Vayeshev: Chapter 2

"These are the generations of Jacob"


Here follows a discussion of the significance of Joseph as the first-named in the list of "the generations of Jacob." Also, Rabbi Aba comments on the importance of the number seventeen in relation to Jacob and Joseph.


Joseph corresponds to the Sfirah of Yesod, the portal and gateway through which all the Light of the Upper Worlds flows into our world. The Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob denote this supernal realm, whereas Joseph signifies the funnel through which the sacred Light emerges into physical reality. Here, we connect ourselves to this "cosmic funnel" where we receive the Divine and effulgent Light that shines in the Upper Worlds. The number seventeen is the numerical value of the Hebrew word for good [tov]. Thus, forces of goodness are amassed and drawn into our lives through the mystical powers attached to the number seventeen, as expounded upon in this passage.