Parshat Vayigash – ויגש

vayigashacrylics on canvas 33″ x 33″ (84 x 84 cm)

Judah Confronts Joseph

We learn from Judah’s extreme efforts
against the seemingly cruel Joseph
our requirement as healers and teachers
to rescue our brothers
who are being held “captive”
by the Viceroy of Pharoah
the mind-trap of the
constricted consciousness
of Mitzrayim – Egypt.

Joseph and Judah and the Future Monarchy


In this Parsha Joseph the Viceroy
is the ruling presence
and Judah is the suppliant
but his rule is temporary.
When the kingdom of Israel will be
established with the reign of David
the roles will be reversed.

Joseph and the Mishkan

pargodmixed materials on canvas 30″ x 40″ (76 x 102 cm)

Joseph is associated
with the Mishkan or Tabernacle,
also a temporary and transient structure
which was a template for
the Natural Chain of Hierarchy,
השתלשלות ascending from
the inanimate domain דומם
(such as the earth and metal spikes)
to the vegetable הצומח
(the wooden boards that made up the walls)
to the animal החי
(the skins and wool that covered the top)

Judah and the Bait Hamikdash

2ndtemple1Offset lithograph 240 gram ‘Finland’ paper.
Image size 17 1/2″ x 23 1/4″ (45 x 59 cm).

Whereas the Bait HaMikdash or Temple
which is associated with King David
and his descendants was
designed to be a permanent structure
and made almost entirely
of the stone – the inanimate.
This symbolizes the desire of God to have
a “dwelling place” in the lowest levels
דירה בתחתונים
and reveal there His Divine Presence.

The “stone” can also be assigned to the
lowest level of the society namely
amongst the common, uneducated people
who the Baal ShemTov revealed
to contain outstanding faith in God
even higher that those who regarded
themselves (or were regarded by others)
as a complete Zaddik or Righteous One.

This can explain why to the descendants of
Judah as the Baal Tsuvah (The Repenter)
were eventually bestowed the Monarchy
over Joseph the Zaddik:
במקום שבעלי תשובה עומדין
צדיקים גמורים אינם עומדין

The “place” where Repenters reach
the completely Righteous can not stand.

This is because they can bring into
the world a New Light higher
than the Hierarchy,
changing their sins into merits.

Revealing the power of the stone
can also describe the transformation
of the status of women
who were likened in the pre-chassidic era
to a group without an identity and voice,
certainly not to learn Torah and be
educated and are now
our moral impetus and compass,
so much so that it is in their merit
we will be worthy of the Geula.

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About the Author
Dov Lederberg is engaged in the converging vectors of art and science, but receives added inspiration from Kabbalah teachings & meditation and tries to create visual forms (in paintings on canvas but also video art) conducive to mystical experience and self-transformation. 
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