Meraglim Atem

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Yoseph HaTzadik sees that his ten brothers do not recognize that he is there with them in “Mitzriyim” and he yells at them “Miraglim Etem”! Rashi explains by quoting the Gem, that the reason for why Yoseph’s brothers did not recognize him is because when he left them he was seventeen with out a beard and now he (is thirty four and) has a beard. Well, do we really believe that ten brothers can not recognize their brother, just because he grew a beard!? There is a lot more to a face than just a beard, there’s the eyes the cheek bones, the forehead, the nose, this chin, his eyebrows, (the Jewish Nose!), and what about his body structure! How could they not have recognized their brother! O.K., so there must be something deeper going on here.

The beard which in Hebrew is called a “zakon” shares the root with “zakane” which means elderly and often refers to one who has acquired Chochmah-Wisdom. Yoseph is indeed the new Chocham-wise one, as even Pharaoh says about him; (Parshot Miketz, Berashis: 41/3839) Pharaoh said to his servants, “could we find another like him-a man whom has with in him the Spirit of G-d”? Then Pharaoh said to Yoseph, “Since G-d has informed you of all this, there can be no one as discerning and wise as you.”

So in short, Yoseph is the embodiment of our new growth in Chochmah-a new light of wisdom. Renewal is, tapping into and realizing that we now at this time have with in us a new light. This time of year when we read Miketz, and we should be feeling this new light of Chochmah which is the light of renewal, is Chanukah. A new light of Chochmah, called “Yoseph” is now in our “Mitzriyim”.

The Hebrew word “Mitzriyim” shares the root with the Hebrew word “Metzarim”, “borders”. This is the borders of our conscious mind which can literally G-d forbid, lock one in and enslave them! We see this in the fact that in Mitzriyim we were enslaved to the children of Cham which is the letters Moach, our brain. Yes, slavery to our brain! Old patterns, and old thoughts and negative thoughts depicted by our building of store houses for Pharaoh-places in our mind to harbor and store our negativity. However, by tapping into a new light, the light of intellect, we can go beyond our negative mind and reach a beautiful place of clear and pure thoughts which brings happiness and joy.

The brothers unawareness which is our own unawareness that a new “Yoseph”, light of intelligence is in our brains is what spurred Yoseph to yell; “Meraglim Atem!” The word “Meraglim” which literally means spies, shares the root with the two words Regal-legs/walking and Haregel-our Habitual state. Sometimes we do and our legs take us with out us even thinking. In English too, we have the very same word for the same old stuff, “Regular”!

What is amazing about all this is that in Gem. Shabbat page 22 we are told that in order for one to fulfill the mitzvah of our Chanukah lights, the vessels for the lights must contain enough oil to last until “the regal/walkers, leave the market place”. In Chasiduce we are taught, “Do not read “regal”, read it, “Haregel”, and understand it to mean; there should be enough oil to keep the lights lit till the Haregel, your habitual state of mind, leaves you! So this is what Yoseph is yelling at the brothers; “Meragim Atem”! You all do not see that a new light is in “Mitzriyim”, your Mitzriyim-your conscious mind, and this means that you are all in a state of “Haregel”, no new light, just your old habitual self! Yoseph continues and exclaims that until they bring Benyamin down here, he will continue to believe that they are Meraglim-Spies. Benyamin is/represents the purest light untouched by this physical world. Benyamins land inheritance includes the inside inside, The Holies of Holies, The Kodesh HaKodashim of the Biet HaMikdash. Also being that Benyamin was not born yet, he did not bow to Asav nor is he included in Labans statemeant “all you see, your wives, your children, they are all mine”, and therefore Benyamin has no part in this fake world of Laban. He is the Holy of Holies a light separate from this world. Our job in this world is to permeate this world with Kedusha, pure light which beyond this world. “Bring Benyamin down here to me”, and then I will know that you are not “Meraglim”, stuck in Haregel, the same old stuff. Meaning, imbue your life here in this world with the pure light from beyond and you will then leave your habitual state and enter new life.

So this is the goal of renewal of Chanukah, to bring this new and pure new light from beyond our conscious selves, the light of the Benyamin, back to our conscious selves and into this world.