this weeks Torah Portion Shemot translates to these are the names of the children of Israel… the name our parents gave us at birth… the name people call us and the name we make for ourselves! our tradition teaches us that there is much more to a name than just a label… the name our parents gave us is done with divine inspiration for the name chosen defines the very essence of the child. each name reveals the redemption of the Jewish people from their personal exile out of Egypt. the purpose is to acquire for ourselves a good name by emulating G-d… by doing good deeds… studying G-Ds word and spreading the goodness to each other with a fervor and urgency to usher in the Messianic age. this final plateau will show us how We all are a part of the one name… G-D.
This weeks Torah portion Vayechi translated to English is: and he lived…the best years of his life…Jacob asked his sons to gather themselves together so he can relate to them what will happen in later days. Jacob wished to reveal to his sons the end of days, but the Divine Presence which gave him his power of prophecy departed from him. Jacob wanted to relate to his sons which comes from the depths of a man’s being… it’s the voice of the soul vs. speaking or saying which is merely a verbal act. Jacob thinking that after the brothers had gathered and united themselves together they would be worthy of such a disclosure but they could not receive the divine presence… so it departed not from Jacob who could still see the end of days and could still prophesize but from his attempt to “relate” to his sons. the very fact that we feel that our time is unworthy of redemption is itself proof of Messianic nearness. The Messiah will come when he is not expected… when the mind is turned elsewhere. it means rather that, without regard for the fact that our minds cannot envision it, we have a faith that goes beyond rational expectation and this faith itself will speedily bring the redemption of the end of days!
This week’s Torah portion is Vayigash in Hebrew translates to: then he drew near or approached! Joseph was thrown into a pit by his brothers, who resented their father’s favoritism toward him. Rescued and sold by passerby’s they brought Joseph to Egypt where he ultimately became ruler of the land, second onto to King Pharoaoh. a famine ensued in the land of Canaan later known as Israel. Jacob told his 10 sons to go to Egypt and buy grain. instead of confronting his brothers with what they did to him, he comforts them saying: I am Joseph! Is my father still living?…come close to me… I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! and now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that G-D sent me ahead of you! Genesis 45:3-5
this week’s Torah portion is Mikketz translates to: at the end! this portion is about the dreams of Joseph and Pharaoh. and the difference between them. from all this we learn a specific lesson… when a person believes that he can benefit and receive blessings without effort this derives from the unspiritual side of his nature… his animal soul… he will at the end be left with nothing and in a state of decline… on the other hand… to labor in the service of G-D… he or she be assured of the promise, you have toiled and you have found. we will find from Heaven more than we labored for and as we progress we will be ascending in Holiness!