The portion of Miketz covers, or rather is the source for, much of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat”. The simple story tells of the Egyptian Pharaoh of that time, who had a dream in which he saw seven skinny cows swallow seven fat cows. None of his advisors could interpret it, but one of them did remember a prisoner in jail who was famous for his dream interpretations. The prisoner, Joseph, was brought to Pharaoh and interpreted that the seven healthy cows represented seven years of prosperity while the seven skinny cows represented seven years of famine. As a result of Joseph’s counsel, Pharaoh led Egypt in becoming prosperous and abundant while the rest of the world suffered from extreme famine. The portion ends with the story of Joseph’s reunion with his brothers, who sold him into slavery when he was a teen – a potentially hostile reunion that transpired in a manner free of resentment, grudges, or revenge.
The Zohar tells us that this week’s portion, and the energy of Joseph in general, specifically enrich our own lives with the energy of abundance and prosperity. What’s the connection?
Let’s start with a little background:
Here is the chart of the Ten Sefirot, or emanations (also called the Tree of Life). Kabbalah explains that the unseen force of the Creator manifests itself in our lives through these ten levels. The tenth level is the only level in which there is physicality, in which we can touch, see and feel; it is called Malchut, and it’s the level of results and manifestation. However, Malchut only represents 1% of reality; the other 99% of our lives is beyond this realm. In other words, an apple tree doesn’t just appear out of nowhere – there is an unseen force in the seed that dictates how the tree and the apples that come from it will manifest. That unseen force is in the other nine levels above Malchut.
According to Kabbalah, the source of every blessing in our lives – our health, children, wisdom, success, creativity – is the Lightforce of the Creator. Did I invent my talents, or was I gifted with them? I am also gifted with the opportunities that come my way, with the people around me, and so on. The Lightforce of the Creator is the same source that powers nature in all of its splendour, the magic of our universe, and the creativity and imagination of humanity.
Unfortunately, no matter how kind, generous, or brilliant we might be, from time to time things get stuck. The creativity dissipates, the body becomes weak, the inspiration wanes. There are times when things go well and others that do not go so well. Such is the game of life, right?
Now back to our story…
Even though Joseph was a physical human being who was detested by his brothers, imprisoned in a foreign land, and accused of crimes he didn’t commit, he was also what we call a chariot, or in Hebrew, merkavah. He was physical person who attained a metaphysical level. He achieved the level above Malchut, which is called Yesod.
Yesod is a realm just beyond our consciousness. While Malchut is ego-driven, where it’s all about the ‘me me me’, Yesod is the place where the blessings from the upper worlds are funnelled and channeled through. Yesod is like the neck of a bottle and Malchut is the cup that receives from that bottle. Everything must go through Yesod to get to a state of manifestation. Even the energy of healing, an immaterial boost to the immune system, must manifest itself metaphysically through the bridge of Yesod, that connection between the physical and the metaphysical.
Joseph lived in the physical world but became the chariot of Yesod to assist each one of us in connecting to that access point for all blessings. His life’s process, how he faced his challenges, how he kept connected to the Lightforce of the Creator in the face of every difficulty, can be used to both learn from and energize ourselves. If we can access Joseph and Yesod in our own consciousness, we can control the blessings and prosperity in our own lives.
This week, we have the opportunity and the blessing, especially with the energy of Chanukah, to access Yesod. We have a chance, through the lesson of the Zohar, to focus on raising our consciousness to the level of Yesod, and as a result, to let the energy of abundance and prosperity to permeate every aspect of our lives.
Resources for connecting to Miketz: