Saturday, June 12, 2010

Yosef's Yahrtzeit

Today, the first day of Tammuz is the birthday and yahrzeit of Yosef Hatzadik. The Gemara in Rosh Hashana (11A) says that Rachel conceived for the first time on Rosh Hashana. This conception was Yosef, who was born exactly nine months later, on the first of Tammuz. Tammuz, as we noted in the Parsha Podcast, is the time of the harvest of the grapes in Eretz Yisrael. This was the time of the spies entry into Eretz Yisrael, and their opportunity for the tikkun of the sin of the brothers in selling Yosef. Yosef understood the concept of the grapes - that the Jewish people are a single cluster, composed of many different types and styles, each person with his or her own unique talents to donate for the betterment of the Jewish people. He typified one who could see his special role in the Jewish people, and he brought about the tikkun of Yehuda, who was ready to give up his own freedom to save his brother Binyomin. Tammuz was to be the time of tikkun for the entire Jewish people, via the spies, one from each tribe, and this was to be the final rectification before the days of Moshiach which would have began, had Moshe brought the Jewish people into the land of Israel and built the Beis Hamikdash. The light of the redemptions of Nissan, Iyar and Sivan would have paled in comparison to the greater revelations of Tammuz, Av and Elul. Indeed, in the future, these months will be months of joy, as the prophet tells us that the fast days will become holidays in the future. This is due to the inherent light that is contained within these days, the light that fell and has been hidden away for the future. Despite the fact that it is hidden, this is the very aspect of Yosef, who was born on the first of Tammuz. He represents the concept of the hidden process of Geulah, a process that is covered by seemingly natural events. Just as the brothers did not recognize Yosef, although he recognized them, we also do not recognize the Moshiach ben Yosef process, unless we try to see beneath the facade. The key to seeing the truth is by looking at points in reality that seem to make no sense. Just as the brothers could not make sense of the strange behavior of the Egyptian ruler that seemed to know so much about them, so too, we can see Yosef's process in the events that occur to the Jewish people that do not seem to make sense. When a president is elected to head the Western world, who so virulently disdains the Jewish people and her homeland, and it is against all odds that such a person should wield such power, we can see Yosef. When the Jewish people seek to defend themselves and are condemned by the countries of the world and portrayed in a malicious light in the media, we can see Yosef. When the media within Israel tears apart the religious world and ignores the positive aspects of their system that can so clearly be learned from, we can see Yosef. He hides from his brothers, but his goal is to bring out their best. Wherever the Jewish people are, Jerusalem can not be forgotten, nor can the name of their homeland, Israel. If they are honest seekers of truth, they have no choice but to stand up to defend the injustices that are rained down upon her. They must be like Yehuda, standing up for a Binyomin who is wrongfully accused of a crime he could not have committed. Soon, very soon, Yosef will reveal himself, and he will take off the mask and declare, "I am Yosef, is my father still alive?" Some will stand in shock, for they will see the folly of not having seen him all along. Others will have recognized him long before, and will have a deep sense of satisfaction in having known the truth all along. יהי זכרו ברוך

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