Genesis 45 – Jacob’s Spirit Revived!
Dear Family and Friends, There is power in good news! Genesis 45 reminds us to allow hope to blossom. We need Scriptures of hope during the dark days and deep depressions caused by the COVID 19 pandemic or other stressful issues. Our Spirit needs reviving.
Bereisheit / Genesis 45.27
וַיְדַבְּרוּ אֵלָיו אֵת כָּל־דִּבְרֵי יוֹסֵף אֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר אֲלֵהֶם וַיַּרְא אֶת־הָעֲגָלוֹת אֲשֶׁר־שָׁלַח יוֹסֵף לָשֵׂאת אֹתוֹ וַתְּחִי רוּחַ יַעֲקֹב אֲבִיהֶם :ס
Then the Spirit of their father revived.
Jacob was a tzaddik. He was righteous. He walked close to our Creator. He was a man of spiritual depth. He was a Novie, a prophet. Jacob understood what it was like to live in the presence of The Lord. He experienced the presence of The Lord resting upon him. Jacob walked in very high Spiritual realms. Jacob also experienced the other side. Our Sages speak of those days when the presence of The Lord withdrew from him. Jacob experience what it was like for the Spirit of Prophecy to withdraw from him. Jacob knew what it was like when The Spirit of Prophesy did not rest upon him. Jacob knew what it was like when The Holy Spirit did not travel with him, did not enlighten his eyes, and did not share insights with him. It may feel a lot like the dark days in the thralls of the COVID 19 pandemic for some of us.
Our Sages teach that the Presence of The Lord Withdrew from Jacob when his sons made the vow of secrecy regarding Joseph’s whereabouts. Rabbi Meir Zlotowitz and Rabbi Nosson Scherman, The Artscroll Tanach Series – Bereishis Vol. I(b) (Brooklyn, New York: 1991
Our Sages also teach that during these twenty-two years where Jacob and Joseph‘…Divine Presence did not rest upon [him, that] he was referred to by his less exalted name, [Jacob. But when the Divine Presence] rested upon him again, he [was] referred to as [Israel]. his title of spiritual nobility, grandeur, and power…’ Rabbi Meir Zlotowitz and Rabbi Nosson Scherman The Artscroll Tanach Series – Bereishis Vol. I(b) Brooklyn, New York: 1991
When one enjoys an elevated place with The Lord, it is a coveted place to be. When one has lived in an elevated place with The Lord, the absence of that unique experience is noticeable. Jacob desired to return to that special place. That special elevated place is dearly missed.
We observe Jacob when the Presence of The Lord withdrew from him, during his twenty-two years of mourning for Joseph. We see how dramatically life changed for him and those close to him. Our Sages teach that Jacob was repaid measure for measure for being away from Isaac, his father twenty-two years. When Jacob went to Lavan’s house, the Presence of The Lord Withdrew from the close relationship that Jacob had become accustomed to. The Presence of The Lord did not depart from Rivkah’s tent during that time.
For twenty-two years, Jacob held onto the prophetic dreams of his son Joseph. Jacob held onto the dreams that irritated him. Why? He knew that they were prophetic. Jacob knew God Gave those dreams to Joseph. They were his only hope Joseph was alive. Rashbam comments that [Jacob] believed the brothers now because he [Jacob] had always kept faith in the prophetic nature of [Joseph’s] dreams.’ Rabbi Meir Zlotowitz and Rabbi Nosson Scherman, The Artscroll Tanach Series – Bereishis Vol. I(b) (Brooklyn, New York: 1990
During these difficult, dark, depressing, times the only hope is to cling to Scripture promises!!
After twenty-two years, the Spirit of Jacob revived. Our spirits will also revive as we cling to hope and trust in The Scriptures!
The Torah uses The Word וַתְּחִי Vah Tih Chee meaning, to live, to have life, to be restored to life. The Letter ת Tav reminds us to look for a deeper meaning. The sign. We need to search for the sign represented by the insertion of The Letter ת Tav. The Word was חיה Chayah. Why was The Letter ה Hey removed from חיה and why was The Letter Tav ת added? There are many possibilities. Knowing the story helps give us some direction in the course that may be the most appropriate. We know that Joseph’s brothers were involved in lies and deception to their father. So it is clear that the Letter ת Tav represents אמת Emet, meaning truth. So the Letter ת represents both a sign and the meaning of the sign, i.e., truth. When the truth was revealed, Jacob’s Spirit revived. The brothers admitted their sins against their father and Joseph. They needed תשובה Tih Shoo Vaw – meaning repentance. The Letter ת Tav reminds us that our need תשובהfor Tih Shoo Vaw. is also true. However, for us, the Letter ת Tav represents תשובה a response. Our hope is to walk on the path of righteousness. Perhaps we need to do some mindful self-examination. It would be good for us to do the necessary things to get us where we need to be. That requires a plan. That requires implementing a plan. Our revival requires a response, an action, a plan, and following a plan.
May The Lord Bless us with a good response, a good action, a plan, and implementation of the plan.
Blessings and peace,
Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk