This week's Torah Portion begins:
"And Judah approached him [Joseph]." (Gen. 44:19)

Rashi says that Judah spoke harshly with him [Joseph] and his [Judah’s] was headed for war. On this verse, the Midrash quotes: "For behold, the kings [Joseph and Judah] have assembled." (Psalms 48:5)

The inner meaning is as follows: Joseph the tzadik corresponds to the sefira of yesod. This sefira stands in the Middle Line consisting of keter, daat, tiferet , and yesod.

The Middle Line receives the Light when the sides are united...

The Middle Line receives the Light when the sides are united and blends them. It is impossible to receive an appropriate emanation from the sefira of chesed alone, and similarly it is impossible to receive from the Light of gevura alone; they need an intermediate sefira which blends and harmonizes them; then all of the Lights join together into the sefira of yesod.

Thus, the emanation comes from the middle line, as does the pipeline [in Hebrew, "tzinor"]. The pipeline is a repaired Will, limited according to the recipient’s ability to receive and thus to emanate. The tzadik is the yesod of the world as the verse says, "And Joseph was the Provider for all of the nations of the land."

The foundation [Yesod] is called "all" [in Hebrew, 'Kol'], as it includes all of them, as the verse (I Chron. 29:2) says, "To you, G‑d, is the greatness [i.e. chesed] and the strength [gevura], and the beauty [tiferet], and the eternalness [netzach], and the splendor [hod], for ‘all’ [i.e. yesod] that is in Heaven…." From there comes the emanation in a repaired and refined form, as appropriate for a "pipeline", to malchut, the sefira corresponding to Judah, the vessel that receives the emanation.

We have come to kill you or be killed by you...

The other brothers correspond to the other sefirot. When Joseph said to them, "And the one is not there," he implied, 'I am unable to reveal and emanate to you, as long as you are not united, and within you there is no unity.' Therefore, all of the actions of Joseph, such as imprisoning Simeon, hiding the chalice and so forth, were to bring the brothers to a level of unity and selflessness. So it was only when Judah said, "in me my Master Joseph" — that we have come to kill [you] or be killed [by you], demonstrating that the brothers had indeed achieved unity and selflessness — that Joseph was able to be revealed.

Thus it is in our service; we have to bring close our vessels so that they will be prepared to receive the emanation.

In greater depth, it is appropriate to explain the difference between Joseph and Judah as follows. Joseph is the root of the Messiah the son of Joseph [Mashiach Ben Yosef], and from Judah stems Messiah the son of David [Mashiach Ben Dovid].

There are two approaches that push for the progress of man and his development. One is called "the way of suffering", due to which a person does not remain in the same place in the physical world and understandably also in the spiritual realm. Since a person searches for pleasure due to the suffering, he therefore changes his place or actions in order that in the new place he will have more pleasure.

A person searches for pleasure...

Just as this is a force that pushes individuals, so it does too in general with society. Every change in a nation comes about because of a search for a new situation within which there will be less suffering.

The second force is "the way of Torah," which is a force that pushes and motivates in a positive manner for change and progress. This is a way of understanding, which the mind agrees to for the sake of a positive development, without the need for prior suffering.

The Messiah the son of Joseph symbolizes the wars of the Jewish Nation, since he is also the aspect of the "ox", symbolizing gevura. The Messiah the son of David, who comes from Judah, symbolizes the way of Torah, as written in the Torah Portion, "And Judah was sent ahead to Goshen [in Egypt]" in order to establish a House of Study.

Practically, in action, both "ways" work together. But in the end, when redemption comes, there will be just the positive way, which is the way of Torah. Therefore, the Haftara concludes, "My servant David will be the King over them forever." May we experience it soon!


Delivered orally; translated by David Devor from his notes and extensively edited by KabbalaOnline.org staff.

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