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30 May Midot Hayom 5770 Day 42: Malchut in Yesod


Joseph hid three treasures in Egypt. One was revealed to Korach, one to {the Roman Emperor] Antoninus, and one is hidden away for the righteous in the world to come (Pesachim 119a) Joseph did not keep the treasures for himself

or for his family. He saved them for the future. He also divided the treasures into three parts, each for an important stage in history: Korach, the Romans, and the World to Come.

It seems strange that two of the treasures were revealed to people we associate with difficult times for Israel, and that the third, reserved for the righteous in the World to Come, seems to be saved for people who won’t need treasure as we usually think of it. Whenever the Sages speak of the treasures hidden for the righteous in the World to Come, they refer to a spiritual treasure, increased revelation of God’s light and presence. What exactly were the treasures the Joseph hid? Why was were they revealed at these three specific points in time?

The Ben Yehoyada reminds us that the wheat stored by Yosef to prepare for the famine, was Divinely blessed and protected. All the wheat remained fresh and vibrant and none rotted. Yosef’s wheat was a reflection of his attribute of Yesod: He did not assume that simply storing the wheat was sufficient to protect Egypt from famine. A curse of famine would surely affect the stored wheat as well. The only way that the supplies would last was if he maintained his awareness that his actions were not his own, but all rooted in God’s plan for Egypt and the Children of Israel. The wheat, and the money he collected as payment contained the seed of Yesod that would carry Israel through all the years of exile until the World to Come. (Based on Elef Hamagen, Elishevitz – Vayechi)

Yosef wanted to protect this seed of Yesod, awareness of God’s plan and guidance, and therefore divided the money he collected into three sections: The money he collected from idol worshippers, money he collected from criminals, and money he collected from people who were good. Each section contained the seeds of Yesod.

Yosef’s plan incorporated all of Jewish history. His Yesod was so connected to God, and not his own plan, that it was able to connect with all stages of history, even beyond history to the World to Come. His Yesod possessed the attribute of Malchut in its ability to incorporate all of God’s plan. Malchut in Yesod.

Each time we are able to apply a lesson of the Sages as a practical instruction for our lives, we are accessing Torah’s Yesod: A biblical, Talmudic, or Midrashic story, is never a story in itself, it is connected to its Source, which means it has lessons that apply beyond time.

Once we are connected to the Yesod of Torah we have an opportunity to appreciate Torah’s Malchut: The Torah incorporates all of history and life. It contains within even the light of the World to Come. We begin with the practical – the immediate application – and through that, the Hidden Light of Torah, which reflects all existence, in this world and the next. The Malchut in Yesod. (Yesod always feeds directly into Malchut, and the Malchut reflects back.)

How would Yosef view the world? He would immediately focus on the Yesod: He would search for how all events are part of the Divine Plan for all of history. He would not focus on single events, but on how those events are guiding us toward the World to Come. Yosef would explain how each event fits into a plan that is beyond us and is guiding us toward the World to Come.

We can emulate Yosef by taking the same approach to our Torah study and personal lives. Once we succeed, we will have a better sense of how to view world events.

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