Vayeishev | וישב | He settled –Yaakov does not settle until he lives in Mitzrayim after knowing that Yosef is alive ( i. e Moshiach ben Yosef ).
-The force of the Soul of a Righteous Messiah in the likeness of Yosef and one of the tools used by Mashiach ben Yosef in the mission of Tikkun olam is secrecy and deceptiveness. Messiah ben Yosef is the Soul and Messiah ben David is the body. And body and soul must be brought together. Because it is all one. Ben Yosef and Ben David are two different functions of the same person.
-Truth is the attribute of Jacob and peace is the attribute of Joseph and they are one.
The Ninth reading from the book of Genesis is named Vayeshev (וישב), which means “and he dwelt.” “Now Jacob (dwelt) in the land where his father had sojourned, in the land of Canaan” (Genesis 37:1). The story is described about Jacob’s son Joseph and how he was removed from the land of Canaan and dwelt in Egypt.
Jacob now settled in the land of his father’s sojourning, in the land of Canaan. – Genesis 37:1
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.
- Jacob is shown to favor his son Joseph and has dreams of grandeur. -Genesis 37:1-11
- Jacob sends Joseph to report on them. Jacob is led to believe that Joseph has been killed by a beast. -Genesis 37:12-35
- Tamar successively marries two of Judah’s sons and each of whom dies. Judah does not permit her levirate marriage to his youngest son and She deceives Judah into impregnating her. -Genesis 38:1-30
- G-d is with Joseph in Egypt -Genesis 39:1-40:23
“Jacob dwelt in the land of the dwellings of his father, in the Land of Canaan. These are the offspring of Jacob, Joseph….” Regarding the verse “Jacob dwelt in the land of the dwellings of his father.” It is known that the word “dwellings” (מגורי ) . Meaning in the verse: “…surrounding fear, which indicates the inner fear, or higher fear of G-d.
Now Jacob dwelt in the land where his father was a stranger, in the land of Canaan. This is the history (Toldot) of Jacob. Yosef, being seventeen years old … -Genesis 37:1-2
Yosef – BEN Akher ( Another Son ) :
“And she called his name Yosef, saying: HaShem [will] add to me another son ( Ben Akher)” —Genesis 30:24
Another son (Ben Akher) – this is, another son beside Yosef (cf. Targum Pseudo Yonathan). This is, ‘a strange son’ (a son that will not be accepted by his brothers; for a heretic is called ‘Akher’). This is ‘a later son’ (someone who will live in the future, in later days – yamim akharonim). “Akher” also makes allusion to the fact that he will be counted as Rachel’s offspring, even though he will be of ‘Another’ (Akher); therefore he will be called by the name: ‘Messiah ben Ephraim’, or ‘Messiah ben Yosef’.
Mashiach ben Yosef himself is a composite of two aspects: on the one hand, he is Yosef the son of Rachel of the land; on the other hand, he is Yosef son of Jacob from Heaven.
“Messiah ben Yosef” is the process of redemption, a redemption in the likeness of Yosef, as it’s written: “and called his name Yosef saying: HaShem will add me another son” (Genesis 30:24). Then in the End of Days, it will have to give way to a more final concept: “Messiah ben David”, who is said to have the soul of Moses himself – as it’s written: “HaShem will raise up… a Prophet like me, to him you must hear” (Deuteronomy 18:15).
Moses said, ‘The Lord G-d will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you. -Acts 3:22
“The essential function of Messiah ben Yosef is to prepare Israel for the final redemption, to put them into the proper condition in order to clear the way for Messiah ben David to come” (Saadia Gaon,Emunot veDeot8:6).
Why does the toldot of Jacob begin with Joseph rather than Rueben ( firstborn of leah ) but Joseph regarded as first born son: “And the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel – for he was the first-born, but, since he defiled his father’s couch, his birthright was given unto the sons of Joseph the son of Israel, yet not so that he was to be reckoned in the genealogy as firstborn. For Judah prevailed above his brethren, and of him came he that is the prince; but the birthright was Joseph’s.” -1 Chronicles 5:1-2
Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 180a – THESE ARE THE GENERATIONS OF JACOB: JOSEPH, ETC. When Jacob was brought to rest in Joseph, and so the sun was united with the moon, then there commenced a production of offspring, the progenitor being Joseph. For it is that perennially flowing stream which fructifies the earth and from which generations are propagated in the world. For the sun, even when he approaches the moon, cannot cause vegetation without the help of that grade which goes under the name of Righteous (Zaddik). It was, then, Joseph who was the grade of Jacob to bear fruit and bring forth offspring in the world. Hence: “These are the generations (tol’doth, lit. offspring) of Jacob: Joseph.” Or, again, we may take the words to signify that whoever looked at Joseph thought he was looking at Jacob. Hence this form of expression is used only in connection with Joseph and not with any other of Jacob’s sons-it is not written, for instance, “These are the offspring of Jacob: Reuben”, the reason being that Joseph was the exact image of his father.
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).
The following relation between Jacob and Joseph: But Joseph resembled Jacob … thus it is said by both of them, “Am I under G-d.” Jacob said, “Am I under G-d“ (Genesis 30:2), Joseph said “Am I under G-d” (Genesis 50:19). This alludes (to the fact that) Joseph is in the chariot like Jacob. … The true sages Said, Joseph the righteous. It is because his attribute is close to the attribute of his father You will show truth to Ya‘akov ( Micah 7:20 ) … truth (the attribute of Jacob) and peace, the attribute of Joseph, are one. The idea that Joseph is in the chariot like Jacob, shows that the unity of G-d .
Zohar points to the likeness of Jacob and Joseph: Mentioning how what happened to one, also occurred to the other, and one (Joseph) is “near,” and the other (Jacob) is “far.” This is interesting when we think of Jacob as representing Tipheret in the heavenlies, and Joseph as the earthly Tzaddik, with divine qualities.
Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 6a – For the other, the highest Sabbath does not come under the injunction of Shamor (keep), but is under that of Zakhor (remember), which is used in the first version of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20, 8), since the Supreme King is hinted at in the word Zakhor (remember). For this reason He is called “the King with whom Peace dwells”, and His peace is within the injunction of zakhor (remember). And this is why there is no contention in the supernal realm, because of the twofold peace here below, one for Jacob and one for Joseph, as it is written, “Peace, Peace, to him that is far off and to him that is near” (Isaiah 57, 19): “to him that is far off” refers to Jacob, “and to him that is near” refers to Joseph.
Yeshua’s work here on earth as Tzaddik, is done in the heavenly realm which is outside time as Tipheret (i.e., He was sacrificed in physical realm , but is also the “Lamb slain since the foundation of the world.” ( revelation 13 :8 ) in heavenly realm) . He has performed his function in all worlds and makes peace in all worlds.
Yeshua is our tzaddik is reflected in both Tipheret, (he performed holy function in above realm, such as the heavenly Kohen Gadol, in the order of Melchizadek), and in Yesod, as the righteous suffering servant who lowers Himself from a heavenly status to redeem His kinsmen.
The voice of G-d is associated with Tipheret. These earthly and heavenly voices ultimately are from the same source as the former is the “image of the image” with related to Jacob and Yosef.
The Talmud teaches that the son is a limb of his father. : “Indeed, this is the underpinning of the concept in the g’marah (Sanhedrin 104a) that “b’ra m’zakeh aba” – a son brings merit to his father through good deeds, learning Torah, etc. He does so because “b’ra kareih d’avuah” (cf. Eruvin70b), a son is considered an extension – literally the leg – of his father, either because the son and father are part and parcel of each other (i.e., are joined together) . In other words, the son’s actions and accomplishments are considered as the father’s and are credited to the father.” -Yitzhak Kasdan, Understanding The Mitzvah of Hesped
Rebbe Nachman illustrates the unity of father and son: “This is (Genesis 49:24) “…from there the Shepherd, the evan (the Rock) of Israel.” Onkelos translates [“EVaN” as a composite of] AV and VeN (father and son). This is the complete-statement: father and son as one. For a half-statement corresponds to the son alone, but the complete-statement is father and son as one. Everything is encompassed there, and through this one can come to the concept of shepherds, as above. Hence this is the meaning of, “from there the Shepherd, the EVaN of Israel.” -R’ Nachman of Breslov, Likutey Moharan I, 22:10, Volume 3, published by the Breslov Research Institute, pg 381
From the book of New Testament: I and the Father are one – John 10:30
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.” -Obadiah I : 18.
There is a link between the angels Michael and Gabriel that is reflective of that found between the Sefirot of Tiferet and Yesod (i.e., Jacob and Joseph) as seen in this selection from the Zohar: “It may here be asked: Seeing that Michael was the High Priest and belonged to the “right side”, why is Gabriel referred to as “the man clothed in linen” (Daniel 12:7), seeing that such robes could only be worn by the High Priest? But the truth is that the “left” is always embraced within the “right”, and hence Gabriel (although of the left) was clothed in these robes. Furthermore, Gabriel is the messenger for this world, hence he had to put on the garments of this world. The same has already been explained in regard to the soul which, whilst in the upper world, has to put on heavenly garments, but in descending below assumes lowly garments.” -Zohar, Shemoth 231a
Therefore, since we have a great Cohen Gadol who has passed through to the highest heaven, Yeshua…….. -Hebrews 4:14-16
Midrash Rabbah states the following about the various roles of Gabriel: “It is written, And, behold, six men came forth from the way of the upper gate, which lieth toward the north, every man with his weapon of destruction in his hand; and one man in the midst of them clothed in linen, with a writer’s ink-horn on his side. And they went in, and stood beside the brazen altar (Ezekiel 9:2). The number ‘six’ is mentioned here; but there were five decrees, as it is written, And to the others He said in my hearing: Go ye through the city after him, and smite; let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity ; and it is written, Slay utterly the old man, the young man and the maiden, and little children and women ! R. Johanan said: He spoke thus to the sternest of the angels, viz. Gabriel ; as it is stated, ’And one man in the midst of them clothed in linen, with a writer’s ink-horn on his side.’ That angel served in three capacities: as scribe, executioner, and High Priest. ‘Scribe,’ as it is written, ’With a writer’s ink-horn on his side’; ‘executioner,’ as it is said, He hath utterly destroyed them, He hath delivered them to the slaughter (Isaiah 34:2); and ‘High Priest’, as it is said, ’And one man in the midst of them clothed in linen,’ while of the High Priest it is written, He shall put on the holy linen tunic (Leviticus 6:4). -Midrash Rabbah – Lamentations 2:3
…..Joseph, being seventeen years old … -Genesis 37:1-2
Messianic significance in terms of the Tzaddik – righteous person who unites the physical realm , represented by the number “7” and the heavenly realm ,represented by the number “10”.
A ‘positive example’ of such a union (between seven and ten) is seen in the idea of the “great Tzaddik” who unites (the seven) below with (the ten) above. The sum of seven and ten equals seventeen which is the gematria of the word TOV (Tet-Bet-Vav = 9+2+6=17), the Hebrew word for “good.” In kabbalah, the aspect of “tov” is associated with the Sefirah of Yesod (foundation) – the idea of the (divine) “tzaddik” — the “righteous one.”
Moses, Betzalel and Yeshua: The great tzaddikim are those seen as unifying above and below, which in both the past and future is symbolized by the establishing of G-d’s Tabernacle/Temple on earth.
Moses is associated with “tov” in that tradition says his original Hebrew name (before Pharaoh’s daughter named him “Moses”) was Tovia (meaning “goodness of G-d) and derived from the root “tov,” with its numerical value of 17.
Just as 153 represents the fullness of the “connective” number 17 and assists in identifying an especially righteous person.
The Gematria of Betzalel is 153 and 153 is a proper value for someone who resembles his creator, for it’s the value of the sentence: “I am HaShem your G-d” (Isaiah 41:13).
The number 153 was linked to both Betzalel and Yeshua ( i.e Mentioned in the book of John of 153 fish caught ), and how 153 is the “triangle” of 17 (the sum of all the numbers from 1 to 17).
and will put into effect when the time is ripe — his plan to place everything in heaven and on earth under the Messiah’s headship. -Ephesians 1:10
The relationship between seven and ten, here with regard to Israel’s struggles in conquering the Land: “This is also the reason why the Jewish people were only commanded to conquer seven nations of Canaan upon entering the land, as opposed to the original ten that G-d first spoke about; we didn’t merit a complete acquisition of Eretz Yisroel, due to our sins in the desert. The ten nations, of course, correspond to the Ten Sefiros, and the seven nations we did have to fight against represent only the lower seven Sefiros, indicating our lack of spiritual ability to bring complete perfection to creation.” -‘Judging by the Situation,” Rabbi Pinchas
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 -Psalms 122:3.
The relationship Messiah ben Yosef has to the earthly and heavenly realms has to do with his parents and how they are seen as connected to the earthly and heavenly worlds: Mashiach ben Yosef is the miraculous power who will assist every act done when the awakening starts from below, in a natural manner, because he comes from the earth. Mashiach ben David, however, will come from Heaven as revealed by the different aspects of Rachel and Leah, and as known regarding the footsteps of the Mashiach and the revealed end.
“Let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits” –Genesis 37:20.
Into this second pit he was cast: For indeed, I was stolen from the land of the Hebrews; nor have I done anything here that they should have put me in the pit/dungeon (ba-bor). -Genesis 40:15
The following factors are:
- “And Joseph brought bad reports of them to their father” (Genesis 37:2).
- “…his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of his brothers” (Genesis 37:4).
- “Once Joseph had a dream which he told to his brothers; and they hated him even more” (Gen. 35:7).
“And they took him, and cast him into a pit” (Beresheet 37:24), into Gehenom, where those who do not study the Torah are sentenced. “And the pit was empty” (Ibid.); it is empty, because there was no water in it that is, Torah, called ‘water’.The pit was empty, no water, but full of snakes and scorpions. ( The pit is the mind ), ( water – Torah ), (Snakes and scorpions – Evil/ bad thoughts).
Zohar, Bereshith 184b,185a – AND THEY TOOK HIM AND CAST HIM INTO THE PIT . R. Judah here discoursed on the text: The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul (Psalm 19:8). ‘The study of the Torah’, he said, ‘procures for a man life in this world and in the world to come, so that he gains the two worlds; and even he that studies the Torah for worldly motives and not purely for its own sake as he ought to, gains a good reward in this world, and escapes punishment in the other. The Scripture says: “Length of days is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honour” (Proverbs 3:6). There is, indeed, length of days for him who devotes himself to the Torah for its own sake. For such a one there is length of days in the other world, where days are indeed days. And further: “in her left hand are riches and honour”, which means good reward in this world. Moreover, if a man has devoted himself to the Torah for its own sake, when he departs this world the Torah goes before him and proclaims his merit, and shields him against the emissaries of punishment. When a man’s body is laid in the grave, the Torah keeps guard over it; it goes in front of his soul when it soars upwards, breaking through all barriers until the soul reaches its proper place; and it will stand by the man at the time when he is awakened at the resurrection of the dead, in order to defend him against any accusations. Thus Scripture further says: “When thou liest down, it shall watch over thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee” (Ibid. 4:22). The “Iying down” is an allusion to the time when man’s body is lying in the grave and is being judged there; the Torah will then protect him; whilst “when thou awakest”, that is, when the dead will rise from the dust, “it shall talk with thee”, that is, plead thy cause.’ R. Eleazar interpreted the clause “it shall talk with thee” to mean that when they rise from the grave the Torah will not be forgotten of them, but they will know it much as they did when they left this world. For their Torah will be preserved from that time, will penetrate within them, and will talk, as it were, within their very inwards; and moreover, they will be more adept than they were previously, so that points which formerly baffled them in spite of all their labour will now be fully comprehended by them, the Torah itself speaking within them. Hence: “when thou awakest, it will talk with thee”.’ R. Judah said: ‘In a similar way, whoever devotes himself to the study of the Torah in this world will be privileged to study in the world to come; and so we affirm. On the other hand, the man who fails to study the Torah in this world, and so walks in darkness, when he leaves this world is taken and cast into Gehinnom, a nethermost place, where there will be none to pity him, a place called “tumultuous pit, miry clay” (Psalm 40:3). Hence, of him who has not devoted himself to the study of the Torah in this world, but has besmirched himself with the offscourings of this world, it is written: “And they took him and cast him into the pit”, that is, into Gehinnom, a place where those who have not laboured in the Torah are brought to judgement. “And the pit was empty”, in the same way as he was empty: why so? “Because there was no water” (i.e. Torah) in him. Observe, too, how great is the punishment for neglect of the study of the Torah, seeing that Israel were not exiled from the Holy Land save for having abandoned the Torah, as it is written: “Who is the wise man that may understand this?… Wherefore is the land perished?… And the Lord saith: Because they have forsaken my law, etc.” (Jeremiah 9:11).’ R. Judah derived the same lesson from the verse: “Therefore my people are gone into captivity, for want of knowledge” (Isaiah 5:13), that is, because they have not applied themselves to the study of the Torah, which is the foundation of the upper and the lower worlds, as it says: “Were it not for my covenant enduring day and night, I would not have appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth” (Jeremiah 33:25).
For if a man is righteous here in a place of snakes and scorpions, the Holy One, blessed be He, performs miracles for him, or sometimes he is saved by the merit of his fathers.
“They took him and cast him into the pit. The pit was empty; there was no water in it” (Genesis 37:24). This verse contains a redundancy—”the pit was empty” and “there was no water in it”. Rashi often relies on writings of the Sages and here he quotes from Tractate Sabbath (22a): “Rabbi Kahana also said, Rabbi Nathan b. Minyomi expounded in Rabbi Tanhum’s name: Why is it written, the pit was empty, there was no water in it?…What then is taught by, ‘there was no water in it’? There was no water, yet there were snakes and scorpions in it.” This interpretation undoubtedly relies on the verse in Deuteronomy 8:15: “Who led you through the great and terrible wilderness with its seraph serpents and scorpions, a parched land with no water in it,” which creates an association between a wilderness where there is no water and a wilderness where there are snakes and scorpions. The Babylonian Talmud and Rashi, following it, transfer this association to the Joseph narrative, as well: a pit in which there is no water is a pit in which there are snakes and scorpions.
THE BLOOD OF A GOAT:
“And they took Yosef’s coat, and killed a male of the goats, and dipped the coat in the blood.” -Genesis 37:31
Our Sages, however, explained the fact that goats were always the sin-offerings of the congregation (cf. Lev. 9:3), as an allusion to the sin of the whole congregation of Israel: for in the account of the selling of the pious Joseph we read, “And they slaughtered a kid-goat…” (Genesis 37: 17, 31).
And, as the Talmud argues, just as sacrifice atones, so too do the various parts of the clothing of the High Priest. In particular (b. Zevahim 88b).
The Clothing of the High Priest
In yet another midrashic tradition, the original clothing granted to Adam upon his banishment from Eden is linked to first-born status and the honors of the priesthood (Tanḥuma Toledot 12, ed. Buber).
The tunics, “the garments of the high priesthood” were passed from Adam to Noah to Shem to Abraham, and then to Isaac, and from Isaac to Esau, from father to first-born son, for it was the first born who performed the priestly sacrificial duties In the Tanḥuma (ed. Buber,Toledot 12), Jacob then takes the clothing from Esau, having purchased the birthright.
Transferred into the hands of the High Priest, the clothing of the Priest (also called כתנת) then functions as symbol of atonement [kaparah]—an appropriate gift following “the Fall” of man from his original state.
The Targum Says: “…because its blood is like the blood of a man.” -Targum Jonathan to Genesis 37.
…… but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption. – Hebrews 9 : 12
The tunic (of the Kohen) atones for the spilling of blood, as it says “And they slaughtered a goat and dipped the tunic [Joseph’s ornamented tunic] in blood –Genesis 37:31.
Book of Jubilees 34:10-19 He [Jacob] sent Joseph to learn about the welfare of his brothers from his house in the land of Shechem and he found them in the land of Dothan. And they dealt treacherously with him, and formed a plot against him to slay him, but changing their minds, they sold him to Ishmaelite merchants, and they brought him down into Egypt, and they sold him to Potiphar, the eunuch of Pharaoh, the chief of the cooks, priest of the city of Elev. And the sons of Jacob slaughtered a kid, and dipped the coat of Joseph in the blood and sent [it] to Jacob their father on the tenth of the seventh month. And he mourned all that night, for they had brought it to him in the evening, and he became feverish with mourning for his death, and he said: “An evil beast hath devoured Joseph”; and all the members of his house were grieving and mourning with him all that day. And his sons and daughter’s rose up to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted for his son. And on that day Bilhah heard that Joseph had perished, and she died mourning him, and she was living in Qafratef, and Dinah also, his daughter, died after Joseph had perished. And there came these three mournings upon Israel in one month. And they buried Bilhah over against the tomb of Rachel, and Dinah also, his daughter, they buried there. And he mourned for Joseph one year, and did not cease, for he said, “Let me go down to the grave mourning for my son.” For this reason it is ordained for the children of Israel that they should afflict themselves on the tenth of the seventh month [Yom HaKippurim] – on the day that the news which made him weep for Joseph came to Jacob his father – that they should make atonement for themselves thereon with a young goat on the tenth of the seventh month, once a year, for their sins; for they had grieved the affection of their father regarding Joseph his son. And this day has been ordained that they should grieve thereon for their sins, and for all their transgressions and for all their errors, so that they might cleanse themselves on that day once a year.
Rambam explains links this idea to Yom Kippur: “Rambam notes that a goat is always brought as a sin offering on holidays, and ties this offering directly with the goat’s blood with which Yosef’s coat of many colors was stained by the brothers.” -R’ Ari Kahn.
John 2 : 13-4 : 42
Yacob favors Yoseph and this angers Joseph’s brothers. Yosef has dreams where he predicts reigning over his brothers. The brothers decide to sell Joseph into slavery in Egypt. Tamar disguises herself as a prostitute and sleeps with her father-in-law Judah. Potiphar’s wife tries to seduce Joseph, and when he rejects her, she accuses him of trying to rape her, and has him sent to prison. In prison, Pharaoh’s baker and butler have dreams, and Joseph interprets them correctly.
Coat of Many Colors – A Royal Garment
Zohar Writings: “Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age; and he made him a striped coat“ – Genesis 37:3
( “. . . a coat of many colors” – KJV ; “. . . a long-sleeved robe” – CJB ; “. . . a richly ornamented robe” – NIV ) : Rabbi Elazar began the discussion with the verse, “Come, My people, enter you into your chambers, and shut your doors about you: hide yourself for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast” (Isaiah 26:20). Come and behold, how much did the Holy One, blessed be He, love Yisrael? He had more love for them than for all the other heathen nations. Thus, He warned them and guarded them in their actions.
R’ Aryeh Kaplan explains : “It was a royal garment. . .The word passim can be translated as colorful (Radak, Septuagint), embroidered (Ibn Ezra,Bachya; Ramban on Exodus 28:2), striped (Ibn Janach; Radak, Sherashim), or with pictures (Targum Yonathan). It can also denote a long garment, coming down to the palms of the hands (Rashbam; Ibn Ezra; Baaley Tosafoth; Bereshith Rabbah 84), and the feet (Lekach Tov). Alternatively, the word denotes the material out of which the coat was made, which was fine wool (Rashi) or silk (Ibn Janach). Hence, kethoneth passim, may be translated as ‘a full-sleeved robe,’ ‘a coat of many colors,’ ‘a coat reaching to his feet,’ ‘an ornamented tunic,’ ‘a silk robe,’ or ‘a fine woolen cloak.” -R’ Aryeh Kaplan, The Living Torah, Genesis 37
“AND HE MADE HIM A COAT OF MANY COLORS (PASSIM). Resh Lakish said in the name of R. Eleazar b. ‘Azariah: A man must not make a distinction among his children, for on account of the coat of many colours which our ancestor Jacob made for Joseph, THEY HATED HIM. The word PASSIM indicates that it reached as far as his wrists (pas). It is called PASSIM because they cast lots (hefissu) over it, as to who should carxry it to their father, the lot falling to Judah.” -Genesis Rabbah 84:8, Soncino Press Edition
“They divide my garments among them. They cast lots for my clothing.” -Psalms 22:18
In the book of new testament its reflected the concept of cast lots of like Yosef , Yeshua’s garment was divided: “And when they (the Romans) had crucified him, they parted his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take.” – Mark 15 : 24
When the soldiers had nailed Yeshua to the stake, they took his clothes and divided them into four shares, a share for each soldier, with the under-robe left over. – John 19:23
Coat of Many Colors – The covenant and a tzaddik (righteous person).
The rainbow represents the supernal splendor of the heavenlies Yosef, who represents Yesod and the rainbow, had a coat of “many colors” –Genesis 37:3 given to him: The same is referred to in the text I HAVE SET MY BOW IN THE CLOUD. The bow here has a parallel in the text, “But his bow abode firm” (Genesis 49:24), i.e. the covenant of Joseph, because he was a righteous man, had for its symbol the bow, since the bow is linked with the covenant, and the covenant and the righteous are integral in one another. And because Noah was righteous, the sign of his covenant was the bow. (The word vayophozu, mentioned in connection with Joseph, is akin to the term paz (fine gold) in the passage, “More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold” (Psalm 19:11), and it means that his arms shone with the lustre of the most desirable substance, they shone with the light supernal, since he had observed the covenant; hence he is named “Joseph the righteous”.) And the rainbow is therefore called ” covenant” because they embrace one another. Like the firmament it is a supernal resplendent glory, a sight of all sights, resembling the hidden one (the Shekinah), containing colours undisclosed and unrevealable. Hence it is not permitted to gaze at the rainbow when it appears in the heavens, as that would be disrespectful to the Shekinah, the hues of the rainbow here below being a replica of the vision of the supernal splendour, which is not for man’s gaze ;.. Hence when the earth saw the rainbow as a holy covenant, it was once more firmly established, and therefore G-d said, AND IT SHALL BE FOR A TOKEN OF A COVENANT BETWEEN G-D, ETC. The three primary colours and the one compounded of them, which we mentioned before, are all one symbol, and they all show themselves in the cloud. “And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone” (Ezekiel 1:26). This alludes to the “foundation stone” (eben shethiah), which is the central point of the universe and on which stands the Holy of Holies. “The likeness of a throne”, i.e. the supernal holy throne, possessing four supports, and which is symbolic of the Oral Law. “And upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man upon it above” (Ibid.); this symbolises the Written Law. From here we learn that copies of the Written Law should rest on copies of the Oral Law (and not vice versa), because the latter is the throne to the former. “As the appearance of a man” refers to the image of Jacob, who sits on it.’ …-Zohar, Bereshith 71b
Note also that these four colors are the essence of the rainbow and are said to “decompose” forming twelve colors, reflective of the twelve colors on the breastplate of the High Priest: “What is it they declaim? “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of Hosts, the whole earth is full of his glory” (Isaiah 6, 3). They turn to the south and say “holy”, they turn to the north and say “holy”, they turn to the east and say “holy”, they turn to the west and say “blessed”. And that firmament rests upon their heads, and in whatever direction it turns, their faces turn also. They turn their faces to the four cardinal points, and all revolve in a circle. The firmament is imprinted, at the four corners of a square, with four figures, of a lion, an eagle, an ox, and a man; and the face of a man is traced in all of them, so that the face of Lion is of Man, the face of Eagle is of Man, and the face of Ox is of Man, all being comprehended in him. Hence it is written: “As for the likeness of their faces, they had the face of a man” (Ezekiel 1:10). Further, the firmament with its enclosed square contains the gamut of all the colours. Outstanding are four colours, each engraved with four translucent signs, both higher and lower. These when decomposed become twelve. They are green, red, white, and sapphire, which is made up of all these colours. Hence it is written, “As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord” (Ibid. I, 28): containing, that is to say, all shades of all colours.” -Zohar, Bereshith 71b
The suffering Messiah called “Ben Yosef” – They Hated him even more:
Why is the suffering Messiah called “Ben Yosef” because “they add further hate to him”:
Yosef is not accepted by his brothers, as hinted in the phrase: “Ben Akher” (a heretic son) – Genesis 30:24.
Torah says: “and they hated him even more” -Genesis 37:5.
The tree of Joseph represents the dimension in which the Mashiach engages in discourse with science in order to integrate it into Torah. But this is a very difficult task and is actually spiritually dangerous and can hurt this aspect of the Mashiach. For this reason, the sages state that the Joseph dimension of the Mashiach is always in danger of dying, as it were. But the David dimension of the Mashiach, the Mashiach son of David, represents the political power of peacemaking that is connected with the construction of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, a process that follows the integration between Torah and science achieved by the Joseph aspect of the Mashiach. The David aspect of Mashiach is always called alive. – inner.org
One of the central themes of the Kabbalah of the Arizal is the elevation of the sparks. Our toil in our present reality to elevate the sparks is what gives the Mashiach the son of Joseph—the Joseph dimension of Mashiach—the power to complete his task, allowing him to finally unite with the David dimension of Mashiach.
And so you killed the -One who gives ( Author/Source/Ruler of ) life…….. -Acts 3:15
He was rejected by his brothers:
“His brothers said to him, ‘Will you indeed reign over us? Or will you indeed have dominion over us? They hated him all the more for his dreams and for his words.” -Genesis 37:8
Yeshua Words: “One of the multitude said to him, ‘Rabbi, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.’ But he said to him,’ Man (בן־אדם), who made me a judge or an arbitrator over you?” -Luke 12:13-14
These words are echoed when Moshe himself first appeared to Israel, “Who made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you plan to kill me, as you killed the Egyptian? Moses was afraid, and said, Surely this thing is known.” -Exodus 2:14
Baseless hatred cause of sanctuary destruction: ”But why was the second Sanctuary destroyed, seeing that in its time they were occupying themselves with Torah, [observance of] precepts, and the practice of charity? Because therein prevailed hatred without cause.” -Yoma 9b, Soncino Press Edition
Yeshua said,“… this happened so that the word may be fulfilled which was written in their law, ‘They hated me without a cause.’” -John 15:25
Exile and Redemption:
Literally the text says: “And they added further hate to him”. …… “and they hated him even more” -Genesis 37:5
The word: “Further” – in hebrew ‘Od’ and it is appeared in text four times: It is used when his brothers hate Yosef ( Genesis 37:5, 8), and it is used when Yosef dreamed.
“And he dreamed further another dream” – ‘vayaKhalom Od khalom akher’ –Genesis 37:9.
In the same way, Yosef decides to say to his brothers: ‘Hineh, khalamti khalom od’ – “Behold, I dreamed a further dream” (Genesis 37:9), instead of ‘I dreamed another dream’.
The term Od (again, further) hints to the four exiles: Egyptian (the first one), Babylonian, Greek and Roman (the actual one).
As it’s written: “For four [rebellions of Israel] I will not forgive, because they sold with money the righteous one” -Amos 2:6.
But just like the word “Od” is used first negatively and then positively, it also implies the redemption. As it’s written: “ Again (Od) there will be heard… in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem… the voice of the bride… for I will cause the captivity of the land to return as at the first” -(Jeremiah 33:10-11).
Yosef (Genesis 41:40-44) is described as ‘viceroy’ (cf. Mikveh Yisrael ch. 13 & Sefer haYasher). The term used by our sages: “viceroy” or ‘second to the King’, in Hebrew is: ‘Mishne laMelech’. Who is the King? The King alludes to both, G-d and David; as it’s written: “Let my lord king David live forever” (1 Kings 1:31), and also: “They shall serve Hashem their G-d and David their king, whom I will raise up for them” (Jeremiah 30:9). Obviously David represents: Messiah ben David, the King Messiah.
Yosef is ‘MiSHNeH laMelech’. This sentence is an allusion to “the Soul of/for the King” –NeSHaMaH laMelech. So Messiah ben Yosef is the Soul and Messiah ben David is the body. And body and soul must be brought together. Because it is all one.
YOSEF- Mishne laMelech – משנה למלך ; DAVID-Neshamah laMelech – נשמה למלך
“Ben Yosef and Ben David are two different functions of the same person” (sefer Hizyonot p. 160).
for ye were as sheep going astray, but ye turned back now to the shepherd and overseer of your souls. – I Peter 2 : 25
Messiah ben David is the body of Messiah that comes from the ground; from King David’s seed. Messiah ben Yosef is the Soul of Messiah and it comes from Heaven; from G-d; as it is alluded in the verse: “The breath of our nostrils is the Messiah of HaShem” (Lam 4:20); which alludes to the Breath of Life – ie. The Neshama (the Soul) that G-d gave from within Himself to Adam (Genesis 2:7). In a mystical aspect, all our connection to the Creator comes by the merits of the Soul of Messiah (ie. ben Yosef). As it’s written: “He will breath the fear of G-d” (Isaiah 11:3) and also: ‘you love righteousness and reject wickedness, therefore G-d, your G-d, anoints you (ie. makes you Messiah)’ (Psalms 45:7). As body cannot stand without soul, Messiah ben David embodies Messiah ben Yosef. It’s all one.
Because the man destined to be Messiah (ie. Messiah ben David) although births naturally in this world, he receives from Gan Eden (from Heaven) the whole soul of Messiah (Messiah ben Yosef), making him realize he’s the Messiah -(Yitzhak Luria’s commentary on Zohar Shemot 8b)
in the merit of Mashiach Ben Yosef:
Jerusalem Talmud, Berachot 1:1, pg.4b: “Just like the dawn breaks through a ray of light which expands little by little, and as it continues becomes brighter and brighter, so the Geulah (Redemption) of Israel in the beginning comes in little by little and as it continues grows more and more.”
(“And triumph to His anointed one”): this is Messiah Ben Yosef, who is alluded to at the birth of Yosef when his mother Rachel exclaimed, “G-d has taken away my disgrace” (Genesis 30:23): with prophetic vision she foresaw that an “anointed savior” will descend from Yosef and that he will remove the disgrace of Israel (Isaiah.4:1). In this context she called his name “Yossef, saying ‘Yossef HaShem – may G-d add to me ben acher (lit., another son), i.e., ben acharono shel olam – one who will be at the end of the world’s time (Agadat Mashiach, Lekach Tov, Num.24:17), from which it follows that ‘meshu’ach milchamah – one anointed for battle’ will descend from Yosef –(Midrash Yelamdenu, cited in Kuntres Acharon of Yalkut Shimoni, pg.81, par 20; also see Torah Shelemah, Gen.30:23-24, par. 84 and 89).
Eisav’s quality of “רמאות”, “deceptiveness”, which is emphasized by numerous midrashim (Tanchuma 8, Bereishis Rabbah 63:10, Midrash HaGadol 27:8, among others).
In Eisav’s case he utilized deceptiveness for selfish and evil ends. However, the Vilna Gaon teaches (Kol HaTor 1:2(14) and 2:104) that one of the tools used by Mashiach ben Yosef in the mission of tikun olam is secrecy and deceptiveness.
Because the evil that increased in the world is a force that is not receptive to being elevated and rectified, and this presents the difficulty of man’s, and primarily Mashiach ben Yosef’s, challenge toward tikun olam.
This explains that how deception and secrecy, at times, can be the tools Mashiach ben Yosef uses to achieve tikun olam. Through acting, at times, in secrecy and with manipulation, Mashiach ben Yosef can circumvent the negative forces of creation that strive to prevent the redemption process from taking place. Some examples of such conspiring individuals who acted with holy intent, for the sake of tikun olam, include Rivka’s deception of Yitzchak, Leah’s deception of Yaakov, Tamar’s deception of Yehudah, and Yosef’s deception of his brothers .
We find that Yaakov, in beginning to manifest the qualities of Mashiach ben Yosef, instead of Eisav; utilized deceptiveness for holiness and for the sake of tikun olam, when he deceived his father and took the blessings. –R’ Daniel Krentzman
Messiah will defeat him in its due time: As our sages understand from the words of the Prophet, it is Messiah ben Yosef who will fight Edom = Seir = Satan = Evil Inclination.
“The house of Yakov will be a fire, and the house of Yosef a flame, and the house of Esav stubble, they will burn them and consume them, and there will be no survivor of the house of Esav” –Ovadiah 1:18.
“The house of Yosef is to be a flame to consume the house of Esav; therefore, I will not be afraid of Esav and his legions” (Targum Pseudo Yonathan).
“The progeny of Esav shall be delivered only into the hands of the progeny of Yosef” –Baba Bathra 123b.
If Israel deeds were worthy Ben Yosef shouldn’t physically die, as it’s written: “Today, if you hear my voice”. Meaning, if you hear my voice today as a nation, Messiah ben David would come today (since all prophecies are dependant on Israel’s behaviour) (cf. Shemot Rabbah 25:16). As our sages taught: “If Israel is worthy he will come with the clouds of heaven” and “if Israel is not worthy, Messiah will come riding a donkey” (Sanh 98b). It is thus taught in a tradition: “He who sees a donkey in his dream should expect salvation because it says, ‘Behold your King comes to you triumphant, victorious, humble and riding a donkey’” (Berakhot 56b; cf. Zech 9:9). But is Israel worthy to speed the coming of Messiah ben David? Not in the past, therefore Ben Yosef was needed, for it’s written: “All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned everyone to his own way, and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Is 53:6-7); and this verse is concerning Messiah (cf. Sanh 98b; David Kimkhi).
This is the secret in the Amidah’s prayer: “speedily establish the throne of your servant David” (cf. Arizal).
Potiphar’s home vs Prision : The period of his imprisonment is echoed in the period of in Potiphar’s home .
Adonai was with Yosef, and he became wealthy while he was in the household of his master the Egyptian. -Genesis 39:2
But Adonai was with Yosef, showing him grace and giving him favor in the sight of the prison warden. – Genesis 39:21
Genesis 39 : 23….. and whatever he did, Adonai prospered.
UNIVERSAL TORAH: VAYEISHEV – By Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum
Torah Reading: VAYEISHEV Gen. 37:1-40:23; Numbers 7:18-29. Haftara: Zechariah 2:14-4:7.
“FROM THE DEPTH OF HEBRON”: JACOB & HIS CHILDREN
“These are the generations of Jacob. These are their dwellings and rollings (GILGULIM) until they came to a state of habitation (YISHUV). The first cause was that ‘Joseph was seventeen years old.’
” ‘And Jacob dwelled.’: Jacob wanted to dwell in tranquility, but the storm of Joseph sprang upon him. The tzaddikim want to dwell in tranquility, but the Holy One, blessed be He, says, ‘Is it not enough for the tzaddikim that the World to Come is prepared for them, but they want to dwell in tranquility in this world?’ ” (Rashi on Gen. 37:2).
Now that the Torah has completed the stories of Abraham and Isaac and that part of the story of Jacob in which he is the chief actor, we now turn to the story of Jacob’s children: “These are the generations of Jacob”. Their “dwellings and rollings” — as recounted in the remaining four parshiyos of Genesis, allude to all their future history, in the Land of Israel and in exile, until we will finally come to a “state of habitation” (YISHUV) in the Land of Israel, with Melech HaMashiach: a state of YISHUV HADA’AS, “a settled mind” — expanded consciousness. Jacob sought immediate tranquility in the Land of Israel, but this tranquillity could only be attained in the Future World, after many “rollings” — (GILGULIM) incarnations and generations.
The Children of Israel are destined to be a Light to the Nations. As such, they must be at peace with each other, for how can they shine to the nations when they are at war with one another? But in our parshah of VAYEISHEV, the Children of Israel were unable to make inner peace: “.And they could not speak to him [Joseph] peaceably” (Gen. 37:4). Joseph exemplified the true leader — “and he was pasturing his brothers” (v. 2) — but as yet his brothers could not accept him. He was too saintly. The brothers were still out for themselves: “.They went only to pasture THEMSELVES” (Rashi on Gen. 37:12). Their in-fighting turned into a hypocritical religious war: “They said, Let us go to Dothan” (from the root DAS, “religious law”; Gen. 37:17). They went “to seek out religious contrivances” (NICHLEY DOSOS) in order to kill the true leader (see Rashi on this verse).
Yet Jacob sent Joseph into the middle of all this “from the depth (EMEK, valley) of Hebron” (Gen. 37:14). — “But surely Hebron is on a MOUNTAIN, as it says, ‘And they ASCENDED from the south and he came to Hebron’ (Numbers 13:22)??? But what it means is FROM THE DEEP PLAN of that tzaddik who is buried in Hebron, i.e. Abraham, to fulfil what was said to him at the Covenant Between the Pieces, ‘for your seed will be a stranger’ (Gen. 16:13)” (Rashi ad loc.).
In other words, the “deep plan” necessitated the sale of Joseph into slavery in Egypt, which would eventually cause all his brothers and Jacob himself to go down to Egypt, in order to bring about the exile of the Children of Egypt there in preparation for their eventual Exodus. The paradigm of Exile / Redemption recurs repeatedly in Jewish history in the exiles of Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome (Edom-Yishmael).
All the “rollings” and incarnations of the Children of Israel from generation to generation refine and purify their souls in preparation for the eventual state of YISHUV, “habitation”, which depends on peace among the Twelve Tribes. In the coming parshiyos, we will see how the wise leader exemplified in Joseph skillfully manipulates everything to bring his “exiled” brothers to repent of their fractiousness and enmity and make peace with one another. Repentance is a recurrent theme of this and all the remaining parshiyos in Genesis. Reuven repented his “sin” (Gen 35:22; Rashi on 37:29); Judah repented, confessing: “she was more righteous than me” (Gen. 38:26); Joseph’s brothers repented: “but we are guilty” (Gen. 42:21).
The essential fissures among the Children of Israel in their later history were between Benjamin vs. the other tribes (Judges Ch. 19ff), and the House of Judah (representing fidelity to the Oral Torah) vs. the House of Israel, the Ten Tribes, who rebelled under the leadership of Jeraboam son of Nevat of the tribe of Ephraim = Joseph (representing worldly success). (This is also the clash today between the “religious” and “secular”.) In the coming parshiyos we will see how Judah (from the Children of Leah) becomes a “guarantor” (Gen. 44:30) for Benjamin (from the sons of Rachel), and how the state of near war between Judah and Joseph (Gen. 44:18) is transformed into a state of reconciliation between Joseph and all his brothers (Ch. 45). Judah’s repentance and taking responsibility make him worthy of being the religious leader. “And he [Jacob] sent JUDAH before him to Joseph to RULE.” (Gen. 46:28).
The bond forged between Judah and Benjamin exemplifies the concept that “all Israel are guarantors for one another” (Shavuos 39a). This bond is embodied in the fact that the territories of the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin are contiguous, meeting in Jerusalem, YeruSHALAYIM, City of Peace, at the site of the Holy Altar in the Temple on Mount Moriah. The bond between Judah and Benjamin is also embodied in the figure of Mordechai, who although from the tribe of Benjamin is nevertheless called ISH YEHUDI, a man of Judah (Esther 2:5). The Code of Jewish Law also represents peace between Judah and Benjamin, in the sense that the stringent House of Shammai (Benjamin) receives honor and is always mentioned first, yet the legal decision in almost all cases follows the opinion of the compassionate House of Hillel (Judah).
The transformation of the war between Joseph and Judah into a state of reconciliation and peace is paradigmatic of the future reconciliation of the Jews (= Jude, Judah) and the lost Ten Tribes, and also the reconciliation between the “religious” and the “secular”. All this comes about through Mashiach son of Joseph (Rachel) and Mashiach son of Judah (Leah).
However, in our parshiyos, all these hints of future history are contained in allusion only, for prior to attaining the future state of YISHUV and MOCHIN DE-GADLUS — “settled” and “expanded consciousness” — the world is in a state of BILBUL and MOCHIN DE-KATNUS, “confusion” and “limited consciousness”. Thus our parshah deals with negative feelings and emotions: the hatred of the brothers for Joseph; their deception of Jacob with the blood of the slaughtered goat; the deception of Judah by Tamar; the attack on Joseph by Potiphar’s wife, etc. etc.
The state of MOCHIN DE-KATNUS is the state of exile. Thus in our parshah, the scene changes from the Land of Israel to Egypt, MITZRAIM = METZAR, the “narrow” or “constricted” place. While Israel is the “face” (the PNIMIUS, the hidden “interiority”), Egypt represents the revealed exterior, the “backside”. Thus the King of Egypt is Pharaoh, the Hebrew letters of whose name when rearranged spell out HA-OREPH, “the BACK of the neck”, opposite of “the FACE”. In this state of exile, there is no more prophecy, only dreams. Joseph dreams. The Butler and the Baker dream. Pharaoh dreams. G-d appears to Jacob “in the appearances of the night” (Gen. 46:2). Constricted consciousness!
“AND JUDAH WENT DOWN.”: THE LIGHT OF MASHIACH
“The tribes were busy with the sale of Joseph; Joseph was busy with his sack-cloth and fasting; Reuven was busy with his sack-cloth and fasting; Jacob was busy with his sack-cloth and fasting; Judah was busy getting himself a wife. And the Holy One, blessed be He, was busy creating the light of the King Mashiach. — ‘And at that time Judah WENT DOWN’ (Gen. 38:1). Even before the first oppressor [Pharaoh] was born, the final redeemer was born” (Midrash Rabbah Bereishis 85:1).
Immediately after the story of the sale of Joseph to Egypt (the beginning of the exile) the Torah immediately tells us the story of Judah and Tamar, which culminates with the birth of Peretz (Gen. 38:29) who was the ancestor of King David, the Messianic King (Ruth 4:18-22).
The story of Judah and Tamar ione of sexual sin and its rectification. Of the three cardinal sins, Abraham rectified that of Idolatry (fallen CHESSED) while Isaac rectified the sin of Bloodshed (fallen GEVUROS). The mission of Jacob and his sons was to rectify the sin of GILUI AROYOS, sexual immorality (fallen TIFERET-Beauty), which is why the preceding parshiyos were preoccupied with how Jacob built his House, with his Four Wives and the Twelve Tribes arranged around his pure “bed”, the Holy Sanctuary. Sexual immorality was the main theme in the story of Dinah, recounted in last week’s parshah of VAYISHLACH. The theme continues in our parshah. Thus Joseph was “a lad” — “he was engaged in puerile behavior, he arranged his hair carefully and smoothed his eyes in order to look beautiful” (Rashi on Gen. 37:2 and see Rashi on Gen. 39:6). Judah came in to “the harlot” (Gen. 38:15ff); Potiphar lusted for the beautiful Joseph and his wife attempted to seduce him…
Sexual immorality was an essential element in the original sin of Adam, which the rabbis conceptualized as KERI, an “impure emission” of seed. Adam had been commanded to “be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and conquer it and rule.” (Gen. 1:28). But in “eating the forbidden fruit” of the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil, Adam fell into material lust. His seed, intended to produce future generations that would know G-d, “fell” and became prey to the forces of unholy lust. Thus the holy sparks became trapped in exile. This had to be rectified by Adam’s descendants, the Children of Israel, whose mission — as mentioned above — was to rectify sexual immorality [see Kavanot of ARI, Pesach]. However, Er, the firstborn of Judah, failed the test and spilled his seed in order that his wife Tamar should not conceive and loose her worldly beauty (see Rashi on Gen. 38:7), and as a result G-d killed him.
According to the law of Levirate marriage (YIBUM), Er’s surviving brother Onan should have “raised up seed” in the name of his dead brother (i.e. the dead brother would be reincarnated in order to rectify his sin in a new life), but Onan was also selfish, and spilled his seed (Gen. 38:7).
Only through the resourcefulness of Tamar (who was the daughter of Shem = Malki-Tzedek, the “Priest”, symbol of moral purity, see Gen. 9:23) was the sin rectified through the mystery of Judah’s encounter with the “harlot”, which led to the birth of Peretz and eventually of David King Mashiach.
Rabbi Nachman of Breslov stated that the main task of Mashiach is to rectify the spilling of seed.
“.AND HE WAS A SUCCESSFUL MAN”
The reason why Joseph was “a successful man” (Gen. 39:2) was precisely because “HaShem was with Joseph” (ibid.) — “the name of Heaven was regularly on his mouth” (Rashi ad loc.). Joseph had the power to see and find G-d even in Egypt, the place of MOCHIN DE-KATNUS, “constricted consciousness”, the “back-side”. This was the key to his “success”. Joseph was the very essence of Jacob, as Rashi goes to some lengths to prove (see Rashi on Gen. 37:2).
As the key figure in the “generations of Jacob”, Joseph had the same mission as his father: the building of the archetypal holy HOUSE, as discussed in connection with the preceeding parshiyos. At first, Joseph dreams of being in the FIELD, where all his brother’s sheaves prostrate to him. Later Joseph strays in the FIELD (Gen. 37:15). Yet at length his dream comes true in Egypt. There his brothers prostrate before Joseph, who orders them to be brought to his HOUSE (Gen. 43:16ff.), where they eat and drink.
The Children of Israel are not disembodied souls. They are IN the material world, their task being to elevate and spiritualize it. This is done through turning the mundane material house into a HOME, a Sanctuary of G-d — “and I will dwell within them” (Exodus 25:8).
It is the moral integrity of Joseph — who succeeds in finding G-d even in Egypt, constriction, the “back-side” — that is the key to this house-making. As we will see in next week’s parshah of MIKETZ, Joseph knows the secret of material, economic success (as exemplified in his successful management of the Egyptian economy even in times of famine). Through the story of Joseph, the Torah teaches us that the foundation of genuine long-term material success is moral purity and integrity. Even when Joseph was faced with the supreme moral test — alone in the house with his master’s wife tempting him day after day — he set the unchangeable Law of G-d before him: adultery is forbidden. “How could I do this great evil and sin against G-d?” (Gen. 39:9).
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). As before (ibid. v. 2), 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. Thus Joseph (DAAS-YESOD, Knowledge-Foundation, the Center Column) could “interpret dreams”, even those of the Butler (fallen CHOCHMAH-Wisdom) and the Baker (fallen BINAH-Understanding). These two, together with the Captain of Guard (fallen DAAS-Knowledge) in whose HOUSE Joseph was a slave and captive, were the Chief Officers of Pharoah, the very embodiment of the “Back-Side”, where holiness is initially concealed. It was through Joseph’s incorruptible moral integrity (SHEMIRAS HABRIS, Observance of the Covenant) that he was able to turn everything around and find divine meaning and messages even in darkness and dreams of the night. This is what brings Mashiach.
And so may our Chanukah Lights light up the darkness of night, heralding GEULAH SHELEMAH, complete redemption with Ben David Melech HaMashiach quickly in our times. Amen!
Shabbat Shalom! – Rabbi Avraham Yehoshua Greenbaum
Haftarat Vayeishev – And he dwelt – Amos 2:6-3:8
Haftarah says: Thus says HaShem: “For three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not turn away its punishment, because they sell the righteous for silver, and the poor for a pair of sandals.” -Amos 2:6
Another connection is seen in Amos 2:8 which reminds us that Judah left his ring, his tzitzit (cord), and staff as a pledge to pay Tamar. That pledge would eventually reveal his sin to all, and preserve Tamar’s life. ….They lie down by every altar on clothes taken in pledge. -Amos 2:8
We read a list of sins that G-d must deal with:
- They (Judah) despised the Torah of HaShem
- They did not keep HaShem’s commandments
- They were led astray by lies
- They (Israel) sell the righteous for silver and the poor for sandals
- They shame (put dust on) the poor and oppress them
- They engage in sexual deviancy
- They make illegitimate oaths and worship in pagan ways
“Yet it was I who destroyed the Amorite before them, whose height was like the height of the cedars, and he was as strong as the oaks; yet I destroyed his fruit above and his roots beneath.” -Amos 2:9
Even if that were not enough to convict them, He then reminds them of how He responded in covenant faithfulness to the descendants of the sons of Jacob’s descendants: “Also it was I who brought you up from the land of Egypt, and led you forty years through the wilderness, to possess the land of the Amorite.”
“I raised up some of your sons as prophets, and some of your young men as Nazirites. Is it not so, O you children of Israel?” says HaShem. “But you gave the Nazirites wine to drink, and commanded the prophets saying, ‘Do not prophesy!’”
“Behold, I am weighed down by you, as a cart full of sheaves is weighed down. Therefore flight shall perish from the swift, the strong shall not strengthen his power, nor shall the mighty deliver himself; he shall not stand who handles the bow, the swift of foot shall not escape, nor shall he who rides a horse deliver himself. The most courageous men of might shall flee naked in that day,” says HaShem. -Amos 2:13-16
Hear this word that HaShem has spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying: “You only have I known of all the families of the earth; therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.” -Amos 3:1-2
There is hope. Most High who took the plight of Joseph and put him at the pinnacle of power. And He is the One Who restored the House of Jacob/House of Israel. The One who took the offspring of Judah and Tamar, the evidence of Judah’s sin, and brought forth the Righteous Messiah, Yeshua, of the line of David.
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.