In our commentary on parashat Vayeshev, we explained that the episodes recorded in the recent Torah portions of the Torah are interpreted by the Zohar as showing how G‑d "reconnected" to the physical world through the sefirot after having become remote, following Adam and Eve eating from the tree of knowledge.

We have seen how Abraham brought down the aspect of the sefira of chesed, Isaac - gevura, Jacob - tiferet and Joseph - yesod. We said that the connection of yesod and malchut was "another story" - and now we have come to it!

Remember also that the words "Come and see" are inviting you to visualize the Tree of the Sefirot and see how the text explains it.

Come and see: "And Judah approached him [Joseph] and said…" (Gen. 44:18) This is the approach of one world with another to unify each with the other and become one. Because Judah is a King and Joseph is a King, they drew closer, one to the other and united one with the other.

Judah was the king of the tribes. He was the progenitor of King David and ultimately the Mashiach. Judah represents the sefira of malchut. Joseph was second only to the King of Egypt; he was the conduit through which all the abundance that was gathered under his hand would flow to Judah and the Nation of Israel. Joseph represents the sefira of yesod. His world is all the other sefirot that are gathered in him, and his role is to pass their abundance on to malchut. He engineers the meeting. In truth each longs to unite with the other. Judah/malchut is the Nefesh, Joseph/yesod is the Ruach and in joining they become a vehicle for the Neshama. Behold the kings were assembled, they came together…

Rabbi Yehuda opened his discourse with the verse: "Behold the kings were assembled, they came together" (Psalms 48:5). This is Judah and Joseph because both of them were kings. They assembled together to argue each with the other. This was because Judah was the guarantor of Benjamin and had pledged to his father that he would be his guarantor in both This World and the World to Come. This was the reason for him approaching Joseph, to argue with him concerning Benjamin [whom Joseph wanted to keep as a slave, following the discovery of Joseph's goblet in Benjamin's sack of produce].

[The argument was] so that he wouldn't be ostracized in This World and the World to Come [the spiritual world]. This is as is written: "I will be a surety for him; you shall acquire him from my hand. If I don't bring him to you [Jacob] and set him in front of you, then let me bear the blame forever." (Gen. 43:9) "Forever" means in This World and the World to Come. It is about this that the verse tells us "Behold, the kings are assembled, they came together". Each one was angry with the other.

The words "they came together" is the Bible translation of the Hebrew word "avru". Rabbi Yehuda points out that "avru" shares the same root as "evra" meaning "anger". This hints that their meeting was against a backdrop of mutual anger. The result of their meeting was totally different than that feared…

They were each angry with the other on account of Benjamin. [That explains] what is written [afterwards in Gen. 48:6] "They saw and were astounded, they were frightened, they [sent] everyone scrambling. Trembling gripped them [all] there." This means all that were present were gripped with fear, "like a woman in childbirth". This was because they were fearful of killing or being killed, and all over Benjamin. This was because Joseph had been sold on the advice of Judah and became lost to his father and now he [Judah] was the guarantor of Benjamin's return, so he wouldn't become lost to his father [by staying in Egypt]. And this was the reason for Judah approaching Joseph.

Even though each had their own agenda, G‑d wanted them to come together. The result of their meeting was totally different than that feared by all of the onlookers and even the participants themselves. The next step in the redemption of mankind was taking place, the union of yesod with malchut.

Zohar, Parashat Vayigash, p. 206a; translation and commentary by Simcha-Shmuel Treister

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