We have said that after Jacob separated from his brother Esau and left his birthplace, he began his endless journey of dealing with evil in its different forms. This struggle continues with more complex nuances with his children in their difficult process of discerning the negative traits and trends of ego’s fantasies and illusions, and the goodness of love’s ways and attributes.
The complexity we mention refers to the multifaceted creative potentials that represent all and each of the twelve sons of Israel, and their destined functional harmonic unity to rule all aspects and expressions of life. It was not easy for Israel’s sons to find the traits and qualities of their individual character, and conduct them under the guidance of what Israel’s birthright represented in Joseph. Thus we understand the first verses of this portion.
“These are the generations of Jacob: Joseph. (…) Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age. And he made him a coat of many colors.” (Genesis 37:2-3)
Thus we realize what Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are firsts as the bearers of the ruling principle of love God wants to make prevail in human consciousness and the world, as a material manifestation of His love. This principle is the encompassing quality that liberates and redeems us from its opposite traits and trends we see in Joseph’s brothers, such as jealousy, hatred, envy, arrogance, wrath, indifference and indolence. See our commentaries in this blog “Parshat Vayeishev: The birthright of love” of 30/11/2015 and “Parshat Vayeishev: Love as the chosen one to lead” of 9/12/2014.
Incidentally, all these are represented by the nations and peoples of the land of Canaan in those times. These are the negative traits and trends we are commanded to eradicate from the Promised Land, where only goodness awaits for those chosen by God to settle permanently on it.
Joseph is the chosen of Israel to bear the unified multicolor quilt of his brothers’ archetypical qualities. Nevertheless, this higher consciousness approach to life were not quite understood by his brothers, blinded by the darkness of negative ideas, thoughts, emotions, feelings, passions and instincts. Then the tragic events occurred by the sale of the ruling principle in God’s creation to the lower levels of consciousness represented by the Ismaelites and Egypt.
Thus began the painful process to later return to the goodness of the Promised Land as the higher consciousness God wants us to dwell in for eternity. This is the consciousness of the blessings shared by Jacob and Joseph with the double portion we also enjoy in the day God reserved for Himself.
We realize the birthright is the utmost connection with God that transcends time and space. All of Jacob’s sons began their personal journeys to find the traits and qualities and the creative potentials of their own individual character, destined to contribute to the improvement of life and the material world, the Jewish tikkun olam. The culmination of these journeys is the complete awareness that each of Israel’s sons is an integral part of the diverse and unified consciousness that Jerusalem and its temple represent.
“Jerusalem, the one built as one city that is united together where the tribes [of Israel] ascended, the tribes of God. [an] Awareness for Israel to give thanks to the name of the Lord.” (Psalms 122:3-4)
This unified consciousness is the prelude to dwell in the house of God and bond in the goodness of love’s ways and attributes as our common bond with His love. Thus we realize that our lifetime encompasses the individual and national journey Israel has been engaged in since the beginnings of Jacob’s twelve sons, to find our personal purpose and destiny as their descendants.
In this journey our tasks are to transmute the negative traits and trends inherited from the parents of our matriarchs Leah, Rachel, Zilpah and Bilhah, and embrace the positive ones inherited by the other side of the family and passed to Joseph as the true inheritor of the birthright. We do it with our determination and conviction to embrace the unifying guidance of love’s multidimensional ways and attributes Joseph provided for his brothers.
In this process we will discover the positive qualities and creative potentials of in the total awareness of love as our essence and true identity, for love is the birthright destined to prevail in God’s creation.