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544) Reuben was Jacob’s firstborn. He was to receive everything—kingship, birthright, and priesthood—and everything was removed from him—the kingship was given to Judah, the birthright to Joseph, and the priesthood to Levi. It is written, “Reckless as water, you shall not have preeminence,” meaning you will not remain in them. And what Jacob said, “Reuben, you are my firstborn; my might and the beginning of my strength, preeminent in dignity and preeminent in power,” here he blessed him and mentioned him before the Creator.
545) It is like the king’s beloved one, whose son was passing through the market one day. He said to the king, “This is my beloved son.” The king heard and realized that he was asking him to benefit his son. Similarly, Jacob said, “Reuben, you are my firstborn; my might and the beginning of my strength,” reminding him to the King, so he will benefit him.
546) “Reckless as water, you shall not have preeminence.” Here he said what was to happen to him: that he would not remain in the land but be abroad, on the east side of the Jordan. Correspondingly, one appointee from the side of the tabernacle, Nukva above—appointed under the hand of Michael—was rejected outside the tabernacle, as well.
This is so because there are twelve roots to the twelve tribes in the upper tabernacle, the Nukva. Since Reuben was rejected from the land of Israel to the other side of the Jordan, his root, too, was rejected outside the tabernacle.
Some say that the rejected appointee from the tabernacle above was under the hand of Gabriel. And even though Reuben is Hesed and Michael is the head of the angels on the side of Hesed, while Gabriel is the head from the left side, Gevura, there is Gevura in Reuben nonetheless. He brings evidence from the verse, “Judah is still down on God.” This descent indicates that he is the side of Gevura and is called “a courthouse.”
Also, Reuben is near his inheritance in the land, since the inheritance of Judah extended to the Jordan on the west, and the inheritance of Reuben extended to the Jordan on the east. This proximity indicates that there is Gevura in Reuben, as well. And although Malchut, the bottom Gevura, was taken from Reuben and belongs to Judah, he is still not completely clean of Gevura, since Reuben’s inheritance was adjacent to his, which indicates that there is Gevura in him.
547) The sons of Reuben were to hold two wars in the land. It is written, “My might,” about the exile in Egypt. “The beginning of my strength” means that they were the first among their brothers to go to war. “Preeminent in dignity” refers to the exile in Assyria, where the sons of Gad and the sons of Reuben were exiled first and suffered many hardships and torments, and have not returned from there thus far.
548) “Preeminent in power” means that when the Messiah King awakens in the world, they will go out and wage war in the world and will be triumphant, prevailing over the nations, and the peoples of the world will fear and dread them. The sons of Reuben will contemplate overcoming in kingship and will not remain in it, as it is written, “Reckless as water, you shall not have preeminence,” meaning that they will not remain in kingship even on a single side in the world because it is written, “For you went up to your father’s bed,” meaning that they will come and wage war inside the holy land. “Your father’s bed” is Jerusalem, and they will want to take it from the Messiah King.
549) The sons of Reuben spread to the four directions of the world in exile, corresponding to the whole of Israel, who were exiled four times in exile, in the four directions of the world. It is written, “My might,” which is one exile, “The beginning of my strength” is the second, “Preeminent in dignity” is the third, and “Preeminent in power” is the fourth. Similarly, they are destined to wage war against the four directions of the world and by war, they will govern everyone. They will defeat many nations and will rule over them.
550) “Reckless as water, you shall not have preeminence” implies to the first thought that Jacob had in the first drop—that of Rachel. Had the thought of that drop been on Leah, instead, Reuben would have remained with everything, with the kingship, the priesthood, and the birthright. However, “Reckless as water, you shall not have preeminence, for you went up to your father’s bed,” meaning you went up with a different thought, so you defiled.
551) “Reckless as water, you shall not have preeminence” because when the sons of Reuben wage war in the world and defeat many nations, the sons of Reuben will not remain in kingship because they will make war in the holy land. This is so because it writes precisely, “For you went up to your father’s bed,” which is Jerusalem.
But should it not have said, “Bed”? “Your father’s” is Ysrael Saba, ZA. This is why he says, “Your father’s bed” and not “Bed,” since Jerusalem was ruined twice, and in the third time, it will be built during the Messiah King. And here a blessing was revealed in the words, “You are my firstborn; my might and the beginning of my strength.” And the blessing, the kingship, and the priesthood being taken away from him were as it is written, “Reckless as water, you shall not have preeminence.”
And when they come to the land of Israel, he will have no part in the land, but on the other side of the Jordan. And what will happen with Reuben at the time of the Messiah King is that he will wage wars on many nations and in Jerusalem, as well.
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