|Week of December 5, 2010 Shabbat Vayegash Tevet 4, 5771|
This week the Parasha of Vayegash ויגש is read. During this week, we have some of the days of the Holiday of Chanuka including Zot Chanuka, and Rosh Chodesh Tevet.
During these last few days of Kislev, it is recommended that you read or scan the Zohar section dealing with Parnassa. Please see below.
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 Zohar and 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 during 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.
One usually does not ask why is the last day of Chanuka called Zot Chanuka. The translation of Zot Chanuka is "This is Chanuka". Why is the last day called by the name "This is Chanuka"? Isn't the other 7 days of Chanuka also Chaunka?
The answer can only be explained Kabbalistically. As we have discussed, Chanuka is a hidden light of creation that is revealed only during these days of the Holiday. Each day a different aspect of Light comes into the universe as we light a different number of candles which creates the vessel to receive this light. It is only on the 8th day - the last day that the proper light comes into the proper vessel.
To explain i will describe a metaphor to help you understand it. On the first day of Chanuka the Light of Malchut of Ohr Ganuz comes into the universes and we light a candle which creates the vessel of Binah. Visualize the light of 1 candle lighting up a whole football stadium. That is what happens on the first night of Chanuka. The second night the candle we light is the vessel of Chesed while the light that is available is the light of Yesod. This light of Yesod pushes the light from yesterday (Malchut ) down 1 sepherah to the vessel of Chesed. This continues each night as we light a new candle. The light pushes the previous nights light down 1 sephirah until it is only on the 8th night that the Light of Binah finds its way to the vessel of Binah. The proper light into the proper vessel. This is Chanuka! Zot Chanuka!
The first word of the Parasha Vayegash means to come close. The physical story describes Judah stepping close to Joseph. On the physical level Judah represents the King of the Physical world (after all Mashiach will comes from the Tribe of Yehudah) and Joseph represents the King of the spiritual world (Joseph is the chariot for Yesod due to his action of resisting the advances of Potiphar's wife). The story is describing the coming together of the physical and spiritual worlds in a metaphorical way. This coming together represents the unity of the two worlds which is one of the corrections each of us is to do in our lives.
All of the above is using various metaphors to explain what is happening. When we do a physical action we impact the spirirtual worlds meaning the sephirot; meaning the Name of God called The Tetragramaton (4 Letter Name). This is true metaphorically as well as spirirtually, as well as physically. Of course most of us live in the physical world and only see the illusion. It is the Kabbalists who live in all worlds at the same time that sees this in all its meanings.
Please note that next's week reading is called Vayechi which means And he lives. We must understand the spiritual lesson - In order to live (actually live and not just exist) we must be in unity. That is why there is no space between the Parasha of Vayigash and Vayechi.
Genesis Chapter 44 Verse 18 to Chapter 47 Verse 27. There are 106 Verses which is Koof Vav. The code word is יהללאל. This word means "an active praising of God". As only through unity do we actually achieve a manifestation of the Praise of God.
Maftir: Chapter 47 Verses 25, 26, and 27. There are no spaces in the Maftir.
Spaces: There are two spaces in this Parasha. This represents the connection between the Physical and Spiritual Worlds.
Sephardim and Ashkenazim read the same Haftara:
Ezekiel Chapter 27 Verses 15 to 28. There is 1 space in this Reading.
Written and Spoken Words:
There are no words written differently than they are spoken in the Parasha. In the Haftara there are 2 words written differently than they are spoken. One of these words appears 3 times - all 3 times written differently than they are spoken.
The written word is Chevro spelled חברו and it means "His Friend or Comrade". The spoken word all 3 times it is written is Chavarav spelled חבריו. The meaning of both forms is the same. What is added is 3 Yoods to the speaking. The 3 Yoods is one of the 72 Names that appears in both sets of 72 Names (72 Names from the Tzadikim and 72 Names of God).
In addition the three Yoods represent the Blessing of the Cohenim which is done during the saying of the Amidah.
The other word that is written is Yehi Od spelled יהיה עוד. The spoken word is יהיו עוד. This appears in Verse 22. This verse speaks about the unity of the 10 lost Tribes with the Tribe of Judah (and Benjamin). The difference between written and spoken is a Vav and a Hay. Together they represent the unity of the physical world (represented by the Hay) and the spiritual worlds (represented by the Vav). Another metaphor is the lower worlds (Vav and Hay) as expressed within God's name The Tetragramaton.
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.
Ezekiel speaks in this Chapter about the end of days. He speaks about The resurection of the dead as well as the ingathering of the exiles. These are 2 of the steps leading to the Mashiach.
It is easy to understand how this Haftara is speaking about the idea of unity, as it speaks about unifying the lost tribes with the revealed tribes of Judah and Benjamin.
What is unusual about this Haftara is the number of verses. Usually on Shabbat we read a minimum of 21 Verses representing 3 verses for each of the 7 Aliyot read during the Torah Reading. Yet this Haftara only has 2 Verses for each of the 7 Aliyot for a total of 14 verses. 14 is the Gematria of David and also the word in Hebrew for hand which is Yad. Both of these words connect to manifestation and the Spirah of Malchut meaning Kingdom. Each of the 2 verses represent the physical world and the spiritual world in unity, in each of the 7 lower Sephirah. This is the process leading to completion of unity between the spiritual and physical worlds.
How do we see Unity in this Parasha?
The name of the parasha Vayigash which means "came closer" refers to unity. Joseph represents the King of the Spiritual as he is a chariot for Yesod and Judah represents King of the Physical as he is the progenitor of the Mashiach. This represents unity. The Jews going down to Egypt represents unity of the constraints and limitations in our world with the channels to the spirirtual which is the essence of the Jewish nations also represents unity. The land being sold to Pharoh, at the end of the Parasha, is also connecting to unification and unity. The unity comes from all of the land being in control of one person - in this case Joseph as representing Pharaoh.
Please look at Chapter 45 Verse 24. Here is the verse: Hebrew: וישלח את-אחיו וילכו ויאמר אלהם אל-תרגזו בדרך.
English: So he sent his brethren away, and they departed; and he said unto them: 'See that ye fall not out by the way.
The word Tegrezuh which is the second to the last word in the verse is usually translated as agitated or angry rather than "fall not out". There is a truly great spiritual message in this 1 verse and in this 1 word. The word seems out of place in the surface level. Why would Joseph tell his brothers do not become angry on the road. This is the meaning of the last two words in the verse. Derech is a word that means road or path and it is also used in the sense of appropriate manners in the phrase (idiom) Derech Eretz.
We often forget that this world and everything that is in it comes from the creation of Hashem. Everything that comes to us comes as GOOD. When we get angry or agitated we are saying HaShem does not know what he is doing Chas V'Shalom! THE MESSAGE TO US FROM JOSEPH IS DO NOT BECOME UPSET BY WHAT HAPPENS IN YOUR LIFE BECAUSE IT IS MEANT FOR YOUR GOOD BY HASHEM.
Joseph is speaking to you - today - in your life. The message is personal to each of us. Do not become agitated on the path of life. Just enjoy it as it is always for the good. Gam Zu LeTovah.
Can you learn this? When you do Mashiach is right around the corner!
Another spiritual law is taught in this Parasha, even if our modern western society does not follow it. It is Chapter 47 verse 26. Here is the verse for you: וישם אתה יוסף לחק עד-היום הזה על-אדמת מצרים לפרעה לחמש רק אדמת הכהנים לבדם לא היתה לפרעה. And Joseph made it a statute concerning the land of Egypt unto this day, that Pharaoh should have the fifth; only the land of the priests alone became not Pharaoh's.
Do you see the spiritual law? Your mortgage or your rent should be no more than 20 % of your net income. It is a statute for all time in the land of Egypt (read Egypt as the physical world of constraint).
As a spiritual teacher, i can not teach you something and leave you with no solution to how to change the way we live. Our society requires greater than 20% payment to the landlords. This goes against spiritual law. It needs to change. Either change the size of the home you live in so that it costs only 20% or increase your desire for more income so that it manifests in your life without spending it on larger quarters.
One more spiritual teaching from this weeks Parasha. All of the commentators ask Why does Joseph say to his brothers:"I am Joseph! Is my father alive?". They all say that Joseph just heard his brothers say his father Jacob is alive so why does he ask the question?
I read a very poignant answer to this question that truly points out the truth about Torah. Torah speaks to each of us individually each day in our lives. We just need to be open to hear it.
The answer i read is from a teacher who asked this question of his students (Why does Joseph ask is MY father alive?). One student who's father left his life (walked out on his family) when he was still a baby and he has been living with his mother for the past 14 or 15 years. The boys explanation is that Joseph knew that Jacob the father of his brothers was alive. He had been living with them for all these 22 years. What he is asking is MY father alive. Is the father that i knew but did not stay with still alive. Does he still yearn for me. Does he care that i have been gone or has he forgotten me! A personal understanding? How would you answer the question? This is what Torah study is all about! How does Torah speak to you today, right now, in your life?
Are you studying Torah today? every day? more today than you did last year? As we move toward the Parasha of life - Vayechi (and he lives) this is a very appropriate question to ask yourself! and vow to make changes to remove the chaos in your life. Torah Study is one of those tools to acheive this!
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.
One of the main purposes of the Mitzvah of Hearing the Torah on Shabbat Morning is to receive the Metaphysical Energy we will need during the next week. Please strive to hear the Torah Reading each week for this benefit.
Chanoch Ben Yaacov
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