THEMES of Featured Mystical Classics Articles

Kindness and Truth
True kindness anticipates no reward
At the time Jacob made the request that Joseph bury him in the Land of Israel, he did not hold out any promise of reward nor apologize for burying Joseph's mother in the middle of nowhere, instead of with their ancestors. This was in order to make sure that Joseph acquire the merit of performing a totally altruistic act of kindness.
'Wrappin' in the House of Jacob
The mitzvah of tefillin alludes to Torah, the Tribes and G-d.
Jacob achieved a degree of spiritual repair work of the damage caused to the universe by Adam. Therefore, he is perceived as putting on tefillin in the celestial regions, i.e. "wearing" tiferet.
Embalmed Alive?
Thirty days before death, a person's Tzelem/image is removed from him and his shadow no longer appears.
Jacob might have had an indication that his death was close at hand as the Zohar says that 30 days before death one's sparks of sanctity, known as Tzelem/image, are removed from him. Although such knowledge is withheld from ordinary folk, the righteous do become aware of this and other spiritual matters, as well.
Vines and Branches
Moses is the redeemer who redeemed our forefathers and will be the redeemer to lead their children back to the land of the ancestors.
At the time of the Exodus, the redemption comprised the defeat of Egypt and the Canaanites, i.e. seven of the Canaanite nations. The remainder of the seventy nations were not humbled before Israel at that time. When the final redemption will occur, all the other nations too will be humbled before Israel.
Jacob's Higher Self
Jacob's second name, "Israel", represents a state of perfection.
Spiritual highs are attainable only when one frees oneself of such human concerns as pain, anguish, anger, etc. The kind of sanctity Jacob strove for needed to be based on the attainment of a degree of serenity in his earthly life, something that we nowadays experience only on the Shabbat, a day that G-d has imbued with the quality of rest.
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