Vayeshev: Chapter 19
"And Joseph was brought down to Egypt ..."

This section begins by interpreting the phrase, "And Joseph was brought down into Egypt," as indicating God's approval of this act; it was necessary in order to fulfill His announcement to Abraham.

A discussion follows concerning the legions of angels who sing praises to the glory of God throughout the night. It is the role of the children of Israel to offer praises to God through litanies three times daily. In this way, God is glorified both day and night, from above and below. Rabbi Shimon next offers two explanations of the phrase, "who commands the sun," in the context of Jacob and Joseph. One explanation interprets this as an allusion to Joseph, when he was sold. The other understands it to refer to Jacob, when his sons showed him evidence of Joseph's death.


In the course of spiritual development, we sometimes have to fail in order to build a greater vessel that can hold all the Light that awaits us as we ascend to the next level. This is what happened to Joseph when he was "brought down to Egypt." Egypt is a code word for darkness and disconnection from the Light of The Creator. Reading these passages helps attune us to the angelic hierarchies and the spiritual energy forces they transmit. These forces give us power to rise when we fall, and strength to stand after we stumble - and this serves to expand our vessel, so that we can receive even greater Light in our lives, thereby reducing the degree to which we stumble and fall.