Vayeishev וישב

Parshat Vayeishev Resources

Genesis 37:1-40:23

Joseph and His Brothers

Tamar, an End to Bitterness

The episode of Judah and Tamar that appears in this week’s parashahParashat Vayeishev, is one of the most mysterious stories of the Torah.

Reflection without Mirror

The pit was empty, no water, but full of snakes and scorpions. The pit is the mind, water – Torah, snakes and scorpions – bad thoughts.

Vayeishev: Daily Insight #1

The ability to reach nullification when experiencing fear of God is a special quality of the Jewish soul. This is in contradistinction to the various types of angels, who when suddenly becoming aware of God, are struck by external or lower fear. In Hebrew, these two types of fear are distinguished by the two different prepositions that appear in their idioms. The higher fear, or awe of God, is called יראה את ה’, while the lower fear of God is called יראה מה’. Unfortunately, English does not carry the same distinction…..Read More…

Vayeishev: Daily Insight #2

For our speech to be sweet, i.e., an instrument of holiness, we must go through two earlier stages of submission and separation. The “foreskin” of the mouth is cut away by refraining from speaking ill of another person or improperly. The “thin membrane” of the mouth is cut away by annulling any feeling of self that accompanies our words. Only when these two have been removed can the spoken words come from the heart and have the proper effect on the listener…..Read More…

Vayeishev: Daily Insight #3

But, though there was an initial movement towards transformation, Saul did not have the determination of faith needed to guide the people in completing the process. Instead of encouraging the fear of God, which would have culminated in a state of nullification of being, King Saul preferred to have the people lean on the rituals of war. At that time, the people only attained the level of lower fear of God, which causes nullification of self, although from Samuel’s words it is clear that this was a missed opportunity for Saul to become the Mashiach…..Read More…

Vayeishev: Daily Insight #4

The person who has a strong sefirah of might is always on the move, always advancing forward without rest and without peace of mind. This does not have to mean that such a person is not grounded, rather, that as much as he is connected with the reality of the world, he is always in search of something better. The source of the sefirah of might is in the second head of the crown, called the head of nothingness, which is experienced as pleasure. Thus, the rectified mode of movement for someone of this nature is to constantly seek new levels of pleasure in the Almighty. Pleasure in the Almighty is especially related to the experience of Shabbat, as Isaiah says: “Then you shall take pleasure in God….” In Kabbalah, the infinite levels of pleasure available in the world are explained to be the result of God’s infinite pleasure in the Torah; in the language of the midrash: “For two thousand years before the world was created, the Almighty took pleasure in the Torah.”….Read More…

Transcript:

Joseph and Recognizing One’s Brothers (27 Kislev 5773)

VIDEO:

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