1. Judah in Need of Joseph
Date: 06/09/2002 2:35:11 AM Central Daylight Time
Judah in Need of Joseph
In the Book of Numbers it relates how the Israelites after coming out of
Egypt were about to conquer the Land of Canaan. They sent spies into the
Land to spy it out. The spies brought back a report that giving the
impression that the natives of the Land were too powerful to be conquered.
The people on hearing this bad report became demoralized and tried to rebel
against Moses. God punished them by declaring that they would not be
allowed to enter the Land immediately but would have to wander in the
wilderness for forty years until all the generation that rebelled had died
out. After that their children would inherit the Land. Our story picks up
from there but first we will go back to the Blessing given to Joseph by his
[Genesis 49:22] JOSEPH IS A FRUITFUL
BOUGH, EVEN A FRUITFUL BOUGH BY A
WELL; WHOSE BRANCHES RUN OVER THE WALL:
"BY A WELL" in Hebrew: "ali ayin" which can also mean "above ("al") the eye
Rabbi Haim Dynovisz in a weekly tract in French ("Lev p'tit Hebdo. Thora et
Info" Num 56/28 Sivan) gave certain insights that have been paraphrased and
When the spies (Numbers 13) went into the land of Israel they went after
their eyes and reported what their eyes saw:
<<AND THERE WE SAW THE GIANTS, THE SONS OF ANAK, WHICH COME OF THE GIANTS:
AND WE WERE IN OUR OWN SIGHT AS GRASSHOPPERS, AND SO WE WERE IN THEIR SIGHT
[Numbers 13:33] .
<<NEVERTHELESS THE PEOPLE BE STRONG THAT DWELL IN THE LAND, AND THE CITIES
ARE WALLED, AND VERY GREAT: AND MOREOVER WE SAW THE CHILDREN OF ANAK THERE
They were confounded by what they saw and spread dismay to the rest of
Israel. For this reason the incident of the Spies is followed by the
commandment concerning tassels whose purpose is to teach us to guard our eyes:
<<AND IT SHALL BE UNTO YOU FOR A FRINGE, THAT YE MAY LOOK UPON IT,
AND REMEMBER ALL THE COMMANDMENTS OF THE LORD, AND DO THEM; AND THAT YE
SEEK NOT AFTER YOUR OWN HEART AND YOUR OWN EYES, AFTER WHICH YE USE TO GO
A WHORING. [Numbers 15:39].
It was because the spies went after their eyes that the People of
Israel were unable to immediately conquer the Land but had to wander in the
Wilderness for forty years. When they finally did go in to conquer the Land
they were led by Joshua. Joshua was of the Tribe of Ephraim and descended
from Joseph. Joseph had received the blessing to be "ali ayin" i.e. "above
the eye". This quality enabled him not to be impressed by what he saw but
to transcend historical logic.
<<Israel is always confronted with the problems that according to "human
vision" have no real solution. It is only the "Joshuas" who are capable of
seeing that which the eye cannot see and that permit us to attain the
"impossible". The scouts ("spies") failed because they were guided by their
eye. They were pragmatic. It was because of this fault that we have been
exiled amongst the seventy nations. [Seventy sons of Noah are mentioned in
Genesis 10 and it is from these 70 that all nations of the earth descend].
There are seventy nations because they too are under the domination of the
"eye" [i.e. of practical considerations according to apparent reality].
Seventy is the numerical value in Hebrew of the letter "ayin" whose name
means "eye" in Hebrew. [The English word "eye" is derived from the Hebrew
"ayin" meaning "eye"].
Ever since Israel [i.e. the Jews of Judah in this context] lost
the power of Joseph who was above the "eye" [and above the seventy nations]
they have been in Exile.>>
The above observations are derived (as we mentioned above) from
the thoughts of Rabbi Haim Dynovisz. It is doubtful if the Rabbi had the
Lost Ten Tribes in mind when he put these thoughts down. Nevertheless, the
point holds. Ever since Joseph departed from Judah and Judah-aspect of
Israel lost the power of Joseph the Jews have been oppressed by
non-Israelite nations. The establishment of the State of Israel and its
stabilization began the process of "normalizing" the Jewish status and
enabling the Jews to work towards national self-expression in their own
land. This process was made possible and supported by the forces of Joseph,
at first through Britain and then the USA.
Judah is in need of Joseph whether he likes it or not BUT it works both
ways. Joseph also needs Joseph to realize himself. Joseph in Egypt was the
de-facto ruler of the country but that was all. Only when he was reconciled
to his brothers was Joseph enabled to express his complete personality.
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