Vayeshev | ???? | “He settled “
The Ninth reading from the book of Genesis is named Vayeshev (????), which means “and he dwelt.” The title comes from the first verse of the reading, which says, “Now Jacob (dwelt) in the land where his father had sojourned, in the land of Canaan” (Genesis 37:1). Despite the portion’s name and first verse, the story is actually about Jacob’s son Joseph and how he was removed from the land of Canaan and dwelt in Egypt. The narrative follows Joseph from Canaan to Egypt to prison.
The Torah says, “This is the history of Yaakov; Yosef…” Although Yaakov had 12 sons, the Torah goes on to speak about Yosef in particular. It was Yosef who was responsible for the most important episode in Yaakov’s life, his emigration to Egypt.
Vayeishev- He settled, Yaakov seek to settle in tranquillity. (Yaakov does not settle until he lives in Mitzrayim after knowing that Yosef is alive (Moshiach ben Yosef).
After Yaakov Avinu discovered Yosef’s existence and salvation, the Torah states, “And their father, Yaakov’s spirit was restored to life.” (Breishis 45:27)
All the tribes need to come under this Spirit of Reconciliation for the sake of Peace and forming the ONE Body that Most High has in Mind, as a True Light unto the nations. In response to their total unification Hashem will return His Divine Presence and rest amongst His people us and “The spirit of Israel will be restored to life”.
The Torah literally says, “Yaakov settled in the land of his father’s residence (megurei).” The word ???????? (megurei), comes from the root ??? (gur), meaning to “sojourn” or live in some place temporarily.
And it also states that Yaakov went to his father Yitzchak in Chevron, and ‘Esav went to the land of Seir (Gen 35:27). Here the Torah repeats the fact that “Yaakov settled in the land of his father’s residence.” This alludes to the fact that the merit of his father Yitzchak saved Yaakov and his sons from Esav.
By trusting, he lived as a temporary resident in the Land of the promise, as if it were not his, staying in tents with Yitz’chak and Ya‘akov, who were to receive what was promised along with him. For he was looking forward to the city with permanent foundations, of which the architect and builder is G-d- Hebrews 9 : 11
Academy of Shem and Ever
Yaakov loved Yosef because he was born when Yaakov was already quite old. He also loved him because he was extremely intelligent young man. Yosef learned from Yaakov all the Torah knowledge that Yaakov had learned during his 14 years in the academy of Shem and Ever.
And Ephraim, on the other hand, sat and learned Torah from his grandfather, Yaakov.
Torah Study – Shekinah:
The Shekinah originally rested on the Tabernacle and Temple, but even now it accompanies the wise, especially when three study together.”
In the Mishna:
If two sit together and occupy themselves with the words of the Torah, the Shekinah abides in their midst – Avot 3
It echoes very much like the words of Yeshua, who was of course, the Torah in the flesh:
For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them- Matthew 18:20
Obviously, Yeshua in the flesh is not in our midst, Words of Torah in our midst, so then who is, but the Shekinah!
As Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 52a – And in the future all of them shall be delivered up, as it says: “Who is this that cometh from Edom…?” (Isa. LXIII, 1). And this indeed is the significance of the words: “And he went behind them”- that the Shekinah will uproot them all at the end of days.’
Ephraim has to be involved in studying Torah so that Shekinah dwelt in the midst of us– Blessings is, as if he occupied himself in the studies of Torah.
Genesis 38:14, 18,19; 39:11,12; 41:14
John 2: 13-4:42
Luke 2 : 42-51
James 1:12; 1 Corinthians 6:18; 2 Timothy 2:22
Corinthians 16:13 ; 1 Corinthians 10:12-13
Parsha Va’yeishev mentions the “descendents of Jacob,” yet speaks of actions and attributes rather that lineage. However in this case, it is not Jacob’s attributes that are discussed, but primarily Joseph’s. This is our first indication of the close relationship between Joseph and Jacob. In fact, it is said that “whatever happened to Jacob, also happened to Joseph.”
It is interesting to track the reappearance of the word MEGUREI in Yaakov’s life it resurfaces in a later conversation. Jacob and his family move to Egypt and Jacob is presented to Pharaoh:
“Pharaoh asked Yaakov, ‘How many are the years of your life?’ Jacob answered Pharaoh, ‘The years of my sojourn (MEGURAI) are one hundred and thirty. Few and bad have been the years of my life, nor do they come up to the life spans of my fathers during their sojourns (MEGUREIHEM).’” (47:8-9)
Towards the end of his life, Yaakov realizes that his life has been a life of sojourning and not a settled life. In retrospect he has experienced a series of painful episodes which have given him anything but tranquility and peace.
We have studied the Midrash via Rashi. The original Midrash is certainly interesting. It appears in Bereshit Rabba 84:3:
Rav Acha said: When the righteous sit in tranquility and desire to sit in tranquility in this world, the Satan acts as accuser. He exclaims “Is that which is set for (the righteous) in the World to Come not enough that they seek serenity in this world?” This is certainly the case – Yaakov Avinu sought to dwell in serenity in this world and the “accuser” of Yoseph attached himself to Yaakov – “And Yaakov dwelt … etc.”(Gen 37:1)
“I had no repose, no quiet, no rest, and trouble came.” (Job 3:26)
I had no repose – from Esav, No quiet – from Lavan,
No rest – from Dinah, And trouble (lit. anger) came – the trouble of Joseph.
This is the original Midrash. Note the way in which this Midrash utilises the metaphor of Iyov – Job – the long-suffering servant of God as a model for Yaakov: The support verse of the midrash is from Iyov. The appearance of the Satan as the accuser of Yaakov mirrors the story of Iyov as well.
Then I heard a loud voice in heaven saying, “Now have come G-d’s victory, power and kingship,and the authority of his Messiah; because the Accuser of our brothers,who accuses them day and night before G-d,has been thrown out! – Revelation 12:10
Moreover, it is also taught that Jacob cannot overcome Esau without the help of Joseph. Jacob did not “battle” with Esau’s angel until after Joseph was born.
And the house of Jacob shall be fire, and the house of Joseph flame, and the house of Esau for stubble – Obadiah 1:18
Israel is called fire, as it is written: “The House of Jacob shall be fire”. – Exodus Rabbah 15: 6
Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 176b – The Shekinah was thus leagued with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob together with Joseph, inasmuch as the two latter are one in essence, each one being the image of the other, as indicated in the words: “These are the offspring of Jacob: Joseph” (Gen. XXXVII, 2).
Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 173a – But now that Esau is biting him and his children, who will stand up against him? Jacob and Joseph, one on one side and the other on the other side. So Scripture says: “And the house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for stubble, etc.” (Oba. I, 18).
Some of the concepts which is surrounded around Joseph:
His age, His dreams, His fall and “descent into Egypt”, His elevation to being “second only to Pharaoh” and being given the signet ring”, His maintaining his (sexual) purity and His brothers not recognizing him
Now Jacob dwelt in the land where his father was a stranger, in the land of Canaan. This is the history of Jacob. Joseph, being Seventeen years old …. – Genesis 37:1-2.
As it is a number of messianic significance in terms of the Tzaddik – righteous person who unites the physical realm (represented by the number “7”) with the heavenly realm (represented by the number “10”).
Joseph: Spirit of Prophecy
Worship Most High! For the testimony of Yeshua is the spirit of prophecy – Revelation 19 : 10
Interestingly, we find a direct reference in the language of Targum Onkelos:
Genesis 41:38 – 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?”
Targum Onkelos is the Aramaic rendering of the Torah used in synagogues. In it, Pharaoh is seen as recognizing “the spirit of prophecy” in the young Hebrew prisoner brought before him.
This unification is a role of Messiah ben Yosef:
“the unification of Yesod and Malchut” — This is one of the principal missions of Mashiach ben Yosef:to unify heaven and earth, to unify the two meshichim, which means the tree of Yosef with the tree of Judah during the awakening from below with the joining of Jerusalem above with Jerusalem below by a rebuilt Jerusalem. Then it will be like a city that is united together (Ps. 122:3)
This soul of Messiah has the “fullness of the Godhead” (Colossians 2:9) .
As stated by Rabbi Nachman of Breslov:
… the Keter (Arikh Anpin) is the loftiest Parfutz (personae of the Sefirot). But the ARI writes, Keter actually has two levels, a lower level corresponding to Arikh Anpin and an upper level, the intellect of Arikh Anpin, which corresponds to Atik. Atik is referred to in the holy writings by several names: Atik (“The Ancient One”), Atik Yomin (“The Ancient of Days”), Atika Kadisha (“The Holy Ancient One”). … The connection between Mashiach and Atik is learned from Daniel’s vision: “A man came and he approached (the level of) the Ancient of Days …” Rashi explains that this refers to Mashiach, who will minister justice to the entire world. … Atik thus transcends anything that we can conceive — giving and receiving, right and left, reward and punishment, and so on. At this level there is neither past or future. Everything is in the present. And, as we have seen, every part of Creation, from the first constriction, until the lowest level of the world of Asiyah, is contained within Keter. Thus Atik includes all time and space — yet transcends it all. The soul of Mashiach “resides” within Atik, and it is from this level that all his powers will be drawn. And, since he transcends time and space, Mashiach can transcend every transgression ever committed and rectify it — for since he can transcend everything ever done, he can bring each person to a state prior to his having sinned. … With this power inherent in this exalted level, Mashiach will be able to bring the world to a state of perfection.
In deeper levels of Hebraic study, Joseph is associated with such things as; the ego, dreams, sexual purity, the tzaddik (righteous person), the connecting of heaven and earth, (i.e., marriage of the divine groom and bride).
Joseph was also considered the wisest of Jacob’s sons in that the wisdom Jacob had acquired from the line of righteous men before him (Abraham, Shem, etc) was given to Joseph. One tradition associates the garment given to Joseph with the garment given to Adam. Garments is often used as a metaphor for a person’s soul or spiritual condition (i.e the “white robes” of the righteous).
one of the elders asked me, “These people dressed in white robes – who are they, and where are they from?” – Rev 7: 13
fine linen, bright and clean has been given her to wear.” – Rev 19:8
(“Fine linen” means the righteous deeds of G-d’s people.)