Rabbi David Katz
Society of today, due to our unique location in spiritual time, which many believe is the much anticipated time of the Coming of the Messiah, in many ways glorifies the hidden revelations of a redemption picture that is buried deep inside the Parasha. Just as the Parasha can be read either as semi-boring stories with light dramatic fantasia or depicted as the seeds of redemption still in its infancy of micro proportions, so too our society [Western at least, i.e. a World dominated by the Edomite Exile] can be seen as "nothing going on here" vs. "Moshiach just around the corner" consciousness. Vayigash in-depth will allow the student scholar to be able to recognize what was seemingly mundane happenstance [of life] and become able to elevate life into the exciting times that these truly are. We just need to learn how to look at what Hashem is doing to us in front of our eyes every day in this Messianic Life that we most probably are living. Should it be that we are not living in these times, then what joy it will be to have the Light of Moshiach shining with even more clarity, for even now the prophecies of the End are quite clear, and allow for the Parasha to shine bright in today's times.
In Torah law the House of Israel is composed of four parts: Priest, Levite, Israelite, and Righteous Gerim; the "Gerim" brings an exclusion of traditional "Bnei Noach" [non absolute believers in the 7 laws] and Akum/Goyim [idolaters by definition]. Thus effectively society is made of these components in our daily lives. These six people are the fabric of society, and once we understand them in the context of a Torah tapestry, as viewed in the World of Emanation [of which we strive to make reality here on Earth] we can begin to see how the light of redemption [i.e. the Light to the Nations] can become a reality. These relationships happen even without our knowledge; one can then imagine how powerful life can become when we sanctify God's light and help usher in Messianic rays of sunshine into a rather mundane existence devoid of the Divine. By simply knowing our Biblical place and root, and having the audacity to manifest this into modern society, we can the live the life that Torah demands, and ultimately begin to know the Torah on an incredibly more profound level of understanding. The goal is to return the Torah to the Prophetic from that of the wise; as the Zohar claims, we then become the agency that ushers in the redemption through Divine Mazal – Hashem's providence achieved within the efforts of Man.
The Enlightened Jew
For the enlightened Jew who is a Ger among the Nations [Ger – a person dwelling in a Land not his own. Thus the definition falls upon all who identify as such.]:
The Jew amongst the goyim will function as the Vilna Gaon describes as an aspect of the Messiah son of Joseph. He is a regular Jew in the normative sense, nor is he the Messiah. However in certain aspects he will illuminate in parts of his life as Joseph did before him, and to the keen eye, he will live a prophetic life [that of Mazal] recognizable by the apparent Torah that radiates from his intimate moments where the soul shines. He will prophetically die [as Moshiach ben Joseph is prophesied to die] in his shortcomings, if not literal, but certainly in the aspects [of the mundane].
The picture might look like this: a learned fellow, someone that is out of the box and choosing the Prophet [Tanach and Torah of Faith over repetitious wisdoms]; he most certainly is familiar with Midrash, Kabbalah, prophecy, meditation, Shem and Ever, the various types of non-Jews in the World, etc. Once one is familiar with the fringe domains of Torah, Hashem will inevitably collide worlds of Jews, goyim, Gerim, Amalek, Erev Rav, etc. and as much as this is the fabric of his existence many questions will invariably come up for him. "Why do I like this type of non-Jew vs. this other one?" "Why do I get on with some Jews and others not?" "Why am I seemingly being exploited for being Jewish, yet this isn't anti-Semitic?" In a sense, he is living the Joseph program every day, and has no clue until the day he connects his Torah to his private life – i.e. his understanding voice that echoes from God.
The story need not remain mundane and unidentified – for he is living Mazal! Think about the Joseph saga, and consider how basically the whole thing died. A new Pharaoh came who knew not of Joseph, slavery commenced, etc. etc. Yet we know in the End of days and the real Messiah program, Joseph will LIVE! The end of the line won't end with a Pharaoh and mundane existence. For the Light at the end of the tunnel is the Ger for the Jew! The bad Jews – Erev Rav, bad boss – Amalek, non-Jews not of Torah – goyim, and the strange friendship / bond between "Jew" and "non-Jew" is the enlightened Ger. Their strange bond to help each other is God's way of crying out with "Joseph still lives!"
Once this can be sanctified into a hall of light, the enlightened can censor out the Amalekite, goyim, Erev Rav, etc. from the daily living program – that which seeks to terminate Joseph. Now they can live, give vitality, talk about Torah of Life [i.e. Torah of Shem], bestow charities as righteousness, liberate those in bondage together, work for a cause – replacing money, witness the fantastic authenticity of God's World, indoctrinate others into Truth over trance, unpack the Tanach's mysteries through Ger – Chasidut, and ultimately end the Ger-keit of the Jew by sending closer to the Land and Temple – Light Service, while elevating the World into the Ger Tzedek program!
The irony is, this is Jewish reality 101, either in the mundane or in the holy; they are the same thing, we just lack Torah light to see the difference. Every Jew is one perspective paradigm shift away from turning his life into a Joseph lives sage, reversing the patterns of death / failure that Mankind has come to embrace for the exchange of currency.
The father of this type of thinking, i.e. positioning of Jews and Gerim goes back to the program of Messiah that only knows how to live – King David himself. For in Psalms, King David states the nature of all types of peoples – Jews and non-Jews, for he was the Torah's master of society, and namely life, the advantage of being King in Israel. Yet perhaps the most profound statements of King David are in his reports of how Redemption will come about and defeat the infamous Gog and Magog. He credits the whole redemption, in the clarification of the Noahide Laws, and the prophetic partnerships of destiny to what he calls the Men of Nobility [Truth – in the words of the Vilna Gaon] will turn to Jerusalem in the End of Days. Thus according to King David the Nations are loaded with Noahide Gerim who will partner with Light in the End of Days, bringing down institutions of religion at that time, and ending all evil – such that perpetually ended every Joseph in history. Now would be the time to Live!
The Enlightened Man of Nobility/Truth; The Ger
The Ger is he who lives in the World according to his Biblical self. He left idolatry, and like Naaman he seeks the Prophet of Israel; from there onwards, the Tanach is his existence, and for all of those around him.
The Enlightened Ger [Man of Nobility] is not that different from the Jew above, only now God has positioned these two bookends to meet through the agency of evil, while at the same time transcending every evil known to Mankind. Should they "work" together, we still have the Erev Rav, goyim, Amalekite [boss], etc. Only now, God has engineered that these two meet, embrace, and ultimately Love each other. Once they at least acknowledge this upper reality in their Divine Voice, Joseph will immediately "find life between them."
All of the World's vanities fly away – "Jews and goyim", money, competition, bad old beliefs, lack of authenticity, trance automaton behavior to life, lack of Torah [reality], false sense of life, mundane everydays, Darkness from God, "religion/believe in's", etc.
The bond between the Noble Ger and the Jew replaces the Jew and Pharaoh [even though all players here were Gerim, and even here Joseph played the part of Ger to the rest of the Brothers, we can very easily see how in the future this paradigm becomes the End of Days / Moshiach ben Joseph / David program] program. Life begins to if not inch up to the Messianic, then at least shed light on what that glorious time will ultimately look like. For just to perceive the Torah in motion, with its players, sagas, God's Hand, Mazal, etc. is to behold what will be in the End of Days. Our World of six thousand years will be the DNA in Gan Eden, the same life we live every day; the opportunity to live redemption is always an option, and add the fact that we are literally crawling into that time space, all the more so the green remains lit for those who seek to live the Divine.
Parashas Vayigash is the essence of Moshiach ben Joseph who dies – by the trickery of Pharaoh [even though by the will of God], such that this defines Torah history up until the Redemption that we are promised will see "Joseph" [all Joseph's – Jews and Gerim] Live. As the Haftorah prophetically alludes to King David [and all that he represents in prophecy] and the Parasha stresses that even from amid the evil Joseph will live, in the End of Days, the Gerim and Jews will unite in the way that the Brothers met with Joseph, the Lost tribes will meet their Brothers, etc. The Gerim are a part of Israel, and God will be glorified in the eyes of the Nations, when the Light will be revealed in these hind quarters – the essence of Good in life.
To Love the Ger is not for personal gain, but simply because God decreed it as such, and He makes it His business to become involved with these affairs. God is good, and that should be enough, yet with God's good comes Love and Mazal intertwined; the Love affair between Ger and Jew becomes a gift from God's Love of these two peoples, to which the beauty of Song of Songs expresses all types of Love, not to the exclusion of all Messianic Love. The Faith element will become a little bit easier once we all experience that "I am Joseph" moment that Hashem is destined to pour out onto Mankind, in the universal language of "I am God" – finally, but until then it is our job between Jews and Gerim to have our own "I am Joseph" moment together in life [overturning death], spreading the Torah's hidden light into our immediate local domain.
It is amazing to think that all it takes is a small trek out from the backyard, open your eyes, and suddenly realize you were standing next to your Brother the whole time. Joseph was there living the whole time, you know…and as we saw, he was dying to say it with conviction.
In-Depth Audio [Covering Parasha] Mon 11 P.M. Tzfat Time