Monday, December 29, 2008

Aderet Eliyahu on Miketz - English

Breishit 42:9 - "And Yosef remembered the dreams etc" until verse 13.  At first glance, one could ask what this is trying to tell us at all, and indeed the Zohar raised this difficulty (199a).  And thus their answer "No, my master, etc, we are all, etc", and after words he said to them once "no, but rather you have come to see the nakedness of the land", etc, and they replied to him again "we are 12 brothers" etc, and he answered "this is what I have said" etc, and it is all surprising.  But rather the matter is that the reason that he proclaimed to them "you are spies" is because they all came, 10 strong looking men of great height, and if they just came to buy food, why would they come like that together.  And they answered "no my master" etc, the answer to your question is "we are all the sons of one man" etc, and therefore we are equal in strength and beauty and height, and therefore we come together.  And he said to them "no but rather" etc that this is a lie that one would give birth to 10 that are all strong etc.  And they replied, don't be surprised, that we are actually 12, etc, and the wonder is that the smallest brother is still at home with our father, with our form and strength.  And therefore he said to them "thus you shall be tested" etc.  And his intention was not, G-d forbid, to cause them pain, and all the more so to cause pain to his father for nothing, but because he knew that by his actions, the dreams would come about in order, and he did not want to transgress Hashem's will.  And the first dream was "my sheaf stood upright" etc, "and behold" etc, and they replied to him "will you rule over us" etc "if you will control us", and that is to say: 1. kingship, and 2. that they will fall in to his hand like prisoners, that thus it was in his dream: "My sheave stood upright, about kingship, "and behold yours encircle" etc, about memshalah (that they fall under his control), and then on to the second dream, etc.  And behold here the kingship came about, and afterwards "and he put them in to jail", the memshalah.  But still Binyamin did not come about here, therefore he made them bring Binyamin, and he took Shimon as collateral, and he arrested him in front of their eyes such that they would have mercy on Shimon and they would hurry to bring Binyamin so that afterwards he could announce himself to his father immediately, and when they brought him and he bowed before him, and afterwards in the matter of the cup, he took him as a slave, and therefore he said "he will be for me a slave and you all will go up" etc, and afterwards he became known to them and they came back with their father, and the 2nd dream was fulfilled.  Therefore the Torah gave this line as a prologue "and Yosef remembered the dreams", to let us know that all of what he did, he did from his great righteousness, that the dreams would be fulfilled, so as to not contradict the Divine Will and Decree, and that is a general principal of the Torah.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Aderet Eliyahu on MiKeitz

Below is the GR"A's Aderet Eliyahu on MiKeitz, Breishit 42:9 in Hebrew.  I hope to have time to translate it soon.

מב ט) ויזכור יוסף את חלומות כו' עד פסוק י"ג.  לכאורה מאי קא משמע לן בזה, וכן הקשה בזוהר (קצט, א).  וכן תשובתם "לא אדוני כו' כלנו" כו' ואחר כך אמר להם עוד פעם אחת "לא כי ערות" כו' והשיבו עוד פעם אחרת "שנים עשר" כו' והוא השיב "הוא אשר דברתי" כו' הכל תמוה.  אבל הענין, כי הסבה שאמר להם מרגלים אתם אמר להם מחמת שבאו עשרה יחד כולם גבורים בעלי קומה, ואם לשבור אוכל היאך איתרמו יחד.  והשיבו "לא אדוני" כו', ותשובה לקושייתך - "כולנו בני איש אחד" כו' ולכך אנו שוים בגבורה וביופי וקומה, ונתוועדנו יחד.  ואמר להם "לא כי" כו', שזהו שקר שאחד יוליד עשרה כולם גבורים כו'.  והשיבה, אל תתמה על זה, ששנים עשר היינו כו', והמופת על זה שהקטן עוד בבית אבינו כצורתינו וגבורתינו.  ולכך אמר להם "בזאת תבחנו" כו'.  וכוונתו ח"ו לא לצערם וכל שכן לצער אביו על חנם, אלא שידע שעל ידי כן יתקיימו החלומות כסדר, ולא רצה לעבור על רצון ה' יתברך.  והחלום הראשון היה 'קמה אלומתי כו' והנה' כו', והשיבו לו 'המלוך תמלוך כו' אם משול תמשול' כו', ורצה לומר: א' המלוכה, וב' שיפלו בידו כדרך האסור, שכך היה החלום: 'קמה אלומתי' על המלוכה, 'והנה תסובינה' כו' הוא על הממשלה, ואחר כך החלום השני כו'.  והנה כאן נתקיים המלוכה ואחר כך 'ויאסור אותם במשמר' הרי הממשלה.  אבל עדיין בבנימין לא נתקיים לכך הכריחם להביא את בנימין, ולקח שמעון למשכון ויאסור אותו לעיניהם שיחוסו על שמעון וימהרו להביא את בנימין כדי שאחר כך יוכל להודיע לאביו תיכף, וכשהביאו אותו והשתחווה לפניו, ואחר כך בדבר הגביע לקח אותו לעבד ולכך אמר 'הוא יהיה לי עבד ואתם עלו' כו', ואחר כך התודע להם ובאו עם אביו אז נתקיים החלום השני.  ולכך הקדימה התורה 'ויזכור יוסף את החלומות', להודיע שכל מה שעשה לא עשה אלא מרוב צדקתו שיקויימו החלומות שלא להכחיש רצון וגזירת עליון, וזהו כלל התורה.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

1200 Years of Galut - 3 Versions

The Introduction to Tikkunei Zohar on page 4b

And immediately after it went up, "and they went without strength before the pursuer", and because of this the masters of the mishnah have set up, that everyone who says Amen Yehei Shmeh Rabba with all his might, (in heaven) they tear up a sentence of 70 years, that these 70 years, are after 1200 years, that the Beit HaMikdash was destroyed, and there are those that calculate it from the time that the Tamid ceased, because the Keitz of the Redemption is dependent on the level of Yaakov, which is the level of Truth, and that is what is written "Give truth to Yaakov" (Michah 7), which is the sign for 1290, and there are those that add a further 2, from "Close is Hashem to those that call Him, to all those that call Him in truth (in truth has 2 more in gematria), to know in the land Your ways, thus it is here with land, Aleph Ra"tz (i.e. Elef, or 1000, and Ra"tz which is the gematria of 290), 90, to fulfill with it Truth sprouts up from the Land, so that there will be a value of Land (i.e. 1290), but the sentence itself is 70 years.
Essentially, there are 3 uses of the 1200 years of Galut here:
  • There are 1200 years after the Churban, followed by 70 years.
  • There are 1200 years from the time of taking away of the Tamid, followed by 70/90 years.
  • There are 1200 years from the time of taking away the Tamid, followed by 72 years.
I would propose that each one is correct, and is talking about different understandings of similar teachings.
  • The 1200 years after the Churban, followed by 70 years in which we could do tikkun, the 70th year falls a few years after the end of the period where Galut is for the Sin of Mechirat Yosef.  Essentially, then, the 1200 years and the 70 are a deadline for tikkun.
  • The 1200 years after the taking away of the Tamid, followed by the 70/90 years (and eventually 135 years to complete the 1335), this seems to be a hint at the main year count of the Zohar in Parshat Vayera 119 and Shemot 9/10.
  • The 1200 years from the taking away of the Tamid, followed by 90 years, as I detailed here.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Calculation of Mechirat Yosef

See here for the full ma'amar from the Zohar Chadash.

And when they were finished, the sin of Sinat Chinam caused (punishment), that the first Sinat Chinam was awakened, and that is what is written "and they hated him", that tsaddik. And then HaKadosh Baruch Hu gave them in to the hands of one that hates them with Sinat Chinam, that is what is written of Edom "Because you have had a hatred of old, and you have thrown the children of Israel by a sword" (Yehezkel 35).

And then it was taken from them, by way of the number of years, that they were lacking in the secret of 7 for your sins. Come and see, that when you count 22 years 7 times, for each of the 10 that sold him, you will find 1540. And then the Geulah of Yisrael will be aroused, like the morning that starts to light up little by little, until 17 years, that that Tsaddik arose to the level of Good (טו"ב, gematria 17). That is what is written: "Yosef is 17 years old and would shepherd with his brothers" (Breishit 37). Because then he will be able to stand in the breach, before Midat HaDin, for the sins of the world will have been completed (perhaps sins of the world should be translated as eternal sins), and then "And Beit Yaakov will be a fire, and Beit Yosef for a flame, and Esav for straw, and they will light up in him and consume them." (Ovadyah 1)

In my humble opinion, it appears to me that the explanation is as follows:
  • The sin of Sinat Chinam at the end of the 2nd Temple era aroused Sinat Chinam from the side of Esav, i.e. Rome, in the year 3826.
  • From this time, the punishment of Galut was for the Sin of Mechirat Yosef, and some time during the following 1540 years, a tikkun was required to prevent destruction from Midat HaDin.  This tikkun, thankfully, was achieved.
  • Another 17 "years" after these 1540 years brought the birth of the Vilna Gaon, who, like others before him, was Moshiach ben Yosef.  The difference, however, is that he was able to work towards Kibbutz Galuyot through his teachings, and indeed his disciples brought new life to the settlement in Eretz Yisrael.  Prior to this time, Moshiach ben Yosef had mainly been involved in protection of Am Yisrael and the revelation of the secrets of Torah.  From here on out, the Eretz Yisrael side enters the equation, Kibbutz Galuyot, Binyan Yerushalayim, etc.  This is the offensive side war, where Yosef becomes a flame.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

On the Midrash Ne'elam Timeline

I'd like to write a little bit of analysis on the Midrash Ne'elam of Parshat Toldot, referring to the timing of Techiyat HaMeitim.  See here for a translation of the relevant section.  I encourage reading the original Hebrew/Aramaic text.

  • The general Techiyat HaMeitim of the average person in Israel will be at the end of 408 years of the 6th millenium.  Due to the nature of the language used, it appears that an extra line may have been added to indicate that this is the year 5408 exactly.
  • Techiyat HaMeitim of the Tsaddikim will preceed this ending point by either 210 or 214 years.
  • This year of Techiyat HaMeitim of the Tsaddikim will be after 40 years of tranquility, the beginning of which is called Kibbutz Galuyot.  It is not 40 years of the actual ingathering, per the text, but a starting point which is called Kibbutz Galuyot.  Furthermore, these 40 years will be without trouble for Am Yisrael.  See the beginning of Midrash Ne'elam on daf 139b: "and from the time that the troubles pass until the resurrection of the dead is 40 years".
If these 408 years terminate in the year 6000 or 6001, then that means that the troubles of Am Yisrael would have left us some 15-20 years ago.  But rather here, like other places, the Zohar is not speaking in a way that is clear to the average reader.