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Echoes of the Future
Video 14 of 17
Zamru laHashem chasidav v'hodu l'zecher kadsho - again this idea of praise which we talked about before, sing praise to G-d. Then we get back over here in verse 6 to what seems to be another reference to the whole sale of Joseph story. This one is really tricky, I'll give you a free coke if you can get the right answer here. Where do you see it? Not easy to spot. Ki regah b'apo chaim birtzono - G-d's anger lasts for just a minute but life comes through His will. If you listen carefully to these words right in here you're going to see or hear something which reminds you of an echo of the sale of Joseph.
Actually, it comes back to what we were talking about before, Jacob's blessing to his children, not in this case Judah one of the co-conspirators in the sale of Joseph, but actually the blessing of Shimon and Leivi. As we mentioned before the two other main co-conspirators in the sale. These are the children of Leah, who are older than Judah that Judah would have had to convince when - again remember the plot was to kill Joseph and Judah convinces them not to do it and just to sell him instead. Shimon and Leivi are the principal brothers that he convinces. Reuven - even though Reuven is the oldest brother, remember Reuven is already on Joseph's side, Reuven is the one who wants to come back at night and pull Joseph out of the pit so Judah would not have had to convince Reuven not to kill him. It was just mainly Shimon and Leivi. If we look at Shimon and Leivi's blessings from their father we'll find echoes of these words. Watch right over here.
I'm going to put Psalm 30 right here at the top of the screen; take a look at the bottom of the screen, here is Jacob's blessings to Shimon and Leivi, see if you can hear echoes of what we were talking about in Psalm 30. Remember in Psalm 30 - for His anger is but for a moment - Ki regah b'apo chaim birtzono - but life comes through His will. Okay so let's take a look at this blessing. Shimon V'Leivi achim klei chamas m'cheiroseichem - Shimon and Leivi you brothers. Now take a look here at verse 6; Besodom al tavoi nafshi bikhalam al techad kevoidi ki b'apam hargu ish - Jacob says I want to have nothing to do with their conspiracy because in anger they killed a person. U'birtzonam - and through willfulness; Ikru shor - they uprooted the ox. I think I may have mentioned to you earlier that over here ox seems to be a metaphor for Joseph, this word Shor over here is a word that actually shows up in the blessing that Jacob gives to Joseph. So it seems - it sounds like Jacob is sort of condemning Shimon and Leivi for their role in the sale.
But take a look again at this word over here; Ki b'apam hargu ish u'birtzonam ikru shor - just so happens that this is the exact same words and the exact same order as Psalm 30. Let me actually make that a little bit prettier for you over here. If we put Apo in blue and Ratzono in green, you'll see that same thing; Apam and Ratzonam. To my knowledge, these are the only times in the Hebrew Bible when you have these phrases together, Af and Ratzon together like this one after another. So it really does sound in Psalm 30 like we're echoing this blessing to the co-conspirators of Judah in the sale of Joseph.
Okay so just continuing here in verse 6; Ki regah b'apo chaim birtzono b'erev yellin bechi velaboker rina - at night you can go down crying and in morning there's happiness. Well what does that remind you of? It just turns out, could be coincidental, but it just turns out that this word Bechi over here, this is the first time that this word appears in the Book of Psalms, crying. This is Psalm 30 so the first time we have crying in the Book of Psalms. You know when the first time we have crying in the Book of Genesis is? You'll find it right over here when Joseph reveals himself to his brothers; Vayiten et kolo bivchi - he lifted up his voice crying. If you think about it, this was the time when things looked most disastrous for the brothers; Benjamin had been taken captive, everything is falling apart, Judah thinks he's going maybe to have go back to his father and say, I know I promised you Benjamin but I'm not going to be able to bring him back to you. Judah is crying, and all of a sudden Joseph, this Egyptian official starts crying.
So this is the - so at night there's tears, but then miraculously everything gets better. Velaboker rina - in the morning there's happiness. Of course after Joseph reveals himself there is happiness; the brothers and Joseph re-unite.
Interestingly by the way, this word B'erev - at night, also evokes one other word, when Judah promised himself, remember, as a guarantor for Benjamin, when things were going very badly and he was going to have stand by that and he had to say, take me instead of Benjamin. Let me be the slave. Of course the Hebrew word for guarantor is this very same word - Orev, which means guarantor but can also mean night. Erev of course is night, Orev - collateral or guarantor.
Anyway, suggested, it could be, I'm less certain here of these parallels in verse 6, but they are suggestive.
But if you keep on going, verse 7, again listening in Psalm 30 what does this remind you of in the sale of Joseph? V'ani amarti beshalvi bal emot l'olam - and yet I had said - I, Judah had said in my tranquility, I shall never be moved, I'm unmovable. When did Judah say that he was unmovable? Of course it's right over here, it's when he promised himself as the guarantor, when he said that you can trust me father, I will always bring him back to you. Little did he know how difficult it was going to be to make good on that promise.
This is what he says over here in verse 8. Hashem birtzoncha - G-d only through Your will; He'emadata l'hareri oz - You were able to make my mountain a stronghold, You were able to give me the strength to stand by those words. Where did I ever find the power, the strength, to be able to look that Egyptian official in the eye - Joseph - and to be able to say, take me as a slave instead of my brother. I don't even know how I got those words out of my mouth, I thought I was so strong, I said in my tranquility I couldn't be moved, little did I know how difficult it would be. G-d if You were not standing by me it wouldn't have happened. Through Your will, You gave me strength. Histarta panecha - had You hidden Your face at that moment, had You not been there for me; Hayiti nivhal - I would have panicked.
Well over here if you listen carefully, you'll again here echoes of the sale of Joseph. What does this remind you of? Histarta panecha hayiti nivhal - if You would have hidden Your face I would have panicked. Well of course who was hiding their face in the story? The answer to that of course is Joseph, right? Joseph was hiding his face throughout the whole story and Joseph finally reveals himself - a playoff of here; Histarta panecha - G-d had You hidden Your face right before Joseph revealed his face there would have been a whole different end to the story. If You hadn't been with me and given me the strength to make that plea to Joseph, and say take me instead; Hayiti nivhal - I would have panicked. Well what does this word panic remind you of? Again, look at this story, Joseph revealing himself to his brothers, see if you can find that word. Believe it or not it's right there.
It turns out the word is right over here; Ki nivhalu mipanav - the brothers when they saw Joseph reveal himself they were so astonished they panicked in front of his face, they couldn't answer him, they panicked. By the way the connections here are very, very strong. We have Nivhal in Psalm 30 and in Joseph revealing himself to his brothers. We also have the idea of face. Remember; Histarta panecha hayiti nivhal - G-d had You hidden Your face I would have panicked. Over here they panicked Mipanav - in front of the face of Joseph. Same words. Of course, the idea of hiding; Histarta panecha - G-d had You hidden Your face. Of course this story is not a story of hiding at all, it's a story of the very opposite, of Joseph revealing his face. So in all these ways Psalm 30 seems to be echoing and be kind of a mirror image of what's going to happen in Chapter 45 when Joseph reveals himself to his brothers.
If you see it that way, it really is a very moving portrait. What really is the meaning of this? What is it that Judah is saying? This is all very interesting wordplay but what is the meaning of this wordplay? I think its saying something really very, very stirring. What do you think it means? Come back and let's discuss this.
1. What Does the Book of Psalms Have to Do With the Joseph Story?
2. A Curious Dedication
3. Profit Motive
4. Blood Money
5. Did Jacob Know?
6. A Father's Ambivalent Blessing
7. The Ruthlessness of War
8. The Lion and the Cub
10. To Redeem an Ancestor's Pledge
11. The Lion and the Lamb
12. Moving Up
13. Memories of Father
14. First Cries
15. Where Would I Be Without You
16. What Could Kill Me--But Then What?
17. A Palpable Presence
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