THEMES of Featured Contemporary Kabbalists Articles

Fruition Tradition
Ephraim and Manasseh were both "first" in their own respective ways.
We have to summon deeper spiritual powers to transform exile than we do merely to survive it. By transforming the exilic state into one of redemption, we achieve a greater degree of divine consciousness than we began with.
Get Back to Your Roots
The Jewish People must remain connected to supernal holiness in order to sanctify the secular.
Jacob knew that Joseph would want to bury him in Egypt so that his merit could protect his descendents there. As long as Jacob remained in Egypt, even after death, G-d's presence would be manifest there.

Jacob, however, did not want this; by being buried in the Holy Land, Jacob would serve as a reminder to his descendants that they were rooted in something higher than Egypt and did not really belong there.
Noble Intentions vs. Good Deeds
Reuben wanted to save Joseph and bring him back to his father; Judah saved Joseph only so that he could be sold into slavery.
Reuben's intentions in saving Joseph seem nobler than Judah's: his repentance seems far superior as well. Nonetheless, Judah's deeds actually helped people, whereas Reuben's preoccupation with his own spiritual state indirectly contributed to Joseph's sale to Egypt and our eventual exile in Egypt.
The Law of Inclusion
Why was it necessary for each tribe to be included in each of the other's blessing?
Jacob blessed each son individually and, in addition, included all of them together in the others' blessings. Although each one had a main property in its makeup, each must contain all properties of created matter so that they could develop and refine all created matter and humanity.
Life After Death
We only attain true life when our ideals live on in those who come after us.
Jacob was the consummate Torah scholar. He absorbed its unchanging, Divine essence that renders it intrinsically, universally, and eternally relevant to all facets of life.

This is what enabled him to weather all the vicissitudes of life, to raise all his children to be righteous despite their diverse personalities and to ensure that the years he spent in Egypt would be his best.
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