Parshas Veyeshev: Small acts leading to big consequences

[ I had written this for David Werdiger’s excellent JBD organisation, but received much positive appreciation via private email, so I thought I’d shareย it here as well. Besides, my kids don’t listen to my divrei torah at home, they say I talk too long. It’s the educator in me ๐Ÿ™‚ ]

In Parshas Vayeshev, the Torah relates that after Rachel’s death, Ya’akov’s bed was in Bilha’s tent (because Bilha was Rachel’s handmaiden and Ya’akov’s concubine). Reuven, the eldest son, was upset, feeling that his own mother, Leah, should have been afforded this privilege as she was Ya’akov’s first wife and the one who bore him and most of the sons. Reuven unilaterally moved his father’s bed to his mother Leah’s tent; an act stemming from respect for his mother’s honour. The act itself was not earth shattering, however, its effect was cataclysmic. It signified that the eldest child was prepared to over-rule the overt wishes of a father – the father of all his brothers.

Rav Yosef Dov HaLevi Soloveitchik ื–ืฆโ€™โ€™ืœ: Picture from the Jewish Press

Rav Soloveitchik suggested that this is why the brothers indirectly felt empowered with the chutzpah to commit the regrettable act of selling Yosef, their father’s favourite son. They also assumed a level of personal empowerment. Reuven realises that he is responsible for this ill-advised empowerment. He repents, fasting and praying. What seemed like a small act of moving beds led to a rolling set of momentous events.
The moral is clear. We are all observed microsopically by our children, our friends and our relatives, and society. A seemingly innocuous act may lead to an unconscious outcome of unintended education or even profanation of God’s name. In contradistinction, a seemingly innocuous positive act can be eminently efficacious, leaving a subconscious impression that potentially influences micro and macro history, present and future.

After my father, R’ Shaul Zelig HaCohen’s passing ืขโ€™โ€™ื” I feel every little act and legacy that he left, suffusesย the lives of our wider family. It is in this sense that we say

ื™ืขืงื‘ ืื‘ื™ื ื• ืœื ืžืช

and

ื“ื•ื“ ืžืœืš ื™ืฉืจืืœ ื—ื™ ื•ืงื™ื™ื

Veyeishev. Guest Post from R’ Meir Deutsch

We got to Parashat VaYeshev. We reached the dreamers. At first Joseph dreams of Sheaves (ALUMOT) and stars, the King’s bartender dreams together with the King’s baker. We barely finish that Parasha and the King himself, Pharoah, starts dreaming about cows and grain stalks.
Now let us stop dreaming and try to concentrate on Yosef and his brothers.
Let us just consider the text itself, and the Pshat.

 

ืคืจืฉืช ื•ื™ืฉื‘

ืžืื™ืจ ื“ื•ื™ื˜ืฉ ยฉ ื›ืœ ื”ื–ื›ื•ื™ื•ืช ืฉืžื•ืจื•ืช

ื™ื•ืกืฃ ื—ื•ืœื ืืช ื”ื—ืœื•ืžื•ืช, ื•ื›ื“ื™ ืœื”ืชื’ืจื•ืช ื‘ืื—ื™ื• ื”ื•ื ืžืกืคืจ ืื•ืชื ืœื”ื. ืื ื™, ื”ื ืขืจ ื‘ืŸ ื”ืฉื‘ืข ืขืฉืจื”, ืื™ื ื™ ืจืง ื”ืื”ื•ื‘ ืขืœ ื™ื“ื™ ืื‘ื, ืฉืขื•ืฉื” ืœื™ ื‘ืžื• ื™ื“ื™ื• ื›ืชื•ื ืช ืคืกื™ื, ืืœื, ืœืžืจื•ืช ืฉืืชื ืžื‘ื•ื’ืจื™ื ืžืžื ื™, ืื ื™ ืขืชื™ื“ ืœืžืœื•ืš ืขืœื™ื›ื. ื”ืื ื–ื” ืคืœื ืฉืื—ื™ื• ืžืงื ืื™ื ื‘ื•, ืฉื•ื ืื™ื ืื•ืชื• ื•ื–ื•ืžืžื™ื ืœื”ื•ืจื’ื•?
ื ืจืื” ืืช ื”ื˜ืงืกื˜ ื‘ืคืจืฉืชื ื•:

ื‘ืจืืฉื™ืช ืคืจืง ืœื–

(ื™ื˜) ื•ึทื™ึนึผืืžึฐืจื•ึผ ืึดื™ืฉื ืึถืœ ืึธื—ึดื™ื• ื”ึดื ึตึผื” ื‘ึทึผืขึทืœ ื”ึทื—ึฒืœึนืžื•ึนืช ื”ึทืœึธึผื–ึถื” ื‘ึธึผื:
(ื›) ื•ึฐืขึทืชึธึผื” ืœึฐื›ื•ึผ ื•ึฐื ึทื”ึทืจึฐื’ึตื”ื•ึผ ื•ึฐื ึทืฉึฐืืœึดื›ึตื”ื•ึผ ื‘ึฐึผืึทื—ึทื“ ื”ึทื‘ึนึผืจื•ึนืช ื•ึฐืึธืžึทืจึฐื ื•ึผ ื—ึทื™ึธึผื” ืจึธืขึธื” ืึฒื›ึธืœึธืชึฐื”ื•ึผ ื•ึฐื ึดืจึฐืึถื” ืžึทื” ื™ึดึผื”ึฐื™ื•ึผ ื—ึฒืœึนืžึนืชึธื™ื•:
(ื›ื) ื•ึทื™ึดึผืฉึฐืืžึทืข ืจึฐืื•ึผื‘ึตืŸ ื•ึทื™ึทึผืฆึดึผืœึตื”ื•ึผ ืžึดื™ึธึผื“ึธื ื•ึทื™ึนึผืืžึถืจ ืœึนื ื ึทื›ึถึผื ึผื•ึผ ื ึธืคึถืฉื:
(ื›ื‘) ื•ึทื™ึนึผืืžึถืจ ืึฒืœึตื”ึถื ืจึฐืื•ึผื‘ึตืŸ ืึทืœ ืชึดึผืฉึฐืืคึฐึผื›ื•ึผ ื“ึธื ื”ึทืฉึฐืืœึดื™ื›ื•ึผ ืึนืชื•ึน ืึถืœ ื”ึทื‘ึผื•ึนืจ ื”ึทื–ึถึผื” ืึฒืฉึถืืจ ื‘ึทึผืžึดึผื“ึฐื‘ึธึผืจ ื•ึฐื™ึธื“ ืึทืœ ืชึดึผืฉึฐืืœึฐื—ื•ึผ ื‘ื•ึน ืœึฐืžึทืขึทืŸ ื”ึทืฆึดึผื™ืœ ืึนืชื•ึน ืžึดื™ึธึผื“ึธื ืœึทื”ึฒืฉึดืื™ื‘ื•ึน ืึถืœ ืึธื‘ึดื™ื•:
(ื›ื’) ื•ึทื™ึฐื”ึดื™ ื›ึทึผืึฒืฉึถืืจ ื‘ึธึผื ื™ื•ึนืกึตืฃ ืึถืœ ืึถื—ึธื™ื• ื•ึทื™ึทึผืคึฐืฉึดืื™ื˜ื•ึผ ืึถืช ื™ื•ึนืกึตืฃ ืึถืช ื›ึปึผืชึธึผื ึฐืชึผื•ึน ืึถืช ื›ึฐึผืชึนื ึถืช ื”ึทืคึทึผืกึดึผื™ื ืึฒืฉึถืืจ ืขึธืœึธื™ื•:
(ื›ื“) ื•ึทื™ึดึผืงึธึผื—ึปื”ื•ึผ ื•ึทื™ึทึผืฉึฐืืœึดื›ื•ึผ ืึนืชื•ึน ื”ึทื‘ึนึผืจึธื” ื•ึฐื”ึทื‘ึผื•ึนืจ ืจึตืง ืึตื™ืŸ ื‘ึผื•ึน ืžึธื™ึดื:
(ื›ื”) ื•ึทื™ึตึผืฉึฐืื‘ื•ึผ ืœึถืึฑื›ึธืœ ืœึถื—ึถื ื•ึทื™ึดึผืฉึฐื‚ืื•ึผ ืขึตื™ื ึตื™ื”ึถื ื•ึทื™ึดึผืจึฐืื•ึผ ื•ึฐื”ึดื ึตึผื” ืึนืจึฐื—ึทืช ื™ึดืฉึฐืืžึฐืขึตืืœึดื™ื ื‘ึธึผืึธื” ืžึดื’ึดึผืœึฐืขึธื“ ื•ึผื’ึฐืžึทืœึตึผื™ื”ึถื ื ึนืฉึฐื‚ืึดื™ื ื ึฐื›ึนืืช ื•ึผืฆึฐืจึดื™ ื•ึธืœึนื˜ ื”ื•ึนืœึฐื›ึดื™ื ืœึฐื”ื•ึนืจึดื™ื“ ืžึดืฆึฐืจึธื™ึฐืžึธื”:
(ื›ื•) ื•ึทื™ึนึผืืžึถืจ ื™ึฐื”ื•ึผื“ึธื” ืึถืœ ืึถื—ึธื™ื• ืžึทื” ื‘ึถึผืฆึทืข ื›ึดึผื™ ื ึทื”ึฒืจึนื’ ืึถืช ืึธื—ึดื™ื ื•ึผ ื•ึฐื›ึดืกึดึผื™ื ื•ึผ ืึถืช ื“ึธึผืžื•ึน:
(ื›ื–) ืœึฐื›ื•ึผ ื•ึฐื ึดืžึฐื›ึฐึผืจึถื ึผื•ึผ ืœึทื™ึดึผืฉึฐืืžึฐืขึตืืœึดื™ื ื•ึฐื™ึธื“ึตื ื•ึผ ืึทืœ ืชึฐึผื”ึดื™ ื‘ื•ึน ื›ึดึผื™ ืึธื—ึดื™ื ื•ึผ ื‘ึฐืฉึธื‚ืจึตื ื•ึผ ื”ื•ึผื ื•ึทื™ึดึผืฉึฐืืžึฐืขื•ึผ ืึถื—ึธื™ื•:
(ื›ื—) ื•ึทื™ึทึผืขึทื‘ึฐืจื•ึผ ืึฒื ึธืฉึดืื™ื ืžึดื“ึฐื™ึธื ึดื™ื ืกึนื—ึฒืจึดื™ื ื•ึทื™ึดึผืžึฐืฉึฐืื›ื•ึผ ื•ึทื™ึทึผืขึฒืœื•ึผ ืึถืช ื™ื•ึนืกึตืฃ ืžึดืŸ ื”ึทื‘ึผื•ึนืจ ื•ึทื™ึดึผืžึฐื›ึฐึผืจื•ึผ ืึถืช ื™ื•ึนืกึตืฃ ืœึทื™ึดึผืฉึฐืืžึฐืขึตืืœึดื™ื ื‘ึฐึผืขึถืฉึฐื‚ืจึดื™ื ื›ึธึผืกึถืฃ ื•ึทื™ึธึผื‘ึดื™ืื•ึผ ืึถืช ื™ื•ึนืกึตืฃ ืžึดืฆึฐืจึธื™ึฐืžึธื”:
(ื›ื˜) ื•ึทื™ึธึผืฉึธืื‘ ืจึฐืื•ึผื‘ึตืŸ ืึถืœ ื”ึทื‘ึผื•ึนืจ ื•ึฐื”ึดื ึตึผื” ืึตื™ืŸ ื™ื•ึนืกึตืฃ ื‘ึทึผื‘ึผื•ึนืจ ื•ึทื™ึดึผืงึฐืจึทืข ืึถืช ื‘ึฐึผื’ึธื“ึธื™ื•:
(ืœ) ื•ึทื™ึธึผืฉึธืื‘ ืึถืœ ืึถื—ึธื™ื• ื•ึทื™ึนึผืืžึทืจ ื”ึทื™ึถึผืœึถื“ ืึตื™ื ึถื ึผื•ึผ ื•ึทืึฒื ึดื™ ืึธื ึธื” ืึฒื ึดื™ ื‘ึธื:

ื ื—ื–ื•ืจ ืœืคืกื•ืง ื›”ื—: ื•ึทื™ึทึผืขึทื‘ึฐืจื•ึผ ืึฒื ึธืฉึดืื™ื ืžึดื“ึฐื™ึธื ึดื™ื ืกึนื—ึฒืจึดื™ื ื•ึทื™ึดึผืžึฐืฉึฐืื›ื•ึผ ื•ึทื™ึทึผืขึฒืœื•ึผ ืึถืช ื™ื•ึนืกึตืฃ ืžึดืŸ ื”ึทื‘ึผื•ึนืจ ื•ึทื™ึดึผืžึฐื›ึฐึผืจื•ึผ ืึถืช ื™ื•ึนืกึตืฃ ืœึทื™ึดึผืฉึฐืืžึฐืขึตืืœึดื™ื ื‘ึฐึผืขึถืฉึฐื‚ืจึดื™ื ื›ึธึผืกึถืฃ.
ื•ื‘ื”ืžืฉืš ื›ืชื•ื‘: ื‘ืจืืฉื™ืช ืคืจืง ืœื–

(ืœื•) ื•ึฐื”ึทืžึฐึผื“ึธื ึดื™ื ืžึธื›ึฐืจื•ึผ ืึนืชื•ึน ืึถืœ ืžึดืฆึฐืจึธื™ึดื ืœึฐืคื•ึนื˜ึดื™ืคึทืจ ืกึฐืจึดื™ืก ืคึทึผืจึฐืขึนื” ืฉึทื‚ืจ ื”ึทื˜ึทึผื‘ึธึผื—ึดื™ื:

ื•ืžืื•ื—ืจ ื™ื•ืชืจ ื ืืžืจ: ื‘ืจืืฉื™ืช ืคืจืง ืœื˜

(ื) ื•ึฐื™ื•ึนืกึตืฃ ื”ื•ึผืจึทื“ ืžึดืฆึฐืจึธื™ึฐืžึธื” ื•ึทื™ึดึผืงึฐื ึตื”ื•ึผ ืคึผื•ึนื˜ึดื™ืคึทืจ ืกึฐืจึดื™ืก ืคึทึผืจึฐืขึนื” ืฉึทื‚ืจ ื”ึทื˜ึทึผื‘ึธึผื—ึดื™ื ืึดื™ืฉื ืžึดืฆึฐืจึดื™ ืžึดื™ึทึผื“ ื”ึทื™ึดึผืฉึฐืืžึฐืขึตืืœึดื™ื ืึฒืฉึถืืจ ื”ื•ึนืจึดื“ึปื”ื•ึผ ืฉึธืืžึธึผื”:
ื“ืขืช ื”ืžืคืจืฉื™ื ื™ื“ื•ืขื”. ืžื“ื™ื ื™ื ืžื•ื›ืจื™ื ืœื™ืฉืžืขืืœื™ื, ื™ืฉืžืขืืœื™ื ืœืžื“ื™ื ื™ื. ื™ื•ืกืฃ ื ืžื›ืจ ืคืขืžื™ื ืจื‘ื•ืช.

ื ื ืกื” ืœื”ืชืจื›ื– ื‘ื ื•ืฉื:
ื™ืฉืžืขืืœื™ื ื”ื ืื ืฉื™ ื”ื•ื‘ืœื” ืฉืœ ืกื—ื•ืจื•ืช, ื•ื›ืŸ ื”ืื•ืจื—ื” ื‘ื“ืจื›ื” ืœืžืฆืจื™ื. “ื ื•ืฉืื™ื […] ื”ื•ืœื›ื™ื ืœื”ื•ืจื™ื“ ืžืฆืจื™ืžื””, ื•ื’ื ื”ืžื›ื™ืจื” ืฉืœื”ื ืœืคื•ื˜ื™ืคืจ ืื•ืžืจืช: ืžึดื™ึทึผื“ ื”ึทื™ึดึผืฉึฐืืžึฐืขึตืืœึดื™ื ืึฒืฉึถืืจ ื”ื•ึนืจึดื“ึปื”ื•ึผ ืฉึธืืžึธึผื”
ืžื“ื™ื ื™ื ื”ื ืกื•ื—ืจื™ื. ื ืืžืจ ื‘ืžืคื•ืจืฉ: “ืžื“ื™ื ื™ื ืกื•ื—ืจื™ื”
ืื ื›ืŸ ื ื•ื›ืœ ืœืกื›ื:
ื”ืžื“ื™ื ื™ื ืžื•ื›ืจื™ื ืืช ื™ื•ืกืฃ ืœื™ืฉืžืขืืœื™ื. ื”ื™ืฉืžืขืืœื™ื ืžื•ืจื™ื“ื™ื ืื•ืชื• ืžืฆืจื™ืžื” (ืื ืฉื™ ื”ื•ื‘ืœื”). ื”ื™ืฉืžืขืืœื™ื, ืฉืื™ื ื ืกื•ื—ืจื™ื, ืžื‘ืงืฉื™ื ืžื”ืžื“ื ื™ื ืœืชื•ื•ืš ื‘ืžื›ื™ืจืช ื™ื•ืกืฃ ืœืคื•ื˜ื™ืคืจ. ื ืฉื™ื ืœื‘, ืœื ืžื“ื™ื ื™ื ืืœื ืžื“ื ื™ื. ืื™ื ื™ ื™ื•ื“ืข ืžื“ื•ืข ื”ืžืคืจืฉื™ื ื•ื’ื ื”ืชืจื’ื•ื ืงื•ืจืื™ื ืœืžื“ื ื™ื ืžื“ื™ื ื™ื. ืžื™ ื”ื ื”ืžื“ื ื™ื? ื ื™ื–ื›ืจ ื‘ืคืจืฉืช ื—ื™ื™ ืฉืจื” ื•ื™ืœื“ื™ื• ืฉืœ ืื‘ืจื”ื ืžืงื˜ื•ืจื”:
ื•ืชืœื“ ืœื• ืึถืช ื–ื™ืžืจืŸ, ื•ืืช ื™ื•ืงืฉืŸ, ื•ืืช ืžื“ืŸ, ื•ืืช ืžื“ื™ืŸ …. (ื‘ืจืืฉื™ืช ื›ื”, ื‘). ื‘ื™ืŸ ืฆืืฆืื™ื• ื”ื™ื• ืฉื ื™ ื‘ื ื™ื: ืžื“ืŸ ื•ืžื“ื™ืŸ.

ืžื” ืฉื ืืžืจ ื›ื™ ืคื•ื˜ื™ืคืจ ืงื ื” ืืช ื™ื•ืกืฃ ืžื”ื™ืฉืžืขืืœื™ื, ื ื•ื›ืœ ืœื•ืžืจ – ื›ื›ืชื•ื‘, ื”ืžื“ื ื™ื ืžื›ืจื• ืื•ืชื• ืœืคื•ื˜ื™ืคืจ, ื•ืคื•ื˜ื™ืคืจ ืงื™ื‘ืœ ืืช ื™ื•ืกืฃ ืžื™ื“ ื”ื™ืฉืžืขืืœื™ื, ื”ืžื•ื‘ื™ืœื™ื, ืœื”ื ื”ื™ื” ืฉื™ื™ืš.

ื‘ืจืฆื•ื ื™ ืœื”ืชืขื›ื‘ ื‘ืคืกื•ืง ื›”ื—: ื•ึทื™ึทึผืขึทื‘ึฐืจื•ึผ ืึฒื ึธืฉึดืื™ื ืžึดื“ึฐื™ึธื ึดื™ื ืกึนื—ึฒืจึดื™ื ื•ึทื™ึดึผืžึฐืฉึฐืื›ื•ึผ ื•ึทื™ึทึผืขึฒืœื•ึผ ืึถืช ื™ื•ึนืกึตืฃ ืžึดืŸ ื”ึทื‘ึผื•ึนืจ ื•ึทื™ึดึผืžึฐื›ึฐึผืจื•ึผ ืึถืช ื™ื•ึนืกึตืฃ ืœึทื™ึดึผืฉึฐืืžึฐืขึตืืœึดื™ื ื‘ึฐึผืขึถืฉึฐื‚ืจึดื™ื ื›ึธึผืกึถืฃ.
ื ืชืืจ ืืช ื”ืžืื•ืจืข ืœืคื™ ื”ืคืฉื˜.
ื‘ืขืฆืช ืจืื•ื‘ืŸ ืฉืจืฆื•ื ื• ืœื”ืฆื™ืœ ืืช ื™ื•ืกืฃ ื•ืœื”ื—ื–ื™ืจื• ืœืื‘ื™ื•, ื™ื•ืกืฃ ืžื•ืฉืœืš ืขืœ ื™ื“ื™ ืื—ื™ื• ืœื‘ื•ืจ ื‘ืžื“ื‘ืจ.
ื”ืื—ื™ื ืžืชืจื—ืงื™ื ืžื”ื‘ื•ืจ ืฉื‘ืžื“ื‘ืจ ื•ื™ื•ืฉื‘ื™ื ืœืื›ื•ืœ ืœื—ื, ืžืฉื ื”ื ืจื•ืื™ื ืื•ืจื—ืช ื™ืฉืžืขืืœื™ื ืžื•ื‘ื™ืœื” ืกื—ื•ืจื•ืช, ื‘ื“ืจื›ื” ืœืžืฆืจื™ื.
ื™ื”ื•ื“ื” ืžืฆื™ืข ืœืžื›ื•ืจ ืืช ื™ื•ืกืฃ ืœื™ืฉืžืขืืœื™ื. ื”ืื—ื™ื ืฉื•ืžืขื™ื ืืช ื”ื”ืฆืขื”. ื”ื”ืฆืขื” ืœื ื–ื•ื›ื” ืœื“ื™ื•ืŸ, ืœื ื–ื•ื›ื” ืœื”ืกื›ืžืช ืฉืืจ ื”ืื—ื™ื ื•ืœื ื ืขืฉื™ืช ื›ืœ ืคืขื•ืœื” ืขืœ-ื™ื“ื, ื›ืžื• ืฉื ืืžืจ: “ื•ื™ืฉืžืขื• ืื—ื™ื•”. ืœื ืืžืจื• ืื™ืฉ ืืœ ืื—ื™ื• ื ืžื›ืจื ื•.
ืกื•ื—ืจื™ื ืžื“ื™ื ื™ื ืขื•ื‘ืจื™ื ื‘ืžืงื•ื – ื›ื ืจืื” ืฉื‘ื ื™ ื™ืขืงื‘ ืœื ืจื•ืื™ื ืื•ืชื. ื”ืžื“ื™ื ื™ื ืจื•ืื™ื ืืช ื™ื•ืกืฃ ื‘ื‘ื•ืจ ืื• ืฉื•ืžืขื™ื ืจืขืฉื™ื ื•ื‘ื•ื“ืงื™ื ืขื ื ืžืฆื ืžื™ืฉื”ื• ื‘ื‘ื•ืจ. ื”ื, ื”ืžื“ื™ื ื™ื, ืžืขืœื™ื ืืช ื™ื•ืกืฃ ืžื”ื‘ื•ืจ ื•ืžื•ื›ืจื™ื ืื•ืชื• ืœื™ืฉืžืขืืœื™ื.
ื‘ื™ื ืชื™ื™ื, ื›ืืฉืจ ืจืื•ื‘ืŸ ืฉืžืข ืืช ื”ืฆืขืช ืื—ื™ื• ื™ื”ื•ื“ื” ืœืžื›ื•ืจ ืืช ื™ื•ืกืฃ, ื”ื•ื ืžืฉืื™ืจ ืืช ืื—ื™ื• ืœื™ื“ ืฉื•ืœื—ืŸ ื”ืื•ื›ืœ ื•ืจืฅ ืืœ ื”ื‘ื•ืจ, ืœืคื ื™ ืฉืื—ื™ื• ื™ื“ื•ื ื• ื‘ื”ืฆืขืชื• ืฉืœ ื™ื”ื•ื“ื” ื•ื™ืงื‘ืœื• ื”ื—ืœื˜ื”, ื•ื–ืืช ื›ื“ื™ ืœื”ืฆื™ืœ ืืช ื™ื•ืกืฃ ื•ืœื”ื—ื–ื™ืจื• ืœืื‘ื™ื•. ื›ืืฉืจ ืžื’ื™ืข ืจืื•ื‘ืŸ ืืœ ื”ื‘ื•ืจ ื›ื‘ืจ ืขื–ื‘ื• ื”ืžื“ื™ื ื™ื ืืช ื”ืžืงื•ื. ื”ื•ื ืžืคื ื” ืžื‘ื˜ื• ืืœ ื”ื‘ื•ืจ, ืกื•ืงืจ ืืช ื”ื‘ื•ืจ ืคืขื ืื• ืคืขืžื™ื™ื ื•ืœื ืžื•ืฆื ื‘ื• ืืช ื™ื•ืกืฃ. ื”ื•ื ื—ื•ื–ืจ ืืœ ืื—ื™ื• ื”ืกื•ืขื“ื™ื, ืงื•ืจืข ื‘ื’ื“ื™ื• ื•ืื•ืžืจ ืœื”ื: “ื”ื™ืœื“ ืื™ื ื ื•”.

ื–ื” ื”ืกื™ืคื•ืจ ืœืคื™ ื”ืคืฉื˜. ื”ืื—ื™ื ืœื ื”ืขืœื• ืืช ื™ื•ืกืฃ ืžื”ื‘ื•ืจ, ื”ื•ื ื’ื ืœื ื ืžื›ืจ ืขืœ ื™ื“ื. ืœื ืจืง ืจืื•ื‘ืŸ, ืืœื ื’ื ืื—ื™ื• ื”ื•ืคืชืขื• ื›ื™ ื™ื•ืกืฃ ื ืขืœื ืžื”ื‘ื•ืจ.

ื ื ืกื” ืœืจืื•ืช ื”ืื ื ื•ื›ืœ ืœืงื‘ืœ ืืช ื”ื˜ืขื ื” ื›ื™ ื”ืื—ื™ื ืžื›ืจื• ืืช ื™ื•ืกืฃ.
ื ื—ื–ื•ืจ ืœืคืกื•ืง: ื•ึทื™ึทึผืขึทื‘ึฐืจื•ึผ ืึฒื ึธืฉึดืื™ื ืžึดื“ึฐื™ึธื ึดื™ื ืกึนื—ึฒืจึดื™ื ื•ึทื™ึดึผืžึฐืฉึฐืื›ื•ึผ ื•ึทื™ึทึผืขึฒืœื•ึผ ืึถืช ื™ื•ึนืกึตืฃ ืžึดืŸ ื”ึทื‘ึผื•ึนืจ ื•ึทื™ึดึผืžึฐื›ึฐึผืจื•ึผ ืึถืช ื™ื•ึนืกึตืฃ ืœึทื™ึดึผืฉึฐืืžึฐืขึตืืœึดื™ื ื‘ึฐึผืขึถืฉึฐื‚ืจึดื™ื ื›ึธึผืกึถืฃ.
ืื ื”ืื—ื™ื ืžื›ืจื• ืืช ื™ื•ืกืฃ, ืื– ื”ืคืกื•ืง ืฆืจื™ืš ืœื”ื™ื•ืช ื›ืš:
ื•ึทื™ึทึผืขึทื‘ึฐืจื•ึผ ืึฒื ึธืฉึดืื™ื ืžึดื“ึฐื™ึธื ึดื™ื ืกึนื—ึฒืจึดื™ื ื•ึทื™ึดึผืžึฐืฉึฐืื›ื•ึผ (ืื• ื•ื™ืžืฉื›ื• ืื—ื™ื•) ื•ึทื™ึทึผืขึฒืœื•ึผ ืึถืช ื™ื•ึนืกึตืฃ ืžึดืŸ ื”ึทื‘ึผื•ึนืจ ื•ึทื™ึดึผืžึฐื›ึฐึผืจื•ึผ ืึถืช ื™ื•ึนืกึตืฃ ืœึทื™ึดึผืฉึฐืืžึฐืขึตืืœึดื™ื ื‘ึฐึผืขึถืฉึฐื‚ืจึดื™ื ื›ึธึผืกึถืฃ. ืœืจืืฉื™ืช ื”ืคืกื•ืง ืื™ืŸ ื›ืœ ืงืฉืจ ืœืžืื•ืจืข. ืื ื”ืื—ื™ื ืžื›ืจื•ื”ื•, ืžื“ื•ืข ืžื•ื–ื›ืจื™ื ื›ืืŸ ื‘ื›ืœืœ ื”ืžื“ื™ื ื™ื: “ื•ื™ืขื‘ืจื• ืื ืฉื™ื ืžื“ื™ื ื™ื ืกื•ื—ืจื™ื”? ื”ืจื™, ื›ืืžื•ืจ, ืื™ืŸ ืœื”ื ื›ืœ ื—ืœืง ื‘ืกื™ืคื•ืจ ืฉืœื ื•, ืœื ื‘ื”ื•ืฆืืช ื™ื•ืกืฃ ืžื”ื‘ื•ืจ ื•ืœื ื‘ืกื—ืจ ืขื ื”ื™ืฉืžืขืืœื™ื. ื”ืžื›ื™ืจื” ื”ื™ื™ืชื” ืขืœ ื™ื“ื™ ื”ืื—ื™ื ืœื™ืฉืžืขืืœื™ื ื™ืฉื™ืจื•ืช.
ื”ืื™ืŸ ื–ื” ืžื—ื–ืง ืืช ื”ื˜ืขื ื” ื›ื™ ื”ื, ื”ืžื“ื™ื ื™ื, ื”ื ืืœื” ืฉื”ืขืœื• ืืช ื™ื•ืกืฃ ืžื”ื‘ื•ืจ ื•ืžื›ืจื•ื”ื•?

ืื ื”ืื—ื™ื ื”ื™ื• ื”ืžื•ื›ืจื™ื, ื”ืจื™, ื›ืืฉืจ ื–ื•ืขืง ืจืื•ื‘ืŸ ื‘ืฉื•ื‘ื• ืžื”ื‘ื•ืจ “ื•ื”ื™ืœื“ ืื™ื ื ื•”, ื•ื“ืื™ ื”ื™ื• ืื•ืžืจื™ื ืœื• ืื—ื™ื•: “ื‘ืจื•ืจ ืฉืื™ื ื ื•, ื”ืจื™ ืžื›ืจื ื• ืื•ืชื•. ื”ื ื” ื—ืœืงืš ืžืขืฉืจื™ื ื”ื›ืกืฃ ืฉืงื™ื‘ืœื ื• ืขื‘ื•ืจื•“. ื”ืื ื’ื ืื—ื™ื• ื”ื™ื• ืžื•ืคืชืขื™ื ื›ืžื•ื”ื• ืฉื”ื™ืœื“ ืื™ื ื ื•?

Vayeishev

This is something I wrote for David Werdiger’s excellent “Jews of the CBD” organisation, so it’s reproduced here, for posterity.

 

We pine to know what the future brings. Yet, there is no prophecy in our day. Why? Prophecy provides a temporal glimpse or mirroring of the essence of God and His message. By definition, that transmission must be imperfect, for we are imperfect vessels. What of dreams and their interpretation? In this week’s portion, we see that even Yosef’s interpretation of his famous dream was not accurate because his mother Rachel did not bow down to him. Does this make Yosef a charlatan? Can there be a half truth? We know that the remainder of Yosef’s dream did come true.
Rav Kook explains that the essence was true. The essence is immutable. If Rachel had been alive, then she indeed would have bowed down to Yosef in the same way that Ya’acov did. A dream’s message relates to what potentially could or should have occurred given the confines of human imperfection and condition. Rav Hisda in Brachos 55a says this explicitly. Although we seek advice from the special leaders of our generation, sometimes we find that their predictions are not 100% accurate. But, it needs to be that way because man is an imperfect vessel for the transmission of God’s will. The challenge is to deal with and act on the messages of our time.
For this reason, those who cannot bring themselves to acknowledge that the State of Israel may well be the “beginning” of our redemption because certain minutiae are challenging to reconcile, miss the transcendent and essential message of our time.