And the Men Were Afraid, because They Were Brought into Joseph’s House

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192) Woe unto people, for they do not know and do not observe the ways of Torah. Woe unto them when the Creator seeks to sentence them for their deeds, and the body and soul will rise to account for their deeds before the soul parts with the body.

193) And that day is judgment day. It is a day when the books in which all the deeds of people open and the litigants are present. At that time, the serpent rises to bite him, and all the organs are agitated by him, and the soul parts with the body. It walks and roams and does not know which way it will go and to which place it will be elevated.

194) Woe unto that day, a day of anger and wrath is that day. Hence, one should vex one’s inclination daily and remind it of that day when he rises to the sentence of the King, and that it will be brought under the earth to rot and the soul will part with it.

195) One should always anger the good inclination over the evil inclination and exert after it. If it parts with him, good. If not, let him engage in Torah, since nothing breaks the evil inclination except the Torah. If it leaves, good. If not, let him remind it of the day of death, to break it.

196) We should observe here. After all, this is the evil inclination, the angel of death. Will the angel of death break before the day of death? He kills people, which means that his joy is to put people to death which is why he always fools them, to lure them toward death.

197) Indeed, one should remind him of the day of death to break the heart of man, for the evil inclination is present only in a place where there is joy of wine and pride. And when man’s spirit is broken, it parts with him and is not over him. This is why one should remind it of the day of death, so his body will break and it will depart.

198) The good inclination needs the joy of Torah, and the evil inclination needs the joy of wine, adultery, and pride. This is why man needs to always anger it from that great day, judgment day, the day of account, when all that protects a person are the good deeds that he does in this world so they will protect him at that time.

199) And as much as they were all heroes, all strong, and one youth who brought them to the house of Joseph caused them to fear, when they come to the Creator to seek judgment for man, one should be several times more fearful.

200) For this reason, one must be watchful in this world and strengthen himself in the Creator, and put his trust in Him. This is because even though he sins, if he wholeheartedly repents, the Creator is strong—to pass over his qualities and forgive him, and he will be able to strengthen in the Creator as though he had never sinned at all.

201) Because the tribes sinned with the stealing of Joseph, they were fearful. Had they not sinned, they would not have been afraid at all, since man’s iniquities break his heart and he has no strength at all. Why is this so? It is so because the good inclination breaks with it and has no strength to overcome the evil inclination. This is why it is written, “Who is the man that is afraid,” afraid of the iniquities in one’s hands, which break man’s heart.

202) In the selling of Joseph, the Creator repaid for the iniquities of the tribes for several generations. This is because nothing is hidden from the Creator and He repays from generation to generation, and the judgment always stands before Him until He repays, and the judgment is where it should be.

203) Where do we learn that? From Hezekiah. Hezekiah sinned in that sin where he revealed the secrets of the Creator to other nations—idol worshipping peoples—when he should not have revealed them. And the Creator sent Isaiah and told him, “Behold, the days come, that all that is in thy house,” etc.

204) See what that iniquity of revealing that which was concealed had done. Because it was revealed, the other place—Sitra Achra—was given a place for dominance, where it should not have dominated him. This is why there is blessing only in a place of concealment. All that is concealed, blessing is upon it. Once it is revealed, a place for dominance is given to the other place, to rule over him.

205) “All who honored her despise her.” This is the kingdom of Babel, since it is from there that the gift was sent to Jerusalem, as it is written, “At that time Merodach… sent.”

206) It is written of them, “Greetings unto Hezekiah, king of Judah; greetings unto the Great God; and greetings unto Jerusalem.” And since the letter came from him, he contemplated and said, I did not do it right, greeting the servant before greeting his master. He rose off his chair and took three steps, took back his letter, and wrote another in its stead. And this is what he wrote, “Greetings unto the Great God; greetings unto Jerusalem; and greetings unto Hezekiah, king of Judah.” This is respectful of Him.

207) But afterwards they despised her, “Because they have seen her nakedness,” which Hezekiah showed them. Had it not been for that, they would not have despised her afterwards. But because Hezekiah was righteous, the thing was delayed and did not come in his days, as it is written, “For there will be peace and truth in my days.” But afterwards, the Creator repaid that iniquity with his sons after him.

208) Similarly, that sin of the tribes stood for a later time, since the judgment above cannot govern them until the time to repay arrives and He collects from them. For this reason, all who have sins in their hands are always fearful, as it is written, “And thou shall fear night and day.” Hence, “And the men were afraid, because they were brought.”

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