be in the fear of HaShem” (Isaiah 11:2). The term “in the fear” – bYirat – ביראת, is the Gematria of 613 (תריג). So Messiah’s breath is the Torah and its 613 commandments (cf. Tikunei Zohar 5b). [[Notice the first thing that G-d told Yehoshua son of Nun (son of Yosef, soul of Messiah ben Yosef) is: “Be very careful to obey All the Torah that my servant Moses gave to you… meditate on it day and night” (Joshua 1:7)
He will be able to breathe into others, filling them with a feeling of awe for G-d (cf. Likutei Moharan I, 8:2), he will be able to rebuke everyone properly, drawing them closer to G-d, bringing them to repentance; teaching them to obey the Torah, telling them that whoever breaks one single command of the Torah will be guilty, as stated: “I will search Jerusalem with candles” (Zephaniah 1:12) and “the Earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of HaShem” (Habakkuk 2:14) and also: “many peoples will go and say, come, let us go up to the mount of Hashem… and he will teach us… for out of Zion will come the Torah” (Isaiah 2:3). In the likeness of “Gentiles will come to your Light” (Isaiah 60:3). So this is why one of Messiah’s names is: “Wonderful Advisor” – Pele Yoetz (Isaiah 9:6). Messiah therefore, brings correction (tikkun) to the material world, as stated: “Your King comes riding a donkey”. The word “Donkey” –Hamor, has the same letters and value with the word for ‘matter’ or materiality: ‘Homer’.
The Baal HaTurim says, “Zaphenath-Paneah – The gematria of this name (828) is equal to that of the phrase מגלה מסתרים, revealer of things that have been hidden.” – -Baal HaTurim, Mesorah Publishers, pg. 384-385
Just as Moshe Rabbeinu as a first reedemer was named by an Egyptian and cloaked in Egypt, so was Yosef HaTzaddik. As Yosef was sold for silver to the Gentiles, and given a new Gentile name, so too will Mashiach ben Yosef be sold for silver, handed over the Gentiles and be given a Gentile name. Messiah himself is said to be a leper (chivra) at the gates of Rome (Sanhedrin 98a). Although Mashiach is at the gates of ROME, he is outside of the city.
The Name of “Ben Yosef” is hinted at the initial letters of the sentence: “He will judge among the gentiles” – “Yadin Bagoyim”; going from left to right (as the attribute of Judgement – Din – is from left to right).
Ben Yosef’s ability to bring gentiles to the knowledge of the One true G-d is because he is concealed among them; in the aspect of Yosef, who was considered dead by his own family, after had been sold to the gentiles, and lived among them, and married one of them, and received a new name, and spoke a gentile tongue… as the sages say: “Yosef was swallowed up among the nations of the world” (Sotah 36b), similarly they taught that the reason Israel was exiled was in order to make Geirim (converts) among the nations.
YAAKOV – the whole nation was called after his name: “. .. Yakov, Yakov… I am G-d… Do not fear to go down to Egypt. . . I will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also bring you up again” –Genesis 46:3.
The words that G-d says to Yakov teach us that the Divine Presence is with us, whatever is the situation we face. “I will go down to Egypt with you”. In the likeness of: “In all their affliction, He is afflicted” (Isaiah 63:9). “Wherever they were exiled, the Shekhina is with them” (Megilah 29a).
The Hebrew name for Egypt is Mitzraim, which derives from the word that means to oppress, to constrain. Among the many metaphorical meanings we can deduce from this, one of them is understanding Egypt as a name for Israel’s exile, as our sages taught: “All the pagan kingdoms of the world are referred to as Mitzraim (Egypt), because they metzirot (oppress) Israel.” -(Bereshit Rabbah 16:4).
In Kabbalah, the Shekhina (Divine Presence or Divine Immanence) is a female attribute, linked to the feminine aspect of the people of Israel, depicted as the “Daughter of G-d” and the “Bride” of ‘Zeir Anpin’. It always seeks connection with the Creator, it always seeks to marry the groom (ie. Messianic figure). So in the words: “I will bring you up again” (Genesis 46:3) G-d is telling Israel that the ultimate Redemption will come in the hands of Messiah. Yosef also said: ‘G-d will remember you and bring you up from this land to the land which He swore’ (Genesis 50:24). Israel experienced four exiles. Of these, the first redeemer was Moses, the last redeemer will be in the likeness of Moses, this is, Messiah, of whom it is said:“HaShem will raise up… a Prophet like me, to him you must hear” (Deuteronomy).
Kol HaTor remarks on the two Mashiachs: “…at the beginning of the Redemption, when the wood of Yosef and the wood of Judah are “pieces of wood in your hand, ” when they are still divided into two, on the level of the awakening from below. At the time of the complete redemption, however, when the two pieces of wood have become “one in My hand” (the hand of G-d), then the meshichim will be like two inseparable friends; they will have become one, they will have become the King Mashiach who is on the level of the trustworthy friend of the final redeemer, Moshe Rabbeinu, may he rest in peace.” -Kol HaTor, Chapter 2, Section 2, 1, translated by R’ Yechiel bar Lev and K. Skaist, pg.70
R’ Hillel Shklover continues: “(Ez. 37:19) the wood of Yosef – This refers to Mashiach ben Yosef for the entire Redemption depends on the unification of the two pieces of wood: the wood of Yosef and the wood of Judah (as it states in this chapter). They are the two meshichim: Mashiach ben Yosef and Mashiach ben David, who at first, i.e., when the Redemption starts naturally from below, will be separate individuals in “your hand” [Ezekiel. 37:17]. Afterwards, they will become one in “My hand” [Ezekiel. 37:19], the hand of God – that is, miraculously, with the help of the clouds from Heaven.” -Kol HaTor, 2.101, translated by R’ Yechiel bar Lev and K. Skaist, pg. 81
LIGHT OF REDEMPTION:
Another aspect of Messiah ben Yosef is to act as a Light to reveal the hidden. “Pharaoh wanted to test Yosef, so he changed his dream, but Yosef, knowing the rungs, contemplated the matter and said: this is what you saw” (cf. Zohar I:196a; notice the differences between Genesis 41:1-7 and 41:17-24).
“The king Messiah appears as Light, as it is written: I will prepare a Lamp for my Messiah” (Psalms 132:17) (cf. Rashi on Psalm 43:3). And also: “Arise, shine, for your Light has come” -(Isaiah 60:1).
They do not come to trust because the god of the ‘olam hazeh has blinded their minds, in order to prevent them from seeing the light shining from the Good News about the glory of the Messiah, who is the image of G-d. 6 For it is the G-d who once said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” who has made his light shine in our hearts, the light of the knowledge of G-d’s glory shining in the face of the Messiah Yeshua. – II Corinthians 4 : 4, 6
This concealed Light is the Light of Messiah, the Light of Redemption as it’s written: “the people that walked in darkness have seen a great Light, they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, the Light shines upon them” (Isaiah 9:1) [the Hebrew word Tzalmavet (shadow of death – צלמות) in Gematria equals: ‘Messiah ben Yosef’ – משיח בן יוסף = 566]. This is also the Light of Resurrection, as it is stated in Job: “to bring back his soul from the pit, to be enlightened with the light of the Living” ( Job 33:30). And also: “in the Light of the King’s countenance is Light” (Proverbs 16:15).
This concealed Light tells us, not only that Messiah ben Yosef brings redemption, but also that he’s to raise up from the death, as it’s written: “As for me, I will behold your face in righteousness, I will be satisfied, when I awake with your likeness” (Psalm 17:15), as following our Isaiah verse (in Remez): “Of the suffering of his soul he will see [Light] and be satisfied” (Isaiah 53:11), which is preceded by the verse: “they made his grave with the wicked”.
As stated in this Musaf: “Messiah our righteousness has turned from us… our sins and the yoke of our transgression he bore, bruised for our iniquities… Almighty G-d, hasten the day that he might come to us anew” (cf. Eliezer Hakkalir, Musaf Yom Kippur).
I Kings 3:15-4:1
The Parsha tells of Joseph’s interpretation of Pharaoh’s dreams, Joseph’s rise to power in Egypt, and Joseph’s testing of his brothers. We are told in the book of Genesis ( 41:32 ) that the dream was repeated because, the matter is established before the Lord and the Lord is hastening to carry it out.
WE MAY LIVE AND NOT DIE:
“That we may live and not die” -Genesis 42:2; 43:8; 47:19
Rueben’s Words: You may kill my two sons if I do not bring him back to you. Put him in my care, and I will return him to you” -Genesis 42:37.
Judah’s Words: Send the boy in my care, and let us be on our way, that we may live and not die – you and we and our children. I myself will be surety for him; you may hold me responsible: if I do not bring him back to you and set him before you, I shall stand guilty before you forever” -Genesis 43:8-9.
Jacob’s Words: “Why do you keep looking at one another? Now I hear that there are rations to be had in Egypt. Go down and procure rations for us there, that we may live and not die” -Genesis 42:1-2.
Judah’s Words : Then Judah said to his father Israel, “Send the boy in my care, and let us be on our way, that we may live and not die – you and we and our children… For we could have been there and back twice if we had not dawdled” -Genesis 43:8-10.
SPIRIT WAS TROUBLED:
“And it came to pass in the morning that his spirit was troubled (Heb. vatipaem).” HE ASKS, What does vatipaem mean? Rabbi Yosi said, It has already been explained. Of Pharaoh, it is written, vatipaem, and of Nebuchadnezzar, it is written, “his spirit was troubled (Heb. vatitpaem)” (Daniel 2:1). Pharaoh is described as vatipaem because he comprehended the dream but not its interpretation. Nebuchadnezzar, on the other hand, saw the dream and its interpretation, but forgot everything. It is therefore written vatitpaem (with an extra Tet).
But come and behold, “and his spirit was troubled (Heb. vatipaem)” corresponds to “And the spirit of Hashem began to move him (Heb. lefa’ahmo)” (Shoftim 13:25), for the spirit would appear and disappear, come and go, yet not settle upon him properly. It is therefore written, “And the spirit of Hashem began to move him,” when THE SPIRIT just began TO INSPIRE HIM. Here also the spirit would appear and leave, then appear AGAIN, but would not settle upon him, so that he could understand. Of Nebuchadnezzar it is written, “and his spirit was troubled (Heb. vatitpaem),” for the inspiration, THE SPIRIT, was twice as strong, BECAUSE HE UNDERSTOOD NEITHER THE DREAM NOR ITS INTERPRETATION. THE SPIRITS would come and go, as it is written, “as on previous occasions (Heb. kefa’am befa’am, lit. ‘as time to time’)” (I Shmuel 3:10), now upon this and now upon that, but his mind was not settled.
Joseph converts the dimensions of space in the dream into dimensions of time in reality. Joseph believes that dreams contain a divine message: G-d conveys that message to the dreamer, while the interpreter conveys to the dreamer what G-d informs the interpreter –(Gen. xl:8; xli:16; xxv:28).
The following dialogues between the ministers, Pharaoh and Joseph:
The ministers of Pharoah: We have each had a dream, but we don’t know what it exactly means:
Joseph: Only G-d can provide the answers. Please tell your dreams to me
They said to him, “We each had a dream, and there’s no one around who can interpret it.” Yosef said to them, “Don’t interpretations belong to G-d? Tell it to me, please.” -Genesis 40:8
Pharaoh: Pharaoh said to Yosef, “I had a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it; but I’ve heard it said about you that when you hear a dream, you can interpret it.” – Genesis 41:15
Joseph: You need not rely on my interpretation. G-d Himself will answer your majesty . “Your Majesty,” Joseph answered, “I can’t do it myself, but G-d can give a good meaning to your dreams.” –Genesis 41:16
Dani’el answered the king, “No sage, exorcist, magician or astrologer can tell his majesty the secret he has asked about. But there is a G-d in heaven who unlocks mysteries, and he has revealed to King N’vukhadnetzar what will happen in the acharit-hayamim. Here are your dream and the visions you had in your head when you were in bed. -Daniel 2:27-28
Joseph is the”Master of Dreams” (Genesis 37:19), Pharaoh’s deep admiration: “Is there anyone here who has the spirit of G-d?” -(Genesis 41:38). “
After G-d has made all this known to you, there is no one else in the kingdom as wise and as intelligent as you are” –Genesis 41:39.
There is a man in your kingdom in whom is the spirit of the holy g-ds. -Daniel 5:11
“Can there be found a man like this in whom the spirit of G-d dwells!?” Pharaoh himself sensed that the spirit of G-d dwells within Joseph. Amazingly, this is only the second time that the phrase “spirit of G-d” רוח אלקים appears in the Torah. The first time was in the second verse of Bereisheet: “And the spirit of G-d was hovering over the waters.” There, the sages say that the spirit of G-d is the spirit of the Mashiach, clearly implying that Joseph is the first embodiment of the Mashiach, who like him, unifies higher and lower wisdom as one. This is a second beautiful link between the first (Bereisheet) and tenth (Mikeitz) Torah portions.
we can look to Joseph as an example of one attaining this “spirit of prophecy” as related to messiah, as the concept of “Messiah ben Joseph” .
Targum Onkelos: And Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find (someone) like this, a man in whom is the (Spirit of prophecy) from before the Lord?” -Genesis 41:38
Who testified to G-d’s word, and of the testimony of Yeshua the Messiah (i.e “The spirit of prophecy”), about everything that he saw. – Revelation 1:2
The unique phrase, “the testimony of Yeshua”, is also found in the book of revealtion and defined as, “the spirit of prophecy.”
“And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Yeshua: worship G-d: for the testimony of Yeshua is the spirit of prophecy.” -Revelation 19:10
“Prophecy is knowledge and an attainment that G-d, in His Glory, gives he prophets. But doesn’t this necessarily contradict what we previously said regarding the fact that we can never attain knowledge of G-d’s ways? No, for as we have mentioned, we cannot grasp the whys and wherefores of the Infinite One (Eyn Sof), but as to limited will, namely the Sefirot, we can grasp something, for the Sefirot exist even in the world of making (Asiyah). We have defined this limited will through the Sefirot, which are the attributes of the Holy One, Blessed be He … In addition, we mentioned that the Sefirot represent the actual essence of reality, and everything that will ever happen is included and rooted in them … No creation — not even the loftiest of the creations — has direct access to the Creator, and any access at all must come through the Sefirot, through G-d’s will. … When a person attains a great level of spirituality, the creator, Blessed be He, allows that person to gain some measure of insight into the way He rules the world. This is what we call prophecy. Prophecy is ranked by the level the prophet achieves in comprehending the Sefirot. When a prophet gains a certain level of comprehension of G-d, in other words when he attains the Sefirot, which are G-d’s guiding ways, he will also necessarily gain an understanding of the details and the results, the product of the Sefirot.”
-Yedid Nefesh (Song of the Soul), Rabbi Yecheil Bar-Lev, Petach Tikva, 1994. pp. 349,350.
Midrash Rabbah states that all prophecy ties back to Mount Sinai, and comes from the “great voice,” which is associated with Tiferet and divides into many voices.
“Another explanation of AND G-D SPOKE ALL THESE WORDS, SAYING. R. Isaac said: The prophets received from Sinai the messages they were to prophesy to subsequent generations; for Moses told Israel: But with him that standeth here with us this day before the Lord our G-d, and also with him that is not here with us this day, etc. (Deuteronomy 29:14). It does not say ‘that is not here standing with us this day’, but just ’with us this day’-these are the souls that will one day be created; and because there is not yet any substance in them the word ‘ standing ‘ is not used with them. Although they did not yet exist, still each one received his share [of the Torah]; for so it says, The burden of the word of the Lord to Israel by Malachi (Malachi 1:1). It does not say ‘in the days of Malachi’, but ’by Malachi’, for his prophecy was already with him since Sinai, but hitherto permission was not given him to prophesyl … So Isaiah said: From the time that it was, there am I (Isaiah 58:16). Isaiah said: I was present at the revelation on Sinai whence I received this prophecy, only And now the Lord G-d hath sent me, and His Spirit (ib.); for hitherto no permission was given to him to prophesy. Not only did all the prophets receive their prophecy from Sinai, but also each of the Sages that arose in every generation received his [wisdom] from Sinai, for so it says, These words the Lord spoke unto all your assembly… with a great voice, and it went on no more (Deuteronomy 5:19). R. Johanan said: It was one voice that divided itself into seven voices, and these into seventy languages. R. Simeon b. Lakish said: [It was the voice] from which all the subsequent prophets received their prophecy. The Sages said: It had no echo. R. Samuel b. Nahmani said in the name of R. Jonathan: How is it possible to say, The voice of the Lord is with power (Psalm 24:4)? Do we not know that no creature can withstand the voice of an angel, as it says, His body also was like the beryl… and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude (Daniel 10:6). Was it then necessary for the Holy One, blessed be He, of whom it says, Do not I fill heaven and earth? (Jeremiah 23:24) to speak with power? The meaning, however, of ’ The voice of the Lord is with power’ is that it was with the power of all voices. As to the view of R. Johanan, the following verse supports him, for it says, The Lord giveth the word; they that proclaim the tidings are a great host (Psalm 63:12).”
Midrash Rabbah, Exodus 28:6
The above text is consistent with what the book of Revelation: The testimony of Yeshua (i.e., “the voice of Tiferet”) is the Ruach (i.e., via Da’at) of Prophecy.
“What, now, is the difference between those who study the Torah and faithful prophets? The former are ever superior, since they stand on a higher level. Those who study the Torah stand in a place called Tiferet, which is the pillar of all faith, whereas the prophets stand lower in the place called Netzach (Victory) and Hod (Majesty); and those who merely speak in the spirit of holiness stand lower still. He who studies the Torah needs neither peace offerings nor burnt offerings, since the Torah is superior to all and the bond of faith; wherefore it is written “Her ways are ways of pleasantness and all her paths are peace” (Proverbs 3:17), and also, “Great peace have they which love thy law and they have no occasion for stumbling” (Psalm 119:165).” -Zohar, Vayikra 35a
The words of King David, who made the same claim concerning Torah: “I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts.” -Psalm 119:99-100
“A successful Man” :
The reason why Joseph was “a successful man” (Genesis 39:2) was precisely because “HaShem was with Joseph” — “the name of Heaven was regularly on his mouth” (Rashi ) (Genesis xxxix:9; xl:8; xl:16; xxxii:18 ). Joseph acknowledges G-d as ruler of the world and recognizes the total dependence of mortal beings on G-d. Joseph emphasizes a central point: “You were not the ones who sent me here; G-d sent me here . . . .” (Genesis lv:8)
Joseph observed G-d’s law despite the fact that this led to his incarceration in the king’s prison and his disgrace in the eyes of sophisticated Egypt. Joseph is the archetype of “the tzaddik who has it bad” (Berachos 7a). Yet even in this adverse situation, (“HaShem was with Joseph” Gen. 39:21). this teaches that “the name of Heaven was regularly on his mouth”. That was the very key to Joseph’s “success”. Joseph knew that G-d speaks to us through the happenings of this world, and that we can find divine messages and meaning everywhere and in everything.
Joseph rearranges the imagery of Pharaoh’s dreams: “The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good ears are seven years … and the seven thin and poor cows … and the seven thin ears…” Pharaoh say to him, “There is no one as understanding and wise as you” (v. 39).
Zohar: Come and behold, From that river, NAMELY YESOD, the seven grades OF THE NUKVA, CHESED, GVURAH, TIFERET, NETZACH, HOD, YESOD AND MALCHUT IN HER, THAT WERE EXTENDING FROM HER, AND WERE SITUATED IN THE WORLD OF BRIYAH are watered and blessed by it. These are THE SEVEN “well favored, and fat of flesh” COWS, who “fed in the reed grass.” THAT IS, they fed together in friendship, and there was no separation among them. All of them stand to be praised, FOR THERE IS NO NOURISHMENT FOR THE OTHER SIDE, for these seven grades are the mystery of the verse, “and the seven maids chosen to be given her, out of the king’s house” (Ester 2:9), WHICH REFERS TO THE SEVEN TEMPLES OF BRIYAH, ALL OF WHICH ARE PRAISEWORTHY. And so are the “seven cows well favored,” all to be praised. In contrast, “the seven chamberlains who served in the presence of the king” ( Tehilim 1:10) are not to be wholly praised, for they include a portion of the powers of defilement, which is the secret of the seven lean cows.
Rabbi Yitzchak said, The seven good cows are grades, superior to other grades, whereas the seven ill-favored cows are the grades below. THE UPPER ONES are on the side of holiness, and THE LOWER BEINGS on the side of defilement.
Tzaddik– Righteous One – ( Yesod, Foundation )
“…that Pharaoh dreamed, and behold, he stood by the river” concerns the dream of Joseph, NAMELY A DREAM OF REMEMBRANCE THAT REFERS TO JOSEPH, because every river is part of Joseph the Righteous. This is the hidden meaning of the thought that whoever sees a river in his dream sees peace, WHICH IS THE GRADE OF YESOD, THAT IS, JOSEPH, as it is written, “I will extend peace to her like a river” (Isaiah 66:12), so “river” alludes to Joseph Righteous.
The name Yosef (Joseph) is associated with the modern kabbalistic (Jewish mysticism) term yesod, meaning foundation, from the expression, “Tzadik yesod olam” — a righteous man is the foundation of the world.
Ramban connects this event with Messiah: He explains that Yosef was saved from the snakes and scorpions because he was a righteous person (a Tzaddik) so “a Great miracle (Nes Gadol) had been done for him”. “Nes Gadol” has to do with Messiah’s Light; By his merits the righteous is delivered from all evil, as it’s written: “because merit was found for me before Him” (Daniel 6:23) so “who can raise his hands against the Messiah of HaShem?” (I Samuel 26:9). Had his brothers seen the miracle, it would have been clear to them that he was a righteous person (cf. Pirush Ramban on Genesis 37:22).
“Whatever is attached to something can be referred to by that which it is attached to. A messenger is this referred to by the name of the one who sent him. This applies to the tzaddikim.” -“Chassidic Dimensions – Volume Three,” Jacob Immanuel Schochet, p. 101
The tzaddik is a physician of the soul, providing both preventative and therapeutic medicine for man’s soul (Hilchot De’ot 2:1; Shemonah Perakim, ch.3).
The great tzaddikim don’t just study the Torah, they are themselves a living Torah. And so this too is man’s purpose, in all one’s doings, everything thought, motion, speech and act, must reflect and personify the Torah -(Seder Hadorot Hechadash, p.45 [21a]).
Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, too, said of his master, the Maggid of Mezhirech: elsewhere own learns to master the Torah, i.e., how one is to study Torah; in Mezhirech, however, one leans to let the Torah master you, i.e., how the Torah teaches man to become a Torah himself –(Likutey Diburim, vol.II, p.492).
The true tzaddik helps man achieve this goal, for he is a Torah made flesh. He is essentially a guide, mentor, and teacher. He is a soul-doctor and a role-model who helps and inspires his followers and ignites their souls with the fire of reverence and love for G-d. He unites their souls with the soul of the Torah, and thus with G-d.
This procreative function of a Tzaddik is to bring people to G-d, (i.e., “he who wins souls is wise.” – Proverbs 11:30).
The righteous is the foundation of the world – Proverbs 10:25
Thus he will instill the principle of ‘eating the toil of your own hands’ (Psalms.128:2), i.e., that “G-d will bless you in all you do” (Deut.15:18), which Sifre on this verse (Re’ey, par. 123) interprets: “I might think that the thing will come even when man is idle; Scripture thus says, “In all you do!’” Cf. Mechilta on Exodus 20:9; Avot de Rabbi Nathan 11:1; and Zohar I:88a].
The tzaddik’s disciples and followers must realize this responsibility (Or Torah, sect.455). Every disciple, when he is fully trained will be like his teacher (Luke 6:40). This does not apply just to the tzaddikim but to every individual. All of one’s doings should reflect the light and the ideals found within the Torah (Seder Hadorot Hechadash, pg.45).
Many Hasid’s call this, becoming a living and breathing Torah (Likutey Diburim, vol 2, 492 – R. Yosef Yitzchak of Lubavitch)
The Tzaddik’s (Righteous) Willingness To Suffer For The People: His willingness to undergo persecution for their sake is palpable evidence of the tzaddik’ concern for the people. His life is often one of peril and suffering. Indeed, “the healers of the soul must go down to Gehinom to raise the wicked” (Toldot Yaakov Yosef 145a; Zohar III, 220b). In descending to the wicked he lowers himself into the pit and puts his very life at stake, “for he who descends from his rung is called dead. In this manner we understand both the dictum of Resh Lakish, ‘The words of the Torah are only fulfilled by one who is willing to give his life for it” (Berachot 63b), and the dictum of Yaakov Yosef: “He who wishes to live, finds death; he who is willing to die, finds life” -(Toldot Yaakov Yosef 151b).
“Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” – John 12:25
The tzaddik is in peril from enemies of the spirit who threaten the life of his soul. He is in peril also from enemies of the flesh who oppose and hamper him every step of the way. “The earthly ones cause the heavenly ones to fall from their rung” (Toldot Yaakov Yosef 141c; Yochanan 8:23). “Woe to the wicked who turn the soul [the tzaddik] into a body, for they give the tzaddikim no rest, even though they are in the service of the L-rd…! Woe unto them, for they bring evil to their own souls!” (ibid 87c). “Moses too was of the persecuted ones and not of the persecutors” (ibid 58c). Though the tzaddik may be able to save the people, he is not accepted by all of them. He is the “’stone which the builders rejected’ (Psalms 118:22). The tzaddik is called the cornerstone, the foundation of the world, for upon him the entire world is situated. But the builders, who are the scholars, have rejected him” (Rabbi Yaakov Yosef, P.Y 67a). The tzaddik suffers exile. “One is filled with anguish over the exile of the learned who serve the L-rd, from the learned who are the prophets of Baal and because of whom the Temple was destroyed” (Toldot Yaakov Yosef 163d). Indeed, the exile of the tzaddik is the bitterest of all exiles. “There are three kinds of exile: First, the exile of Israel from the nations; second, the exile of the learned from the unlearned; third, the exile of the faithful ones of Israel, the servants of the L-rd, from the scholars who are motivated by fame and show. This latter exile is the most severe… for the people suffer one exile, the scholar two, and the pious all three! (ibid, 167c). But this exile, bitter and harsh as it is, must be expected and borne by the tzaddik. In the Song of Songs reference is found to the exile of the tzaddik. The soul speaks: “I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, if you find my beloved, what will you tell him? That I am lovesick’ (Song 5:8). ‘Daughters of Jerusalem, you are the tzaddikim. ‘I adjure you’ to bear the exile of the wicked as I, the soul, bear the sickness of the ugly body because of the love of my beloved…. You must do the same. ‘If you find my beloved’ in the exile of the wicked, through your prayers, tell him that the soul, which is a portion of the Shechinah, is lovesick” (ibid, 174c).
The tzaddik must be ready to receive criticism for striking out on a new path, for “because he joins himself to the common people, he is mocked’” (Rabbi Yaakov Yosef, K.P 15b). The hitlahavut or fervor which characterized his worship, his study and his observance of the mitzvot was also an object of scorn. “The people hate the tzaddikim who fear the L-rd and guard His way, because they are two opposites. The people are small of spirit and shorten the way of the L-rd, whether in prayer or mitzvah, which they perform in a sluggish manner by rote. This is not the case with the tzaddikim, who take pains with the way of the L-rd. The Torah is fulfilled only by one who offers his life for it” (Toldot Yaakov Yosef, 58c). “Not only do they observe the mitzvoth sluggishly, but they are angry with the tzaddik who observes the mitzvoth of the L-rd with joy and fervor” (ibid, 34a). “Not only do they forsake the L-rd, but they despise the holy ones of Israel, the faithful ones of Israel who act for His Name Who is blessed, who sanctify themselves in many ways of holiness. They despise them, because they do not act as they do” (jbid, 104a).
Envy lies beneath this hatred and, because of it “they slander the holy ones on high” (ibid, 37c). The truth is that those who mock the tzaddik “are jealous of him” (ibid, 104a), for in their heart of hearts they know he is. “Everyone recognizes the rung of the tzaddik and renders him honor. Even the wicked know his rung, only they do not speak his praise with their mouth” (Toldot Yaakov Yosef 173c).
TZADDIK- NEIGHBOR AND MESSIAH
One version of the Zohar refers to this Son, as a “neighbor”: Zohar, vol. 2, p. 115, (Amsterdam Edition) – Better is a neighbor that is near, than a brother far off. This neighbor is the Middle Pillar in the G-dhead, which is the Son of Yah.
G-d’s salvation: The wicked Bila’am “distances” the coming of the Mashiach when he says, “I behold it, but not in the near future.” In contrast, the prophet Isaiah draws the Mashiach nearer when he says, “for my salvation is near to come” (Isaiah 56:1). In his commentary on the Torah entitled Heichal Ha’bracho, the Komarnar Rebbe explains Bila’am’s words as follows: ‘Nearness’ indicates a close neighbor who is the Tzadik, the foundation of the world. Similarly, the holy prophet (Isaiah) said, ‘my salvation is near’ (Isaiah 56:1). But this wicked one said, ‘but not in the near future.’ In truth it is near; for the redemption is experienced every day and in each hour by one with a sensitive heart. Now, it is truly close; its ‘appointed time’ is here. Yet, this is not exact, since even the ‘appointed time’ will be ‘hastened’ (before its time; see commentaries on Isaiah 60:22). Our master, the holy Ari, noted that the ‘appointed time’ had actually started in his day: “I am certain of this every day that I yearn and wait for the final redemption.”
Yohanan bore witness of The Righteous One – The Foundation of the world, Messiah Ben Yoseph who received the soul of, The Messenger of His Presence – מלאך פניו.
In all their distress He was distressed, and the Messenger of His Presence –ומלאך פניו הושׁיעם באהבתו – saved them. In His love and in His compassion He redeemed them, and He lifted them up and carried them all the days of old. -Isaiah_63:9
“I bring near My righteousness, it shall not be far off, and My salvation shall not wait; and I will place salvation in Zion for Israel My glory. -Isaiah 46:13
The tzaddik is said to be the foundation” of the world: In deeper studies of Torah : Yesod follows Malkut (Kingdom) in the path of teshuvah (repentance) leading to G-d.
We are taught that we are to “seek first the kingdom (Malkut) then all else will be added to us. HaShem reveals Himself to the humble: This is the same path yeshua referred: But seek ye first the kingdom of G-d [i.e., Malkhut], and his righteousness [the path of the Tzaddik], and all these things shall be added unto you – Matthew 6:33
The path of the Tzaddik was the way that John preached: For John came unto you in the way of righteousness – Matthew 21:32
Yeshua made clear that He was the path (way) of the Tzadik: Yeshua said unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes unto the Father, but by me. – John 14:6
Tzaddik – Purity and Covenant of Circumcision:
One of the fundamental principles of the tzaddik is that of his having to “fall” in order to rectify a greater number of people and the lower levels of creation.
The Tzaddik is called pure, but on some occasion some impurity may be found in him so that he may join the impure to elevate them to a state of purity. One who gives freely and generously. By lifting up his brethren, he himself is raised. Joseph proves himself in this area when he resisted the advances of Potiphar’s wife.
Sexual purity is directly tied to the covenant of circumcision and enhancing the coming of Messiah: Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, 93b – Another then discoursed on the text: And Joseph said to his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you, and they came near (Genesis. 45:4). He said: ‘Seeing that they were already standing by him, why did he tell them to come near? The reason was that when he said to them “I am Joseph your brother”, they were dumbfounded, seeing his royal state, so he showed them the sign of the covenant and said to them: “It is through this that I have attained to this estate, through keeping this intact.” From this we learn that whoever keeps intact this sign of the covenant is destined for kingship. Another example is Boaz, who said to Ruth, “As the Lord liveth, lie down until the morning” (Ruth 3:13). By this adjuration he exorcised his passion, and because he guarded the covenant he became the progenitor of the greatest lineage of kings, and of the Messiah, whose name is linked with that of G-d.’
Sexual purity is a messianic trait according to Rabbi Nachman of Breslov: Everyone, according to his level of holiness and purity, has a messianic aspect and the messianic aspect hinges mainly on abstaining from adultery.
… and no one could learn that song except the hundred and forty-four thousand who were redeemed from the earth. These are the ones who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were redeemed from among men, being firstfruits to G-d and to the Lamb. – Revelation 14 : 3 – 4
Rabbi Nachman of Breslov comments on the topic of purity: One other aspect of “the nose” that is used to define Mashiach is purity. More specifically, this refers to sexual purity. And one who is pure can detect purity in others. Mashiach’s sense of smell is so acute that he will immediately be able to identify who has guarded the covenant – the covenant of Abraham — and who hasn’t. Sexual purity is linked to the sexual organ and specifically the Covenant of Circumcision.
Joseph’s purity brought him Daat . Joseph was the paradigm of the tzaddik. He was a servant in Potifar’s house, and for a full year Potifar’s wife tried to seduce him. Joseph withstood the test and was crowned with the title tzaddik, which denotes sexual purity. Mashiach is therefore associated with the name of “Mashiach ben Yosef,” because of his high level of morality … before he attained the great levels of knowledge which enabled him to rule over Egypt, Joseph was tested for his sexual purity. When he passed his test the Torah gave witness (Genesis 41:39), “There is none as perceptive and wise” (Likutey Moharan 1, 36:2).
One reason for the necessity of sexual purity is that Mashiach’s main weapon is prayer. Our Sages compare prayer to arrows which must be directed to their target. These “arrows” require a bow from which they must be aimed, and this “bow” is the Brit, the sexual organ. One who keeps himself sexually pure merits dynamic power and is in control of his prayers, making them more potent.
“.. the title “tzaddik” applies specifically to one who maintains a strict moral code regarding sexual behavior.”
Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan Says: It has already been discussed how man’s soul has countless (spiritual) Roots. The higher the source of these Roots, the greater will be their power to transmit the influx of prophecy. But even if the source of the Root of one’s soul is on a very high level, unless he rectifies it and purifies it so that it transmits to all the Roots that are below it, he cannot transmit the prophetic influx. The only levels from which he can transmit it are those which he is worthy of because he has rectified them, and from there alone will his prophetic influx be transmitted. This explains why there are countless levels among the prophets.
The battle over sexual purity involves a war against the forces of the evil realm: … the entire Redemption depends on this. We’ve already said that Geula (redemption) and Moshiach shall be the result of Divine lovingkindness. The Sitra Achra, or dark side, wants to prevent the Geula at all costs. Therefore, the Sitra Achra uses all its power to promote promiscuity in the world, especially among Jews. So, every gain in holiness hastens the Geula, while promiscuity and lewdness – which according to Kabbala can be classified as Chessed d’Sitra Achra (unholy lovingkindness), perpetuate exile and diaspora.
And in their mouth was found no deceit, for they are without fault before the throne of G-d. – Revelation 14 : 5
There is a further mystical connection between the “purity of the brit” (covenant) of and the “purity of the mouth” . As sexual purity is linked to the sexual organ, the Covenant of Circumcision, and kabbalistically to the Sefirah of Yesod. The “mouth” (i.e., “tongue” or “speech”) is linked to the Sefirah of Malkut, which is also known as Malkut Pei – “Kingdom of the mouth.”
The concepts of “brit” and “word” are also connected in that the Hebrew word for circumcision – “milah” – also means “word,” i.e.: II Samuel 23:2 – G-d’s spirit speaks in me, and His word (milah) is on my tongue.
The following text describes on the Covenants of the Brit (Circumcision, which impacts in a “vertical manner” – between G-d and His people) and the Covenant of the Tongue (which impacts in a “horizontal manner” – among people): G-d made two covenants with the Jews, the Berit ha’Ma’or, the “Covenant of the Flesh,” and the Berit ha-Lashon, the “Covenant of the Tongue.” These two are closely connected an reveal G-d’s creation, which is at the same time dual and unique: a merger of nature and spirit. These covenants are refelcted in the dual and unique structure of man — a single being, made of a body and soul permeating each other. … In varying degrees, the spirit resides in every thing, and all matter supports the spirit in varying degrees. It is the “word” that links the material world and the spiritual world. In G-d, the word is already, in itself, a concrete act. “By the Word of the Lord were the heavens made …” (Psalm 33:6), “for He commanded and they were created…” (Psalm 148:5). Among men too, the word has both a spiritual and concrete connotation. The “word” seeks to be fulfilled in a physical act: “That which comes out of thy lips thou shall observe and do..” (Deut. 23:24). The davar, the abstract “word,” must be tranformed into a davar, a “physical act.” …
The measure of G-d’s blessing is tied to the measure of righteousness in the world: Bahir 102 – There is a single pillar extending from heaven to earth, and its name is Righteous (Tzadik). [This pillar] is named after the righteous. When there are righteous people in the world, then it becomes strong, and when there are not, it becomes weak. It supports the entire world, as it is written, “And Righteousness is the foundation of the world.” If it becomes weak, then the world cannot endure. Therefore, even if there is only one righteous person in the world, it is he who supports the world. It is therefore written, “And a righteous one is the foundation of the world.”
The whole purpose of Torah study is to support our connection to the Tree of Life, draw strength from it, work on our correction process and prepare our souls for ‘The End’. The End is the fight against the negative side.
All the Israelites with faith in the Torah hang on the Tree of Life. Some in the body of the tree, some in the branches, leaves, roots and other parts of the Tree. Those who dwell in the deep Torah study, hold to the body of the Tree and that is like they are part of the whole Tree.
Proverbs 3:18 “She is (the Torah) a tree of life to those who lay hold of her; those who support her are called blessed.” -‘Those who support her’ are those who go beyond the study and help in spreading its Light. They will have greater merit in the world to come. The secret in וְתֹמְכֶיהָ מְאֻשָּׁר, equal תומך מראש יה. It means that the support comes from the upper levels of Chokmah, Binah and Da’at.
This process prepares us for the end of ‘The End’ when death is swallowed forever and those who are holding strong to the Tree of Life will merit resurrection.
“He will swallow up death forever; and YHVH G-D will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for YHVH has spoken.” – Isaiah 25:8
When a man studies the Torah and cleaves to it, he is strengthened in the Tree of Life, WHICH IS ZEIR ANPIN, as it is written, “a Tree of Life…” (Mishlei 3:18). Come and behold, When a man is strengthened in the Tree of Life in this world, he is strengthened in it for the World to Come. And when the souls leave this world, grades are prepared for them in the World to Come.
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the assemblies; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of G-d – Revelation 2:7
Haftarat Miketz – ‘At the end’ – I Kings 3:15-4:1 && Zechariah 2:14-4:7
This week’s haftarah gives an account of how two harlots with come to Solomon to have him render a judgment.
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: fear G-d and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all. -Ecclesiastes 12:13
It is at the end of the haftarah portion for this week: So the king answered and said, “Give the first woman the living child, and by no means kill him; she is his mother.” And all Israel heard of the judgement which the king had rendered; and they feared the king, for they saw that the wisdom of G-d was in him to administer justice. So King Solomon was king over all Israel. –1 Kings 3:27-4:1
Pray for wisdom: If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of G-d, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. -James 1:5
Zechariah’s vision of a gold candlestick with seven branches is an appropriate prophetic reading for Hanukah, the festival of lights. Zechariah’s message is one of hope for the rebuilding of the Temple under the leadership of Zerubavel, the Governor of Judah, and Joshua, the high priest.
A Vision of Joshua the High Priest
Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. And the Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, O Satan! The Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is not this a brand plucked from the fire?” Now Joshua was standing before the angel, clothed with filthy garments. \ And the angel said to those who were standing before him, “Remove the filthy garments from him.” And to him he said, “Behold, I have taken your iniquity away from you, and I will clothe you with pure vestments.” And I said, “Let them put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the Lord was standing by.
And the angel of the Lord solemnly assured Joshua, “Thus says the Lord of hosts: If you will walk in my ways and keep my charge, then you shall rule my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you the right of access among those who are standing here. Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, you and your friends who sit before you, for they are men who are a sign: behold, I will bring my servant the Branch.For behold, on the stone that I have set before Joshua, on a single stone with seven eyes, I will engrave its inscription, declares the Lord of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of this land in a single day. In that day, declares the Lord of hosts, every one of you will invite his neighbor to come under his vine and under his fig tree.”
A Vision of a Golden Lampstand
And the angel who talked with me came again and woke me, like a man who is awakened out of his sleep. And he said to me, “What do you see?” I said, “I see, and behold, a lampstand all of gold, with a bowl on the top of it, and seven lamps on it, with seven lips on each of the lamps that are on the top of it. And there are two olive trees by it, one on the right of the bowl and the other on its left.” And I said to the angel who talked with me, “What are these, my lord?” Then the angel who talked with me answered and said to me, “Do you not know what these are?” I said, “No, my lord.” Then he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts. Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain. And he shall bring forward the top stone amid shouts of ‘Grace, grace to it!’” –Zechariah 2:14-4:7
UNIVERSAL TORAH: MIKETZ – By Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum
Torah Reading: MIKETZ Gen. 41:1-44:17
“AND PHARAOH WAS DREAMING.”
The exile of the Children of Israel in Egypt and their subsequent redemption and exodus are the paradigm of all exile and redemption, physical and spiritual. The chief oppressor is Pharaoh, King of Egypt, a figure first introduced in the Torah several parshiyos earlier, in LECH LECHA (Ch. 12, v. 10ff). Famine had forced Abraham to go down to Egypt, the “nakedness of the earth” (just as in our parshah, famine forces his descendents down to the same place). Egypt is the stronghold of MITZRAYIM, second son of the accursed Ham, who had “uncovered” his father Noah’s nakedness. In the same tradition of sexual immorality, Pharaoh, representing the evil, self-seeking aspect of earthly power, kidnapped Sarah, embodiment of the Indwelling Presence of G-d, until a divine plague forced him to release her. According to tradition, Sarah was released on the night 15 Nissan, the date of the later Exodus of her descendants from Egypt.
Our parshah of MIKETZ traces the successive stages in which the snare was laid to force Jacob and his Twelve Sons to follow Joseph down into exile in Egypt in preparation for the ultimate redemption of the Children of Israel years later on that same date. The net is artfully prepared by Joseph, who alone of all the sons of Jacob had the power to stand in the House of Pharaoh. Joseph is the archetype of the Tzaddik who enables us to survive in This World. Having been drawn down to Egypt by Joseph, the Children of Israel are eventually redeemed by Moses, who, having been brought up in the House of Pharaoh, had the power to stand there. Moses is integrally linked with Joseph, and thus Moses “took the bones [= the essence] of Joseph with him” up out of Egypt. Moses is the Tzaddik who teaches us the path leading through the wilderness of This World to the Land of the Living — the Land of Israel.
This World is but a dream. Pharaoh is dreaming. Pharaoh is the “back-side” (PHaRAO = ORePH, the back of the neck) — the external appearance of This World as opposed to it’s inner “face”, the inner spirituality and meaning. The outward appearance is frightening: plump prosperity turning into wizened waste.
Pharaoh is the worldly ego. “So says the Lord G-d, Here I am against you, Pharaoh king of Egypt, the great crocodile [=primordial serpent] lying down in his rivers, who says: ‘The river is mine, and I made myself’ (Ezekiel 29: 3, from the Haftara of parshas VO-ERO which recounts the plagues sent against Egypt). Pharaoh thinks he is all-powerful — “I made myself” — but in the end he is humiliated by G-d’s plagues, which show him his limitations. As yet his downfall is still far-off — a distant vision, a bad dream. Yet already Pharaoh is being humiliated. The dream is terrifying. Pharaoh’s own magicians and wise men are helpless: they cannot give meaning to his dream. The only one who can help Pharaoh is “a man who has the spirit of G-d in him” (Gen. 41:38), the truly righteous Tzaddik: Joseph.
THE VIRTUE OF THRIFT
Temporal leaders may imagine they are pulling the strings, but the underlying forces that drive human history are great global cycles of success and decline (“Seven years of plenty” / “Seven years of famine”) that are in the power of G-d alone. Likewise, G-d alone has the power to send truly wise leaders to guide us through these cycles to a better end.
While Pharaoh is the archetype of the self-seeker, Joseph is the archetype of self-discipline. The latter is the virtue needed to get through This World successfully. Pharaoh knows how to consume to gratify the self here and now — to live the dream of This World. This may work as long as the river keeps flowing. But Pharaoh does not know what to do when the flow stops. He is unprepared, because Pharaoh is PARU’AH, undisciplined. He does not know how to conserve and save for lean times.
Pharaoh’s self-seeking is rooted in the fundamental flaw of Adam: KERI, spilling the seed in vain — waste. Thus it is said that the sparks in the seed spilled by Adam fell to Egypt, where they had to be rectified in the generation of Joseph and in the generation of Moses. The rectification in the generation of Joseph was accomplished by the DISCIPLINE which Joseph brought to the country. Joseph used the Seven Years of Plenty to teach the Egyptians to put limits on IMMEDIATE CONSUMPTION AND GRATIFICATION in order to SAVE for the FUTURE. (Similarly in the generation of the Exodus, the Children of Israel, incarnation of Adam’s spilled seed, were rectified through the building of Pharaoh’s “store-cities”.) We must all learn how to set limits to the physical gratification we receive from this world in order to make the best use of our time here to acquire and “save” Mitzvos and good deeds. These are our TZEIDAH LA-DEREKH, the “sustenance for the way” that leads to the Land of the Living, the Future World.
The world today is suffering from the catastrophic effects of IMMEDIATE CONSUMPTION on the global ecology in the form of reckless depletion of resources, pollution etc. and on the moral fabric of contemporary society. The model of happiness entertained by most of the world — CONSPICUOUS CONSUMPTION — is unsustainable and destructive, and must be replaced with Joseph’s model: that we must “circumcise” ourselves and learn self-discipline. Only by thriftily “saving” Torah and good deeds can we attain true happiness. Thus Joseph told the “Egyptians” to “circumcise” themselves (see Rashi on Gen. 41:55).
CHASTIZEMENTS OF LOVE
“It is good when manifest reproof stems from hidden love” (Proverbs 27:5).
The essence of good leadership is to teach people to lead themselves — to take themselves in hand and use self-discipline to attain the good that is available in this world.
Had Joseph revealed himself to his brothers immediately on their first arrival in Egypt, he would have elicited little more from them than superficial expressions of contrition for a sin whose seriousness they still did not understand. “Do not stand idly by the blood of your neighbor” (Leviticus 19:16) — don’t “sit down to eat bread” when your brother is screaming in the pit (Gen. 37:25).
Joseph used his consummate wisdom to engineer events that would put his brothers in the same situation in which they had placed him. As the compassionate leader, Joseph sought to make his brothers draw their own conclusions, knowing that the lessons we learn on our own flesh are more deeply inscribed and instilled than those we simply hear from others.
Joseph engineered events that would force his brothers to “read” and “interpret” for themselves the message of reproof the events implied. So it had been from the beginning. When Joseph dreamed of the sheaves bowing down to him, it was the brothers who interpreted the message for themselves. “Will you surely rule over us?” (Gen. 37:8).
Years later, the brothers bowed before the Egyptian Viceroy TZOPHNAS PA’ANEAH (“Interpreter of that which is Hidden”, as Joseph had been named by Pharaoh, Master of the Dream).
“And Joseph saw his brothers and he recognized them, AND HE MADE HIMSELF STRANGE [vayisNACHER] to them” (Gen. 42:7).
In order to chastise his brothers and bring them to genuine contrition, Joseph acted not like a BROTHER but like a NOCHRI, a STRANGER. He clothed himself in the garb of a stranger with a heart of stone, deaf to all appeals.
Joseph’s way of teaching and educating his brothers can help us understand how G-d may sometimes have to beat down the walls of people’s insensitive hearts by chastising them with enemies that appear strange and incomprehensible to them.
“G-d will bring up a people against you from afar from the end of the earth, like the eagle swoops, a people whose language you will not understand, a people of fierce countenance who will not show respect to the old or compassion for the youth.” (Deuteronomy 28: 49).
But like Joseph’s indirect, roundabout reproof to his brothers, G-d’s reproof has but one purpose: “And they will confess their sin and the sin of their fathers and the treachery that they have committed against Me, that they went contrary [with KERI] against Me; So I will go with them contrary [with KERI, apparently chance events] and I will bring them in the land of their enemies, and then their uncircumcised heart will be humbled and then they will make appeasement for their sin. And I will remember my COVENANT.” (Leviticus 26:40-42).
With consummate skill, Joseph brought a series of “troubles” upon his brothers that would bring them to successive levels of self-understanding and genuine contrition. Joseph’s first step was to separate one brother (Shimon) from the others and hold him in detention. The brothers read the message: “And one said to the other, But we are guilty over our brother, the pain of whose soul we saw when he pleaded with us and we did not hear: that is why this trouble has come upon us” (Gen. 42:21).
The final stage was when Joseph engineered the framing of Benjamin with Joseph’s “stolen” divining goblet (Gen. ch. 44). Still appearing to his brothers as the Egyptian Viceroy Sourcerer, Joseph’s choice of scenario was one that had special meaning for the brothers, as they had all (with the exception of Benjamin) witnessed their DIVINER grandfather Laban (Gen.30:27) searching the tent of Rachel, for his stolen TERAFIM (idols).
At last the brothers grasped the complete message. They had stolen their brother and sold him as a slave. “And Judah said, What shall we say to my lord, what shall we speak and how can we justify ourselves? G-d has found your servants’ sin.”
In next week’s parshah we will continue with the beautiful story of how Judah steps forward to TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR HIS BROTHER. This was the goal of all Joseph’s “reproof”.
The above-quoted words of Judah are woven into our TACHANUN (supplicatory) and SELICHOS (penitential) prayers:
“What shall we say? What shall we speak? How can we justify ourselves? Let us search out and investigate our ways and return to You. For Your right arm is stretched out to receive those who return. Please G-d, save us.”
Shabbat Shalom! Chodesh Tov Umevorach! Happy Chanukah – by Rabbi Avraham Yehoshua Greenbaum
We will see that the children of Israel return to Most High and Torah of Mashiach, And will hug in the Holy Land, and by obeying and listening the “VOICE of Most Ancient Holy One of Israel”, will bring offerings in a righteous way on the holy mountain and also bring the Ark of the covenant with pure heart in the right place ( i.e In Har HaBayit, on the foundation Stone) .
We will Welcome the son of David on Mount Zion, Jerusalem.
[ Ha Khadosh Baruch Hu – Baruch HaBa B’Shem Adonai ] – Gaddi, President, BetYisrael International.
Gaddi – President
A Servant of Most Ancient Holy one of Israel and Disciple of Yeshua HaMashiach
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