We Live because of Religious Jews! (6 December, 2013, 3 Tevet, 5774)
Hasidic Homily Teaches a Universal Truth.
The Bible may be interpreted in different ways. The Hebrew Language often lends itself to this possibility.
In addition Rabbinical Commentators and teachers often used Biblical Phrases to put over a point or as Mnemonic (Memory-assistant) devices.
They were not necessarily saying that the teaching they derived was the primary meaning of the verse in question.
They were just using it to put over a point that needed to be expressed.
In Genesis 44:18 we have such a case.
The KJ renders this verse:
Then Judah came near unto him, and said, Oh my lord, let thy servant, I pray thee, speak a word in my lord's ears, and let not thine anger burn against thy servant: for thou art even as Pharaoh.
The expression we are dealing with is the Hebrew word "BI" (pronounced "be") which is translated here as "I pray thee"
renders it as,
"I pray thee", or as "please", or "please allow", or "let me", etc.
This word, "BI" may also be translated as "in me" or "through me"
In Genesis 22:16 it is translated as "by myself".
[Genesis 22:16] AND SAID, BY MYSELF HAVE I SWORN, SAITH THE LORD, FOR BECAUSE THOU HAST DONE THIS THING, AND HAST NOT WITHHELD THY SON, THINE ONLY SON:
The translation of this expression depends somewhat on the context and grammatical formation of its usage.
At all events, in Genesis 44:18, it may be translated as "through me", "because of me".
Judah says to Joseph "Through me my lord". In Hebrew it could be rendered as "through me you are my lord".
Joseph in the Eyes of the "Rebbe" . Joseph Needs Judah!
Year 5 643
Judah said to Joseph. "OH MY LORD, LET THY SERVANT, I PRAY THEE" [Genesis 44:18]. The expression I PRAY THEE in Hebrew is "Bi Adoni" which literally means "Please, My Lord". In Hebrew the word "Bi" translated as "please" can also mean "in me". The "Sfat Emet" links the expression "in me" to "My Lord". He says that Judah was hinting to Joseph that his power of overlordship was "in me" i.e. in Judah. In other words Joseph was able to rule by virtue of the exertions of Judah.
These days within the Land of Israel there exist internal struggles amongst the Jews.
Many Ultra-Orthodox Jews do not serve in the Army. Instead they learn Torah in Yeshivot.
One of several justifications for this is that most Jews do not learn Torah. Somebody has to.
Those who do are doing it on behalf of those who do not even though all should do it.
Even if everyone in the Army did learn Torah we would still want those in the Yeshivot to be exempt from army service BUT this is not the case.
Those who learn serve the nation at the highest possibly level.
Through learning the Torah the Jews survives and the State of Israel is better off than it otherwise would be.
Joseph may be taken as representative of different expressions all of which are pertinent.
Joseph represents the Ten Tribes who do not know their ancestry.
Joseph can also represent righteous Gentiles in general who become powerful.
Joseph represents the assimilated Jew who does good for humanity on the whole.
Joseph can also symbolize any Jew who does other than learn Torah yet still does good for others.
Judah represents the Jewish People as against the Ten Tribes.
On a closer level,
Judah symbolizes the Jew who learns Torah and keeps the Commandments.
At a spiritual level,
what JOSEPH achieves is by virtue of Judah.
This was the message of Judah to Joseph.
There is something in this.