And He Called His Son, Joseph

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251) “And he called his son, Joseph.” Why did he summon only Joseph? Were the rest of the tribes not his sons? Indeed, Joseph was his son more than the others. When Potiphar’s wife besought Joseph, it is written, “And he went into the house to do his work, and none of the men of the house were in.” It should have said, “And no man was home.” What is “The men of the house?” It is to include Jacob’s image, who was there. When Joseph raised his eyes and saw his father’s image there, he reconsidered and turned back.

252) It is written, “And he refused, and said unto his master’s wife.” The Creator told him, “You say,” “And he refused and said,” “Another will come to bless your sons and they will be blessed in him.” It is as it is written, “And his father refused and said, ‘I know, my son, I know; he too will become a people and he too will be great.’”

253) Why did Jacob say, “I know my son, I know”? “I know, my son,” that you observed being my son in your body, when you saw my semblance and returned to your covenant and did not desecrate it. This is why it is written, “I know, my son.” And the second, “I know” is when Joseph said that Menashe was the elder. And he replied to him about that, “He too will become a people and he too will be great.” This is why it is written, “And he called his son, Joseph, for he observed being his son in his body.

254) “And he called his son, Joseph.” They seemed to have one form; anyone who saw Joseph testified that he was Jacob’s son. He called him, “his son” because they were of a single form, since Joseph nurtured him and his sons in his latter days. This is the reason why he is his son more than all the others. “And he called his son, Joseph,” and not another, since he had permission to raise him from there to the Cave of Machpelah, since he was a King, but he did not have permission for another.

255) Since Jacob knew that his sons would be enslaved in Egypt, why was he not buried there so his merit would protect his children? And why did he wish to be raised from there? It is written, “As a father has compassion for his children,” so where is the compassion?

256) When Jacob went down to Egypt, he was afraid. He said, “Perhaps my children would be extinct among the nations, and perhaps the Creator will take His Divinity away from me as before?” It was written, “And God appeared unto Jacob and told him, ‘Do not fear going down to Egypt, for I will make you a great nation there. And what you said, that I might take my Divinity away from you, I will go down to Egypt with you.’”

257) He said further, “I fear that I will be buried there and will not be buried with my fathers.” He told him, “I will raise you indeed; I will raise you indeed from Egypt, to be buried in the tomb with your fathers.”

258) This is why he wanted Him to raise him from Egypt. Another reason was so that he would not be made into a god, since he saw that the Creator was to avenge the gods of the Egyptians. And another one is that he saw that Divinity would place her abode among his children in the exile so he did not need to be buried in Egypt to protect them. He wanted his body to dwell among the bodies of his fathers, to be included in them, and not that it will be among the wicked in Egypt.

259) Jacob’s body extends from the beauty of Adam HaRishon. His form was that of Jacob, a high and holy form, the form of the holy throne. He did not wish to be buried among the wicked, since there is no separation in the fathers; they are always connected. This is why it is written, “That I may lay with my fathers.”

260) “And he called his son, Joseph.” “His son,” since they were of a single form of face because he begot him with more willingness of spirit and heart than in all the tribes, since Jacob’s only desire was for Rachel. This is why it is written, “And he called his son, Joseph.”

261) “The secret things belong unto the Lord our God.” Man should beware of his sins and beware of going against his Master’s will, since all that man does in this world, these deeds are written in a book and are counted before the holy King, and everything is revealed before Him, as it is written, “Can a man hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him, says the Lord?” Thus, how can one keep himself from sinning before his master? Even what a person contemplates and wishes is present before the Creator and is not lost from Him.

262) On the night when Leah came to Jacob and gave him those signs, which Jacob gave to Rachel for fear that her father would substitute her for another, when Rachel saw that her father was bringing Leah in her stead, and she did not know the signs, she was ashamed. Promptly, she gave her the signs. He thought she was Rachel and he laid with her, and the drop of Jacob was the first, as it is written, “My might and the beginning of my strength.” And he thought she was Rachel.

The Creator reveals deep secrets and knows what is in the dark. He raises that desire to its place and the birthright was taken from Reuben and was given to Joseph, since that first drop that came out of Jacob belonged to Rachel. And since Reuben’s birthright was hers, Joseph inherited it, and Rachel inherited hers.

263) This is the reason why Reuben did not merit a name like the rest of the tribes, but Reuben, Reu-Ben [“See, a boy”], a boy whose name was unknown. This is why Leah did not call him, “My son” and he was not called Reubni [Reu-Bni, “See, My boy”], since Leah knew the fact, that Jacob’s mind was on Rachel and not on her.

264) It is revealed before the Creator that Jacob did not contemplate sinning before Him by being with Leah and thinking of Rachel. He did not knowingly look at another woman at that time, as the rest of the wicked of the world. It is written about that, “And Jacob’s sons were twelve,” since the sons of the rest of the wicked of the world who do that thing are called by another name, meaning they are replaceable. Hence, “And he called his son, Joseph,” his son from the very beginning, from the time of Reuben’s birth. And in the end, he was his son.

265) By what did Jacob adjure Joseph, as it is written, “Please put your hand under my thigh?” It was by the sign of the covenant that was inscribed in his flesh, which is the importance of the patriarchs more than anything. The covenant is Joseph and the quality of Yesod is righteous, a Merkava [assembly/chariot] to him.

266) Concerning Abraham and Jacob, it is written, “Please put your hand under my thigh,” meaning that place which is implied in the holy name, to elicit the holy seed—the seed of faith—to the world. It does not say in Isaac, “Please put your hand,” since Esau came out of him.

267) Why does it say here, “Please put your hand under my thigh, do not bury me in Egypt?” Jacob told Joseph, “Swear to me in this holy inscription,” which educed a holy seed and was faithful forever, was kept, and was never defiled, so he will not be buried among the impure ones who never kept it. It is written about them, “whose flesh is like the flesh of donkeys and whose ejaculation is like the ejaculation of horses.”

268) But Joseph, who kept his covenant more than anyone, why was he buried among them in Egypt? It is written, “And the word of the Lord came expressly to Ezekiel the priest, son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and there the hand of the Lord came upon him.” But Divinity is only in the land of Israel, so why was Divinity revealed here? It is written, “By the river,” since the water do not absorb impurity and are not as the land of the nations. It is also written, “And there the hand of the Lord came upon him,” meaning Divinity. Here, too, Joseph’s coffin was thrown to the water. The Creator said, “If Joseph departs from here, there will not be an exile, since Israel would not tolerate it. However, his burial shall be in a place where he is not defiled, and the children of Israel will tolerate the exile.”

269) Jacob saw that in everything, a throne is established in the patriarchs, Abraham and Isaac on the right and left, and he is in the middle. Jacob said, “If he is buried here in Egypt, how will this body connect to the patriarchs? Even the cave where he was buried was called “Machpelah” [multiplication], since everything that is multiplied to the right and to the left is two and one. In other words, they need a third one to decide between them. Similarly, the cave is two and one, Abraham and Isaac to the right and to the left, and Jacob decides between them.

270) The patriarchs were rewarded with burial in the Cave of Machpelah, they and their wives. Jacob was buried with Leah. What is the reason that Rachel was not buried with him? After all, it is written, “Rachel was barren,” which indicates that she was the lady of the house [Akara (barren) is similar to Akeret (landlady)]. But Leah was rewarded more with him, bringing out six tribes from the holy seed; this is why she was placed as his spouse in the cave.

271) Each day, Leah would stand at a crossroads and weep for Jacob, that he would marry her, since she heard that he was righteous. She would rise early and pray over him. It is written about it, “And the eyes of Leah were soft.” As we said, she rose early and sat at a crossroads to pray.

272) Rachel never went out to the roads to pray to be married to Jacob, as did Leah. This is why Leah was rewarded with being buried with him, while Rachel is at a crossroads and was buried there, as it is written, “Now as for me, when I came from Paddan, Rachel died on me.” “On me” means “For me.” “In the land of Canaan on the way” means she died for me on the way, since she never went out for me, to pray, like her sister.

273) For this reason, Leah, who went out and wept on the crossroads for Jacob, was rewarded with being buried with him. Rachel, who did not wish to go out and pray for him, was buried in a crossroads for the same reason. Rachel is the revealed world, from Chazeh de ZA and down, where the Hassadim appear. Hence, her burial is in a revealed place. Leah is the concealed world, covered Hassadim, from Chazeh de ZA and above. This is why she was buried in the cave of Machpelah, in a place that is covered from the eye.

274) Many tears did that righteous woman, Leah, shed for being in Jacob’s part and not in that of that wicked one, Esau. Any person who sheds tears before the Creator, even if his sentence has already been given, that sentence will be torn and the punishment will not govern him. How do we know that? From Leah, since Leah was sentenced to being in Esau’s share, and with her prayer, she was wedded to Jacob first, and was not given to Esau.

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