THEMES of Featured Ascent Lights

Escaping the Personal Prison of Evil
Every physical redemption from exile expresses freedom of spiritual bondage as well.
This week's Torah portion is called "Miketz", which means "at the end" and opens with Joseph in prison, telling how he was about to be released. The Midrash compares Joseph's release from prison to the final redemption of Mashiach when there will be no more spiritual darkness.
Joseph represents the drawing down of holiness into This World
Even though all the responsibilities of governing rested on him, Joseph remained a tzadik, a Jew attached to his Creator. This was something new in the Jewish experience. He was able to be connected to G-d not only in a situation of meditation and escape, but also while involved with the world.
Ups and Downs with Joseph
Joseph's success came from mastering himself.
In Vayeshev, Joseph begins as a favorite son and ends up as a slave, whereas this week he begins as a slave.

Rabbi Issac Bernstein teaches that in Vayeshev Joseph was occupied with himself and his own dreams, while in Miketz he was occupied with interpreting the dreams of others.
Waking from a Dream of Exile
The exile is a dream that will soon end…
This week's Torah reading, Miketz, begins with Joseph getting out of prison and becoming the viceroy of Egypt and continues until just before he reveals his identity to his brothers.

It parallels the beginning and end of last week's reading, Vayeshev, in that they all involve dreams: the dreams of Joseph, of the ministers of Pharaoh, and of Pharaoh himself.
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