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April 18, 2019

Archive for November 28, 2015

VaYeshev (And Jacob Sat) Parsha – Weekly Torah Portion

VaYeshev

Genesis, 37:1-40:23

This Week’s Torah Portion | November 29 – December 05 – 17 Kislev – 23 Kislev, 5776

In A Nutshell

In the portion, VaYeshev (And Jacob Sat), Jacob dwells in the land of Canaan. The protagonist of this portion is Joseph, Jacob’s youngest son. Joseph was gifted with a knack for prophetic dreams. In one of them, he sees himself ruling over his brothers. He tells them about it and turns their envy against him.

His brothers lead the cattle to Shechem to graze there, and his father sends him to them. On his way he meets a man and asks him about his brothers: “I seek my brethren” (Genesis 37:16). By the time Joseph finds his brothers they are already conspiring to kill him because of their envy. Reuben manages to prevent them from committing the murder and the brothers decide to throw Joseph in a pit, instead, in order to sell him to the Ishmaelites. A convoy of Midianites that passes by takes Joseph with them down to Egypt.

When Joseph arrives in Egypt, he hides in the home of Pharaoh’s captain of the guard, Potiphar. Potiphar’s wife tries to seduce Joseph but he refuses. She avenges by saying that Joseph tried to force himself on her, and he is thrown to the dungeon.

In the pit, Joseph meets Pharaoh’s two officials, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker. He also discloses his gift for prophetic dreams. He predicts that within three weeks the chief cupbearer will be released, and the chief baker will be hanged. Joseph asks the chief cupbearer that upon his release he will go to Pharaoh and tell him that he, Joseph, is jailed for no reason and that he should be released.

 Commentary by Dr. Michael Laitman

This portion contains a profound spiritual message. It narrates the correction of the soul, which is man’s purpose in life, and the reason why the Torah was given. Initially, the evil inclination appears, as it is written, “I have created the evil inclination, I have created for it the Torah as a spice,” for “the light in it reforms it.” “Reforming” means returning to a state of “love your neighbor as yourself.” That is, it brings a person back to the quality of bestowal, similarity with the Creator. This is what we should achieve, as it is written, “Return, Oh Israel unto the Lord your God” (Hosea 14:2).

The Torah demonstrates how the ego, the will to receive, keeps changing until it is corrected. In the example shown in this portion we see how all our qualities connect, then separate, manifesting imbalance among them until they beget more advanced qualities, closer to bestowal.

Jacob is the beginning of the quality of bestowal within us. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are the three patriarchs. Jacob is actually the senior, containing both the desire to receive and the desire to bestow within us, as it is only possible to elicit the middle line using both. The middle line, Jacob, is still not attributed to the level of execution in us, but to the level of decision making.

The expression of Jacob’s execution level is his sons, from Reuben, the eldest, to Joseph, the youngest. And precisely in this hierarchy do the qualities within us hang down. This is how our ego, in all its (still incorrect) forms, is corrected. The one who completes them is Joseph, the righteous. He gathers all the previous qualities into the quality of Yesod (foundation), which is called “the righteous Joseph,” or “a righteous, the foundation of the world” (Proverbs 10:25).

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Is it Possible to Have An Objective Picture of Reality?

Is it Possible to Have an Objective Picture of Reality

Q. We see the changing seasons, day and night, and the changes in life in nature. Is this an objective understanding of time or a totally subjective feeling?

A. There is no objective understanding of any kind. If I perceive something as a spectator, it cannot be objective in any way. Even if someone tells me what he sees, but I am the one who hears what he says, I perceive and feel it in my own way.

There cannot be any form of objectivity. If a person perceives only his own feelings and knows nothing of what is going on other than that, there cannot be any form of objectivity.

This is especially true when it comes to the perception of time, place, and motion, which exist inside a person. A spectator with different senses would feel a totally different world. We know that our senses perceive only a small part of reality.

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How to Study Kabbalah Along With Your Religious Beliefs | Ask the Kabbalist

How to Study Kabbalah Along With Your Religious Beliefs | Ask the Kabbalist

How to Study Kabbalah Along With Your Religious Beliefs | Ask the Kabbalist

Ask the Kabbalist, Episode 14, with Dr. Michael Laitman

In this episode, Dr. Michael Laitman answers the following questions:

  • How should a student of the wisdom of Kabbalah organize his daily life?
  • According to Kabbalah, what is the right attitude when a person transgresses against you?
  • Why are siblings so different despite receiving the same upbringing?
  • How can I study Kabbalah along with my religious beliefs?
  • Who can be considered a Kabbalist?

Got a question you want Kabbalah’s answer on?

Get it answered live and win prizes at our Q&A Celebration on Tuesday, 5 January, 2016!…

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Q&A-Celebration

  





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