Parashah – Genesis 37:1 – 40:23
Haftarah – Amos 2:6-3:8
Sources used for extracts and quotes for this commentary:
This haftarah is read with Parashat Vayeshev because of one line in it: “They have sold for silver those whose cause was just” (Amos 2:6).
Underlying this Parashah is the enlightening review on ‘Emunah’ from the following Audio presentation. Rabbis Shlomo Katz, Jeremy Gimpel, and Ari Abramowitz discuss the Torah portion of the week, Vayeshev, and secrets revealed by Josef’s brothers after they sold him into slavery. Yosef presents the Scriptural metaphor for that visionary, inspired and impelling action team that will represent the fulfillment of Yosef’s Dream.
Audio Link: You can get into the topic directly by clicking 2.26 minutes on the Audio track graphic.
IMPORTANT THAT YOU RETURN TO THE REST OF THE PARASHAT AND HAFTARAH COMMENTARY here below for the real implication and application of this Parashat Message which concerns EACH of us if you have read thus far:
The Potent Power of Emunah
How Emunah can bring about the Greatest of End Time prophecies
Our Haftarah (from the Prophetic books of the Tanach (O.T.) is from Amos 2;6 – 3:8. The prophet Amos might be called the prophet who challenged his fellows to become “radically aware”. It is no secret that Amos thought that the people of Israel were the “chosen people”: “You alone have I singled out of all the families of the earth – that is why I call you to account for all your iniquities.” (3:2) This singularity did not bring with it rank, but rather God’s special attentiveness to his people.
This awareness was the quality that Amos saw was absent in the lives of his fellow citizens: “Can two walk together without having met/agreed?” If they are not aware of each other, how can they walk together? If they are not aware that they make up the Family which God treasures?
God’s people’s consciousness needs to be raised to remind them that God’s Purpose for mankind are often in plain sight for all to see to realize that they have a duty to advance God’s Purpose for mankind through their faith (Emunah) actions. All that is required is “radical awareness” of and co-operation with this Purpose in order to bring it to fulfillment.
The Haftorah opens up strongly stating how God would not pardon the tribes (all 11) of Israel for the sale of Yosef, which we see happen in this weeks Parshah. The brothers sold Yoseif for the equivalent of twenty silver dollars and each brother purchased a pair of shoes with his portion of the money, two silver dollars. ‘I will not pardon them for their selling for silver a righteous and destitute man for a pair of shoes” (Amos 2:6).
Yosef has dreams which despite making his brothers jealous, came true at the end, showing how God really establishes prophecy among the children of Israel. God now holds it against His people, “But you … commanded the prophets, saying, ‘You shall not prophesy.’ “ (12) Resultantly, the people are unaware of God’s Purpose and their responsibility towards making it happen.
Yosef’s dream of him becoming a ruler over his brothers and them bowing down to him presented a serious threat to the brothers. They found it necessary to protect themselves from his inevitable attack of them. However, they totally misread the entire situation from the start. The brothers are quoted to have reflected on their decision and said, “But we are guilty for observing his pain when he pleaded with us and we turned a deaf ear to it.” (Breishis 42:21 ) Even they faulted themselves for their insensitivity towards their brother. When he pleaded for his life they should have reconsidered and adjusted their harsh decision. It is this insensitivity that the prophet refers to when focusing upon the sale for shoes. Apparently, they purchased these shoes in exchange for Yoseif to indicate that he deserved to be reduced to dirt. Their statement reflected that whoever challenged their authority deserved to be leveled and reduced to nothing. (see Radal to Pirkei D’R’Eliezer).
Now, apply the enlightening teaching of Rabbi Shlomo Katz in the Parashat Audio study above:
His remarks about the brothers conveying a death notice of Yosef’s death to him. In this way they would prevent father Ya’akov from employing rejuvenating Emunah (faith) to bring about, in this case, the Return of Yosef with his Reconciliation Passion. Thus, making themselves guilty of God’s accusation against the brothers’ (the nations’) withholding of the prophets from prophesying and enlightening, waking up, making the nation aware of their obligation to promote and bring about reconciliatory Restoration of the Nation. This being a metaphor of the Great Stumbling Block existing today through the unawareness of BOTH Houses, i.e. all brothers.
Yet, Yosef’s Dream was correct and would surely be fulfilled. This fulfillment has already been ignited at grassroots level today; This is what is required today to awaken and inspire BOTH sides (all brothers) about the reality of the Greatest and Main Theme of Biblical Prophecy. This awareness will then ignite the Emunah in both sides to make the fulfillment happen through their active participation and striving for peaceful Reconciliation. Without this Emunah, there can never be a Geulah (Final Redemption). There can never be a Greater Israel with borders from the Nile to the Euphrates river as it was in the days of King David and Solomon. Without the Return and re-uniting of Ephraim with Judah into ONE nation, there can be no Greater Israel, no 12-Tribed Kingdom Rule, No 3rd Temple with 12 Gates for 12 Tribes.
Conclusion and application to the current situation at this time. There is much evidence around to believe that the Divine Promise of Restoration of the broken family of Israel by peaceful reconciliation between the two divided Houses of Israel has reached the Time of its fulfillment. However, there is a total lack of ‘awareness’ of this End Time Phenomenon promised in Scripture, i.e. The Restoration of the re-united 12-Tribed Kingdom of Israel. For this to materialize, it requires ‘awareness’ on both sides in order to ignite the required ‘Emunah’ that our Parashat Commentary this week refers to. What we do observe is a flocking by innumerable masses of former anti-Torah and anti-Jewish, anti-Rabbinic souls from every corner of the earth towards Torah awareness and a befriending (in fact a love sparked urge towards) Jews and the Land of Israel). Nonetheless, these masses are still majorly imbued with a spirit of resistance against Jewish Halachic Rabbinic Torah observance – a sour bitter fruit of 2000 years of anti-Jewish Christian and world culture. On the opposite side, from the other Peace Partner t0-be, Judah, (the Jews) there is a resistance against receiving these ‘Egyptian pagan’ strangers into their society. Judah is suffering the –self-protection mode that 2000 years of persecution for their faith have driven them to.
Combined, these two estranging factors present a derailing of the Main Feature of Biblical prophecy as expressed in this Haftarah, Amos 3:3, “Do two walk together, unless they have agreed to meet?”
Note the rendering of this Scripture by ‘The Message’ Bible translation version which includes the entire opening text of this Haftarah from Amos: “Do two people walk hand in hand if they aren’t going to the same place? Does a lion roar in the forest if there’s no carcass to devour? Does a young lion growl with pleasure if he hasn’t caught his supper? Does a bird fall to the ground if it hasn’t been hit with a stone? Does a trap spring shut if nothing trips it? When the alarm goes off in the city, aren’t people alarmed? And when disaster strikes the city, doesn’t God stand behind it? The fact is, God, the Master, does nothing without first telling his prophets the whole story.” Here we have ample confirmation of the ‘Emunah’ message captured by this week’s Parashat commentary, a message which emphasizes action – action inspired by Emunah which can only be ignited by ‘awareness’ (from the Haftarah section of the Parashah).
It is this ‘awareness’ that Yosef has to arouse amongst both sides – Yosef being the metaphoric Family Restorer, the Reconciliator. Yosef in his Egyptian attire and official Egyptian Ruler authority glory was not recognized by any of his 11 brothers – not just Judah.
Yosef today, therefore, must refer to and be represented by that body of active souls from both the 10-Israel and the Judah side; i.e. from the House of Judah (Jews, Rabbis) and the re-awakening House of 10-Israel. We have such representation in the leadership and boards of the COI Vision and the Kol Hator Vision. This needs YOUR Emunah and active support – your personal dedicated involvement as indicated by the underlying Message of this Parashah, Vayeshev.
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Additional important observations:
The name for this Parashah is taken from the 1st word in the Hebrew version of the quoted Scripture (Gen. 37:1) – Yeshev – יֵּשֶׁב
To dwell, be domiciled – to sit – to rest – to return – captivity – return from captivity – Shabbat – (all words built around שב – the letters Shin and Vav).
The preceding Yud י brings a future tense implication.
Thus, hinting at the future Return from Captivity and exile of BOTH Houses for the ultimate Divine Purpose of reconciling and reuniting of the 2 divided Houses of Israel, to restore the Reunited 12-Tribed Kingdom of the God of Israel to Rule over the World from His Universal Headquarters in Jerusalem during the Shabbat (7th) Millennium.