Parshat Vayigash: Love as the messianic consciousness

Love overcomes and transforms negative expressions in human consciousness. This sounds axiomatic considering that love is its own cause and effect, which implies that love’s ways and attributes are the means to reveal love when and where it is concealed.

This echoes the principle that love is present in the entire Creation as the material manifestation of God’s love. Hence, love is the primordial principle that directs all aspects of life, by which we express our true identity.

We suppose to be, have and do what defines our essence and identity, that which gives meaning and transcendence to our existence. Anything different than love’s ways and attributes denies who we really are. In this context we understand Joseph’s prevalence among his brothers, as his dreams predicted.

We must emphasize once again that ethics, righteousness, justice and fairness are inherent to love’s ways and attributes. These principles are the means through which love rectifies, transforms and straighten out the outcome of negative beliefs, ideas, thoughts, feelings and emotions.

In this sense, love is not a passive, permissive, condoning, forgiving and forgetting negative and demeaning approaches to life. Love is active, correcting, rectifying, awakening and guiding towards positive, enhancing and dignifying ways to honor life.

True love implies and demands purity, integrity and truth as the means to manifest what is right, fair, just and consequently good in order to make love’s ways and attributes prevail in all dimensions of consciousness. As we said, love is to be met through what is inherent to it. See in this blog our commentary on Vayigash: “Living in God’s will”.

This is also Joseph’s approach prior to finally “reveal” himself to his brothers. He must make sure that all negative traits and tendencies in consciousness are completely rectified before manifesting all the goodness that love is, as the commanding principle in God’s creation.

We execute this principle when our free will is consonant with our discernment. This means that once we free our discernment from negative references, our judgment acts according to righteousness, fairness and justice as love’s ways to rectify and transform anything that antagonizes them.

This directing and guiding judgment is also represented by Judah, and this fundamental quality enables him to become the redeeming principle manifest as the Messianic consciousness. This the main reason why Judah is the inheritor of Israel’s royalty, not Joseph.

We have said that Joseph represents love as the material manifestation of God’s love in His creation, and also the ruling principle that characterizes Israel’s identity and mission to be the light for the nations. This is why Israel is the chosen one to reveal the divine presence that is God’s love in the material world.

In this context, Joseph is Israel as the psalmist reminds us.

“Hear us, O Shepherd of Israel, You who lead Joseph like a flock; You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth. (…) With Your mighty arm You redeemed Your people, the descendants of Jacob and Joseph. Forever.” (Psalms 80:2, 77:16)

Hence, Joseph as the inheritor of Jacob’s birthright also symbolizes Israel as the chosen to reveal God’s love in the world. Joseph as love doesn’t need to prove anything, except being who he is and what he represents as Israel’s identity.

We Jews are Israel as the extension of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph as ruling and guiding principles; and Judah is the executor of those principles as love’s ways and attributes.

Judah represents our discernment and judgment cleared from anything that denies or opposes love’s principles as the sovereign and regent in all aspects of life. Through our good judgment we clear and transform that which separates us from love as the goodness that redeems and sustains life in our transit on Earth.

This ability to discern and rectify directs us towards our individual and collective redemption.

Judah rectified when Tamar was summoned to explain her pregnancy, and he also rectified when he confronted Joseph over his intentions regarding Benjamin. These conviction and determination made Judah chosen to reign among the tribes of Israel, and also empowered him to bear the messianic consciousness*.

Thus we as Jews are destined to manifest our individual and collective redemption by rectifying and transforming the negative aspects of consciousness through the redeeming power of love’s ways and attributes.

Thus we understand that Joseph represents love, and Judah our ability to remove ego’s negative desires, fantasies and illusions in order to embrace love as our common bond with God’s love.

Through Judah we enthrone love as the destined king and regent over all aspects of life. This means that we integrate the messianic consciousness in our life through our discernment and judgment free from ego’s false beliefs and feelings of lack.

The separation of Joseph’s brothers from him was the result of their envy, jealousy and hatred under the belief and feeling that they lacked Joseph’s qualities that made him more loved by their father.

The questions to be asked then were, what makes us apparently less loved by our father? What is that which makes Joseph allegedly better than us? What makes us believe that we are going to lose something because of someone else?

The answer then and now is that, as long as love’s ways and attributes remain in every level of my consciousness, as I am aware that God’s love is with me constantly, nothing and nobody could be against. In this permanent awareness, I am love as the material manifestation of God’s love, from where I come. And nothing else. As long as I abide by God’s will, I remain who I am truly.

The prophet also reminds us that in Israel’s unity depends our redemption.

“Say to them, ‘So says the Lord God: “Behold I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim and the tribes of Israel his companions, and I will place them with him with the stick of Judah, and I will make them into one stick, and they shall become one in My hand”’.” (Ezekiel 37:21)

“And they shall no longer defile themselves with their idols [ego’s fantasies and illusions], with their detestable things [negative thoughts, emotions, feelings, passions and instincts], or with all their transgressions, and I will save them from all their habitations [negative beliefs and ideas] in which they have sinned, and I will purify them, and they shall be to Me as a people, and I will be to them as a God.” (37:23)

*For a broader understanding of this principle, visit my blog

About the Author
Ariel Ben Avraham was born in Colombia (1958) from a family with Sephardic ancestry. He studied Cultural Anthropology in Bogota, and lived twenty years in Chicago working as a radio and television producer and writer. He emigrated to Israel in 2004, and for the last fourteen years has been studying the Chassidic mystic tradition, about which he writes and teaches. Based on his studies, he wrote his first book "God's Love" in 2009. He currently lives in Kochav Yaakov.
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