The birds are hiding from the cool breeze and the rain falling outside. But don’t tell the Jews of Brooklyn in the neighborhoods of Borough Park, Williamsburg, the Flatbush collective, as well as all the other Orthodox, and not so orthodox, all across the globe. It’s amazing how the feeling of urgency spreads through your inner core hours before the sunset on Friday night. My favorite is that mystical moment between the end of the sun and beginning of the moon. Twilight, like the zone, unearths all the freaky and unexplainable phenomena breeding uncertainty. However, this time is also the golden gate ready to bring your Shabbat soul down to the core.
I know this is more culture and Jewish Hip Hop, but this is what got me when I first joined the cult and drank the kool aid, which is really Kedem wine. For those of you who are not well versed in the weekly readings, every Shabbat we read a Parsha from the Torah, or the Five Books of Moses. We are about to finish the cycle of the first book, Genesis, which is cosmic and heady all unto itself. The Patriarchs came trudging through connecting with Hashem or G-d or whatever you like to call that entity. The third and last was Jacob who was also called Israel. He was called Israel when the male ego receded and true divinity spoke and shone through him. Jacob had twelve sons and a daughter. These sons had quite a tumultuous relationship, and being twelve from four different mothers probably shaped them differently when it came to alliances. Regardless, three weeks ago it was written that Joseph the second to the youngest was the favorite. However, this was all part of the divine plan to get the Hebrews to Egypt in order to fulfill their destiny. In this week’s parsha Joseph finally reveals himself to his brothers as they were not aware that he was alive, let alone the viceroy of Egypt. This idea of revelation and invisibility is interesting when reflected in the Parsha when Joseph was thrown into the pit and later sold at the suggestion of Judah to the Ishmaelites.
What is most interesting is that the commentators asked where was the Almighty when all this wrong doing was in progress? The supposed answer to this is that G-d was busy creating the concept of the Mashiach, or the Messiah. This makes sense as in the Torah right after the sale Judah separates from his brothers and goes down. This “down” is both physical and spiritual as he veered towards the caananites. He then had children who sinned , due to them literally pulling out before ejaculating. His youngest is too young to marry the oldest son’s wife so he holds her in check. She then disguises herself as a prostitute and he sleeps with her, not knowing it was his ex-daughter in law. She become pregnant, everyone’s in an uproar and Judah is pissed. He then gives her a chance to defend herself before they burn her and she points right to the man. He knows he was the man who slept with her and fully comes clean. This quality is very hard for men due to their pride and ego as well as constant bombardment of control and dominance over women.
This leads her to have twins, and one will be the forbearer of the Messiah. It’s amazing that all these things happen for the grand scheme of things where the outcome is never really in sight. Rather it is a game that plays out for many years, or centuries for that matter. Jews have been on this planet for some time and passing these ideas and stories only intensifies both the devotion and the doubt. Still, believe or not I think we can all agree that it’s great to shut everything out for a day.
Shabbat Shalom all and much love
This is Joseph and his brothers embracing after he tells them that he is their brother. This is from this week’s Parsha, Vayigash.
And, for all you Hip Hop Jew heads, this is a great show that Edan the Humble Magnificent DJ’d with great songs and material, enjoy!