Parashat Vayeshev November 29, 2007 In these last parshiyot, through the examples of Dina and Yoseph, the substance of Shechem is revealed into 2 separate streams of consciousness. First, in its character of turning the active into the passive. Dina went out TO SEE the Land of Shechem, but what really happened was that Shechem SAW her; Dina was taken and ruined. When Yoseph goes out to SEEK his brothers in Shechem, a man ( the angel Gabriel) finds Yoseph there and soon afterwards the brothers RECOGNIZE HIM from afar. From that point he is taken and thrown into the pit. From the pit he revolves and revolves until he reaches the lowest point- prison in Egypt. He reaches the bottom rung of Olam Tachton (the lower worlds) but never asks why. His job is to take out the holy sparks from that place. In an almost full swing of events, despite not being able to turn the clock back, Yoseph is ordained second to the king. He marries Pharoh’s adopted daughter, Asnat, who in fact is the daughter of Dina and Shechem who Y’akov sent down to Egypt. Together they raise the future generations of Ephraim and Menashe who eventually inherit the portion of Shechem and her vast environs. The tikkun (rectification) of the positive side of Shechem is when all the tribes unite in position to receive the Torah- renewal of the covenant when they enter the Land after wandering the desert for 40 years. This is done in Shechem echad (one united Shechem). Hashem tells us ” SEE, I gave you (lecha- as one unit) the blessings and the curse..” In the act of buying the Land of Shechem way before all of this transpired, Ya’akov made a kinyan for nachalat Yoseph in buying the chelkat hasadeh for 100 k’sita from Shechem ben Chamor, a legacy for Yoseph (who is later laid to rest there) and all of Am Yisrael FOREVER. Dear Readers, When we ever go up to Har Gerrizim and look down into Shechem we are well aware that we are being watched. Despite the heartbreaking view of a destroyed Kever Yoseph, we can perceive that Yoseph is drawing out the last of the sparks of Edom. Only he can do this.
Shabbat Shalom, Leah Goldsmith Itamar