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Coats, Dreams and Jealousy
Video 20 of 21
Well let's think about it. What I'm about to suggest to you is speculative, it's just a possibility, let's just consider it, possibly. Here's Yaakov sending Yosef on this very dangerous mission to meet his brothers in Shechem. Maybe Yaakov knows how dangerous the mission is? Maybe he's sending him on a dangerous mission on purpose? Maybe he wants to test Joseph's loyalty to him? But of course I love Joseph, I don't want to really to get Joseph in trouble, I don't want to really put him in danger, it's just a test, right?
I think we asked this question before, Yaakov's rhetorical questions, seem quite of strange, what's this question; Haloh achecha ro'im b'Shechem - aren't your brothers shepherding in Shechem? Haloh achecha ro'im b'Shechem - aren't your brothers shepherding in Shechem? I think I'll send [you to them 1:31]. And he says, I'll go. What do you mean, aren't your brothers shepherding in Shechem? Are they shepherding in the Shechem or are they not shepherding in Shechem? If they're there then just say, your brothers are shepherding in Shechem, please go to them. What's the aren't your brothers shepherding in Shechem?
Well the interesting thing is, they're not shepherding in Shechem, are they? As we find, they're not really in Shechem, they're in Dotan. They're going to Dotan via Shechem. So here's what you wonder, is Yaakov aware? Is it possible that Yaakov knows that they're going to Shechem - knows their itinerary, knows that they're going to Shechem and then they're going to Dotan? By the time Yosef gets to Shechem they're not supposed to be there anymore. It's like, aren't your brothers in Shechem? Yaakov is never really lying to him, they aren't in Shechem. But I'm telling you go to Shechem and then come on back, and it's perfectly safe, you'll never meet up with them, but I'll see your intentions, are you willing to go to them in good faith?
Yaakov by the way is aware of the tensions we saw, look what he asked him to do. Lech nah re'ei et shelom achecha v'et shelom hatzon - go, check on the peace of your brothers and the peace of the sheep. Remember earlier, if we go back earlier, what couldn't the brothers do? Joseph and the brothers were at odds so much; V'loh yachlu dabro l'shalom - they couldn't even speak in peace. Now here comes Yaakov, see if you can make some peace. Maybe there's this double entendre, maybe it wasn't just say hello to your brothers and check on the peace, maybe it wasn't such a trivial mission, it was an important mission, can you go and bring peace back in the family? Have you been sowing seeds of discord with all of these dreams that maybe aren't even really true but just the figment of your imagination with moons that don't really exist and mothers who are already dead? Can you go check on the peace of your brothers? Maybe bring peace back into this situation? It was an important mission. Bring me back word - Hashiveini davar, see if you could really do it.
Here too by the way, maybe a kind of double entendre. Hashiveini davar - bring me back word, that's the test. Look at this word for word; Davar. Go back earlier; V'loh yachlu dabro l'shalom - the brothers and Yosef can't even speak in peace. So now Yaakov to Yosef; Hashiveini davar - bring me back word. Davar and Shalom together just like; Dabro l'shalom - not being able to speak in peace. Can you bring back peace? Can you make it happen? And it's a test, and it's a dangerous test. And maybe Yosef is not even supposed to meet them, but is he willing to do it? Yosef is willing to do it and Yosef goes.
So let's see what happens. Vayimtza'eihu ish - some mystery man finds him, some anonymous person. Who was the mystery man? V'hinei to'eh basadeh - he's lost in the fields. He's looking around for his brothers in Shechem, they aren't there. Vayishaleihu ha'ish - and he asks this anonymous guy saying; Vayishaleihu ha'ish - and this anonymous fellow asks him; Mah tevakesh - what is it that you're looking for? Vayomer et achai onochi mevakesh - I'm looking for my brothers, where are they? Who was this anonymous person that he met up with? Why are we hearing this completely irrelevant digression?
Maybe it's not a digression at all? Here's Rashi on who the man was. Vayimtza'eihu ish; zeh Gavriel - it was the Malach Gavriel - the Angel Gabriel. So what did G-d say when Yaakov Avinu was engineering his Akeidah-like test for Yosef? Test his loyalty, test what kind of Bechor he was? It was almost like, oh we're playing Akeidah? We can play Akeidah, every good Akeidah story comes with an angel. What was the role of an angel in the original Akeidah? I told Abraham to sacrifice his child, what did the angel say? Don't do it. The angel came and changed around the designs of the center. Well we're going to have an angel in this story too, what would an Akeidah story be without an angel? You told Yosef to go, and of course he's going to come right back to you, that's your plan, but that's not the angel's plan. You can't control the situation, what are you going to do when Yosef gets lost? Yosef gets lost and he finds this man, he finds the angel and he's supposed to come back, but he asked the angel where are my brothers? They went that a way the angel says, they're in Dotan.
Now what? We'll have a full-fledged Akeidah, not just with the Hineini and the Lech and the Nah, but we'll have an angel too and we'll have a; Vayiru oto mei'rachok - right? The brothers see Yosef coming far afar and of course an echo of the Akeidah; Vayar et hamokom mi'rachok - Abraham sees the place from afar, there's going to be doom coming in both stories. And let's have a; Yad al tishlechu bo, maybe, just like the Akeidah. Remember how the angel staid Abraham's hand and said, don't do it, with; Don't send your hand against the child? We'll have that too. We'll have Yosef in the pit almost about to be killed but along will come Reuven, the angel that helps Yosef, and he's also going to say; Yad al tishlechu bo - let our hand not be upon him, just like the angel said don't put your hand upon him.
And then, remember how Avraham picked up his eyes and saw and he didn't have to sacrifice Isaac because there was an alternative? Vehinei ayil - there was ram, and therefore Isaac didn't have to die, there could be another substitute. We'll have another substitute also. Vayisu eineihem vayiru - let's have that too. They lifted up their eyes and they saw; V'hinei - and behold there was an Orchat Yishmaelim - there was another possibility, there was a caravan of Ishmaelites, we don't have to kill him. Let's just sell him instead. We're playing Akeidah? Let's play Akeidah in spades. Let's go for the whole thing.
What's the message? I don't know what the message is, but maybe it's you're trying to play Akeidah, human beings can't play Akeidah, only G-d plays Akeidah. You're going to try to manage things? You're going to try to manage this testing, you think it's going to make it work out, what happens if he gets lost? What happens if he doesn't find his brothers in Shechem? What happens if he finds someone who says that a way? That someone is an angel, he's My messenger. Now I'll take everything you've done and use it for My aims, and Joseph will go down to Egypt, and now the story, G-d says, is in My hands. The sale of Joseph is an Akeidah story, but it's an Akeidah story gone awry, it's an Akeidah story hijacked by G-d. It starts with Yaakov, it ends with G-d taking Yaakov's beginning and using it, so to speak, for His own ends.
1. What Were They Thinking?
2. Building Tensions
3. From Hatred to Jealousy
4. What Was Jacob Thinking?
5. A Break From the Action
6. The Original Internet
7. The Hidden Hyperlinks
8. A Confluence of Echoes
9. Where Have I Heard This Before?
10. The Brothers' Perspective
11. When Three Are One
12. Will the Real Firstborn Please Stand Up?
13. Bechor: A Tale of Twos
14. Rabbi Soloveitchik's Theory
15. Joseph's Undershirt
16. The Meaning of the Second Coat
17. Four Links
18. Double Entendre
19. The Riddle of the Bowing Moon
20. The Hidden Angel
21. Chain of Words
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