|Week of November 28, 2010 Shabbat Mikketz Chanuka Kislev 27, 5771|
This week the Parasha of Mikketz מקץ is read. Mikketz is usually read on Shabbat Chanukah as it is this year.
Within the Zohar commentary on the Parasha of Mikketz is a section that is recommended to read or scan for a connection to better Parnassah and Sustenance.
The connection between this Parasha and the Zohar commentary about sustenance comes from the connection between the Sphirot of this Parasha. Mikketz is the 10th Parasha read during the year. Mikketz describes the ascent of Joseph to be Viceroy of Egypt and also explains how he used his power to provide grain (a Torah code word for sustenance) from the fat years to be available durirng the lean years. The Kabbalists tell us that the month of Kislev and the Holiday of Chanuka is a good time to pray and do spiritual actions to improve our sustenance.
The spiritual essence of this Parasha is Redemption. This word is usually Geulah גאולה, sometimes the word that is used in Hebrew is Pidyon פדיון. Also the word פיצוי Petzuye is sometimes used for redemption.
Lets look at the difference in these words so as too learn the true meaning of this weeks essence. Geulah has the shoresh (root) גאל which means "to free", "to redeem", to liberate, "to defile", "to pollute", and also "to marry a childless widow of a kinsman".
Pidyon means to ransom, redeem, or turnover. Petzuye means compensation or indemnify.
So it is clear that the Redemption from exile refers to Geulah, as Geulah refers to freedom and liberation. We also must realize that it is possible to "free" someone or something and bring them to defilement and pollution. This helps to explain the adage "Out of the frying pan and into the fire". We can break free from one situation and find ourselves in a worse situation. This is what can happen if we do not bring the Mashiach with Mercy as the Prophecies describe.
We must understand where we are going with our Redemption. The Zohar refers to two different Ends or Ketz (Hebrew word meaning end). The End of the Left and The End of the Right. While this email is to short to discuss this properly, we must use caution and be clear in our consciousness in order to avoid the end of the left (which is chaos and death) and utilize the end of the right which is the resurrection of the dead called Techiat HaMaytim.
One example of this is the current development of gene spicing to make different species of fruits, vegetables, and animals. Even though the FDA has approved some of these man made species, we are finding reports that there are pesticides developing in lab animals 3 and 4 generations later. (FYI, the gene modification used on corn is to have the plant secrete its own pesticide and now the gene finds its way into the gene pool of animals used in the test). We must ask ourselves, is this the path to the end? Is the path we are following will it take us to the end of the left (death and destruction) or is this the path to the end of the Right (the path to peace and security and freedom from physical hunger)?
It is easy to see how this Parasha relates to redemption: There is the story of Joseph's redemption from jail. There is the redemption of the 10 Brothers from jail after only 3 days. This was the chaos (being in jail) associated with the selling of Joseph into slavery. Does it seem fair? 3 days of jail versus 12 years of jail for Joseph.
This is the power of Tshuvah.(Joseph received 12 years in jail because he did not do tshuvah. while the brothers received 3 days in jail because they did Tshuvah) (By the way the Kabbalists teach us that we still have opportunity to do Tshuvah until the end of Zot Chaunuka (2nd of Tevet)).
Actually there is another path to redemption for the Brothers when they became Tribes. That is the longer path that we have taken. Into this exact exile we travel (our present time). The path where the 10 Tribes go into exile and do not return when the second Temple is built. Where are they? They are here, in this world undergoing Reincarnation to correct their decision not to return at that time. Most of the people who live in exile from Israel today have this decision as part of their Tikune or correction. Do you see where this is hinted at in the story of Joseph and the brothers?
One hint is in the question, why is it that there are two times that the brothers appear in front of Joseph? That is a question most people do not ask? Of course the physical action is to bring Benjamin with them the second time. What is the spiritual cause of Jacob not sending Benjamin the first time? The answer is in his name which means son of the right. All Jewish people are connected to the central column; yet there are 3 columns within this central column. Benjamin being a son of the right is on the right column of the central column. The 10 Tribes are on the left of the central column. Jacob knew to not mix energies. This is why he did not send Benjamin with his brothers. This is also why the Tribes are lost but never missing.
To explain this more clearly we know from physical historry that the Northern Kingdom consisting of 10 Tribes went into exile prior to the destruction of the First Temple. They did not return and are referred to as the 10 Lost Tribes. People just accept this as historical fact but do not ask the question why does this happen...what is the spiritual cause?
One suggestion is that the action of these Brothers (in selling Joseph) is corrected by these Tribes (their descendants) being in exile for 2500 years and the Prophecy is that they will return prior to the coming of Mashiach.
Genesis Chapter 41 Verse 1 to Chapter 44 Verse 17. There are 146 Verses which, in gematria,is koof mem vav. These letters can be permuted to be koof vav mem sofit which means "to rise" "to get up" "to be realized" or "to be brought into effect". Our sages explain that the fact that the Portion of Beraishit and the Portion of Mikketz have the same number of verses (146) is not a coincidence (as if there ever is a coincidence).
Mikketz is usually the Portion read on Shabbat Chanukah like this year. During Beraishit we have the tradition that the Light of creation is hidden away for the righteous. This is called Ohr HaGanuz. During Chanukah the Ohr HaGanuz is revealed again as the Light of Chanuka - the Light of Miracles. See my Kislev email archive The portion of Beraishit can be thought of as the beginning of our physical world. The portion of Mikketz can be thought of as the beginning of the spiritual nation of Israel. This is one of the connections between the two Parashiot.
The three code words associated with 146 verses of Mikketz are: 1)Aleph Mem Tzadi Yood Hay. Aleph Mem Tzadi is translated as "to adopt" and "to take control". The final Letters are Yood Hay spelling Yah, a name for God. 2) Another code word is Yood Chet Zion Koof Yood Hay Vav. Yood Chet Zion Koof is a word that means "will strengthen". The final 3 Letters spell anothe name for HaShem (the First 3 Letters of the Tetragramaton). 3)The 3rd code word is a phrase that comes near the end of the Parasha. The phrase is VeHaYa Le Eved which translates "He shall be my slave".
An unusual connection is also noted for this Parasha. This is the only Parasha that denotes the number of words in the Parasha as part of the code words for the Parasha.
There are 2025 words in the Portion. This connection is explained that the Gematria of the word Ner (candle) is 250. There are 8 nights of Chanukah which means that there are 8 nights that we light candles during the Chag. Therefore 8 times 250 = 2000. To this we add the 25th day of Kislev and we have revealed the connection between this Parasha and the Holiday of Chanukah.
Maftir: The Maftir changes depending on weather Mikketz is read on Shabbat Chanuka and also which day of Chanuka the Shabbat falls. This year, being Shabbat Chanuka and the 3rd day the Maftir is Numbers Chapter 7 Verses 24 to 29. This represents the connection to the Tribe of Zevulan.
Spaces: There is 1 space in this Parasha indicating the need for unity to bring Redemption.
Sephardim and Ashkenazim read the same Haftara:
Shabbat Chaukah: Zechariah Chapter 2 Verse 14 to Chapter 4 Verse 7. There are 21 Verses and 3 spaces. 21 relates to the source of Ohr Ganuz which is Binah and the name Ehyeh אהיה. The 3 spaces relate to the 3 columns of the Tree of Life; Right (sharing); Left (Receiving); and Central (Balance).
Written and Spoken Verses:
In Chapter 43 Verse 29 there is one word, Vayishtachavoo וישתחוו that is written without the last Vav. The meaning of the spoken word is "They prostrated themselves". The Peirush Rokeach teaches that the missing Vav refers to the 6 Blessings of power (Chapter 27 Verse 29) that Issac gave to Jacob in his Blessing . Jacob passed this on to Joseph and the missing Vav (gematria of 6) is hinting at this relationship within the Tribes.
Dots: There are no Dots over any letters in this Parasha or Haftara.
Large or Small Letters: There are no large or small letters in either reading.
As promised, this year i will give some insights into the Haftarot.
The Haftara is part of 1 of Zechariahs Prophecies. He gave 4 prophecies that are written in his book. This prophecy runs from Chapter 1 Verse 7 to Chapter 6 Verse 15. The themes of his prophecies are the Restoration of Jerusalem and the Repentence needed to rebuild the Temple. Rashi comments that "the Prophecies of Zechariah are very obscured. They contain images of dreams that should be capable of interpretation, yet we will not be able to interpret the images until Mashiach comes."
It is easy to see why the Sages brought this Haftara on Shabbat Chanuka with the imagery of the Cohen Gadol and the Menorah. Yet this is of course a physical connection. According to Rashi the spiritual connection must wait for Mashiach.
How do we see Redemption in this Parasha? To understand and answer this question we need to understand what is Redemption. What is Freedom? As we learn during the Holiday of Pesach, freedom means not being controlled by our desire to receive for oneself alone. That is the only true Freedom. Any desire that causes us to run after it to the exclusion of everything else is the antithesis of freedom. Redemption is being released from that bondage.
Lets look at the Parasha story metaphorically. The first step in acheiving freedom is to be free from physical wants. This is achieved by the 7 years of plenty being used to overcome the 7 years of lean food production. The next step in acheiving redemption is to have children so that there is continuity between the generations. The announcement, by the Torah, of the birth of Joseph's children which became Jacob's children is in this Parasha and fulfills the connection to Freedom. The third step in acheiving Freedom and Redemption is to overcome adversity. Each blockage or obstacle that we overcome brings us one step closer to Redemption. The false accusations brought by Joseph against the brothers is just that kind of adversity. We can now understand how this Parasha relates to redemption.
I would like to bring your attention to 2 Names that Joseph was called while in Egypt. One is Avrech אברך and the other is Zaphenath-Paneah צפנת פענח. Last year i explained Zaphenath Paneah by its Gematria of 620 and 208 respectively. I hinted at the meaning but realized the spiritual message needs to be made more meaningful.
Joseph is the chariot for the consciousness of the Sephira Yesod. Yesod is the channel that reaches our physical world and brings all metaphysical energy through itself. There is only this 1 channel for everything to reach the physical world. By calling Joseph Zaphenath Paneah, the Torah is using the channel of Yesod code named Joseph to connect The Esser Debrot (10 utterances that are corruptly called the 10 Commandments) (which is also a code phrase for the blue print of creation) to Issac (Gematria 208) which is a code word for the soul after Mashiach. This is teaching us that we will still have the essence of the Esser Debrot even after Mashiach comes. This is why the sages teach that the only change that will take place when Mashiach comes is that we will no longer be "under the thumb" of the other 70 nations. This is also why many people think that there will not be outright miracles in the bringing of Mashiach but the course will proceed in a natural manner even the Resurrection of the Dead. Modern medicine will be able to bring people back to life in a natural not a supernatural manner.
In essence this name channels the laws of spirituality to our souls after Mashiach. Without this name we would have no connection between our world today and our world the sages call the world to come.
The name Avrech has 3 possible meanings. The first 2 letters spel Av which means father or mentor. The last 2 letters spell a word in Hebrew that means soft or tender. In Aramaic Rach means King. So the possible meansings are 1. Mentor to the King; 2. Tender Father; or 3) The last 3 letters in the word Bet Resh Caf spell the shoresh (root) for the word kneel or Blessing. Therefore it can mean kneel before the One (Aleph has a Gematria of One). or This one will bring Blessings.
Please look at 2 different verses that have a translated phrase that is the same in both of them.Chapter 43 Verse 19;ויגשו אל-האיש אשר על-בית יוסף וידברו אליו פתח הבית
And they came near to the steward of Joseph's house, and they spoke unto him at the door of the house, Chapter 44 Verse 1. יצו את-אשר על-ביתו לאמר מלא את-אמתחת האנשים אכל כאשר יוכלון שאת ושים כסף-איש בפי אמתחתו
And he commanded the steward of his house, saying: 'Fill the men's sacks with food, as much as they can carry, and put every man's money in his sack's mouth.
In both verses the phrase is the same. The translation is "Steward of his house or Steward of Joseph's house". Yet in the first verse the Hebrew says "Ha-Ish" which means the man while in the second verse it does not say Ha-Ish. Clearly there is a difference in usage and meaning here. It is from this difference that the Midrash determines that the man in charge of Josephs' house was non other than his son Menashe. Menashe would have been at the most 10 years old. The writer of the Midrash intuits that people do not call thier own son Ha-Ish (the man) and that is why they say that this man (referred to in the verse) in charge of Josephs house was none other than Josephe's own Menashe son. Yet there is a truly amazing spiritual law built into this difference of phrasing.
In Hebrew grammer, the leading Hay means "the" definite article or it can mean a question. In this case the phrase would be translated Is this a man? The gematria of Ha-Ish is 316. The Aramaic word Shevi שוי has the same gematria of 316. This Aramaic word means to make. The spiritual lesson relates to how to raise a child. Give them greater and greater responsibilities. The more they accept and learn to handle the more mature a child becomes. Do you raise your children with this understanding? Do you give them additional responsibilites all the time?
Can you appreciate how beautiful is the Torah when one change of one word can reveal so much about the spiritual laws. Weather it is about the spiritual laws of raising children or the spiritual laws associating with how to treat and conduct business affairs (The brothers were buying grain for their families).
What we learn from this is a simple truth. Everything that has ever been, is currently here in the phsyical world, or will ever be in the physical world is IN THE TORAH! It may be concealed but it is there. Are you looking? Did you go to the Yeshshem website and check out your personal verses in the Tanach that is truly HaShem speaking to you across the centuries. Plesae try it - you might find a little bit of truth that you can use in your life. I know i did!
Enjoy the Reading!
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Announcement 3: This is a weekly e-letter about the Parasha. Sometimes there will be all of the links - sometimes due to time limitations there will not be be all of the links.
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Chanoch Ben Yaacov
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