Parshat Shemot – January 13 2012
The last portions of the book of Bereishit focus on the life and times of Yosef HaTzaddik, of his influence, esteem and excellence in all realms of management of resources and finance in the land of Egypt. The new book of Shemot begins with the significant passuk “And a new king ruled over Egypt who did not know Yosef”. Yosef, the Yesod olam- the Foundation Stone of the world, the only one to be called the Tzaddik is again not recognized- this time by the new and powerful king that ruled the world. Seemingly dead buried and vanished why does Pharoh “not know Yosef”? It must have a deeper meaning. Yosef has passed on physically as we enter a period in time of not reaping the rewards of his talents. There is a famous passuk connected to Yosef: “Ode Yosef Chay”. He lives on, for the tzaddik lives on forever, residing in every generation and even materializing into real life events. This is exactly what the new king wanted to annihilate. He not only wanted Yosef dead, but dead and done for.
On a closer look into the essence of Yosef, the Yesod, the very message of life comes into play. Yesod is the foundation of all the generations to come, connecting to the very first foundation mitzvah of the torah- “Be fruitful and multiply”. This is exactly what was happening in Egypt at an alarming rate. Even the number attributed to this is intrinsically connected to the Yesod, the number six (being the 6th sphere of the 7 lower spheres), “Sheshah bekeress achad” – Sixtuplets were born to the Jewish people at every birth and they multiplied at a great speed. The Yesod Foundation sphere parallels the sixth day of creation when Hashem created man/woman as one unit as it says in the passuk: “G-d created man in His image, he created THEM- male(yesod) and female(malchut)” (genesis 1:27) Hashem gave over the greatest power – to create life (the most G-dly attribute possible). Later, it wasn’t only that Pharoh “did not know Yosef” but he made a concerted effort to obliterate all males, to cast them into the river, to demand the midwives slaughter them, etc… At a later time, at the climax of the exodus the torah tells us “Moshe took the bones of Yosef with him” culminating the period of the obliteration of the Yesod. The Bnei Yisrael actually carried the bones of Yosef right into Eretz Yisrael alongside the Mishkan, paving the way for a new life and continuity in the Land of Israel.
Today we stand in the light of the last hours of the sixth millennium, the time right before we light the Shabbat candles. Again, there are kings of great nations who “do not know Yosef” nor do they recognize the power of the Yesod. There are those that create impasses, those that try to prevent the power of Mashiach ben Yosef from collecting the exiles, planting the vineyards and rebuilding the desolate cities that were once home to our forefathers and will anything and everything in their power to obstruct the bones from coming to life, even by destroying the resting place of Yosef HaTzaddik (!) – There are too many cameras and eyes of the world focused on the little dilapidated prefab being built in the middle of the night on the barren hilltops of the land of Yosef, too many for us to ignore the meaning of what life in Israel, the heart of Israel means . This is the source of salvation, blessing, redemption, loving kindness, mercy, success and health for the Jewish people and for the world. The influence is far beyond any Presidents power now.
Shabbat Shalom, Leah Goldsmith