|Maggid ben Yoseif / Jerusalem Torah Voice in Exile|
11 Heshvan 5759 / October 31, 1998The Return of the House of Joseph as a remedy for the Bread of Shame?
When Hashem created the heavens and the world, he did so with the fabric of Light. The fact that He did so does not reflect a NEED on the part of the all-knowing, Omnipotent One, but rather His choice to SHARE. Therefore this concept of SHARING lies at the very foundation of the world.
The mystics among the Torah sages believe that "sharing" is a mechanism built into every aspect of our lives including the degree and the extent to which we are blessed ... or cursed.
To try to synopsize their philosophy, someone who is given everything in his or her life and never has to expend any effort to obtain it, does not appreciate it. Instead they grow to despise the givers and rebel turning to destructive paths ... drugs, alcoholism, promiscuity, etc. or their greed becomes their motivation in life. How often have you heard someone say their ambition in life is to "become a millionaire by the age of ____."
Therefore the NEED all of mankind has to SHARE a portion of every gift or anything freely received. Not that Hashem requires the gift. He has need of nothing from us. But the lifestyle of SHARING is the very energy of creation that keeps mankind on a healthy path. By the same reasoning, the failure to SHARE - serving MAMMON instead of Hashem -- is the root of all evil.
Failure to SHARE of one's bounty results in what the Torah sages call, "the BREAD OF SHAME." Others might refer to it as "INGRATITUDE." The Torah itself sets up a system to remedy the Bread of Shame; a system of tithes, offerings, sharing "first fruits" which also inbreeds the care for the truly needy: poor, orphans and widows. The Torah also condemns the contrary practices such as USURY - the charging of interest on loans, which may lie at the very root of the world's economic problems. It is the yearly obligation to pay the snowballing interest on the nations' outstanding debts that results in the deficit spending, inflationary spirals and dependence on more debt - another monetary FIX to maintain the "high" of a nation's economy until the FIX wears off.
It is easy to see how, because of the building blocks of Hashem's Kingdom being SHARING, that it is easier for a rope ... or a camel ... to pass through the eye of a needle than for a wealthy man to enter into the Kingdom. The rope must first be unraveled to a thread and if there is a gate called "the eye of the needle," a camel would have to kneel low and have all of its cargo removed. The Torah sages further say that the excess wealth of the wealthy really belongs to the poor ... that the wealthy are only trustees of this excess. Even most philanthrophers don't get off light because the just measure of one's standing in the kingdom of SHARING rests on the portion of the Bread of Shame that is remedied. The Torah further spells out the bare minimum remedy: 20 percent of all of one's bountiful gifts.
It would be interesting to see an economic model set up around an interest-free economy. Perhaps not very practical at this time since more than 60 percent of the citizens of the United States have outstanding mortgages, most every business borrows at interest and the nations also are caught up in this MONETARY ADDICTION. And let's not talk about the number of people who have filed in bankruptcy courts just because their credit card interest accumulation got out of hand. But if the doomsdayers are correct and our world economy as we know it is about to collapse, we will have learned a very painful lesson.
Economic health to our world rests on observing Hashem's ways, which outlaw usury. At the same time, there are built-in remedies to the Bread of Shame in our society. These include (possibly) Federal Income Tax, because when the proceeds truly benefit the needy, we more than satisfy the requisite portion demanded of our bounty ... unless we have all kinds of tax-free schemes in place to avoid paying this portion.
There are many ways to see the energy of SHARING and the remedy of the BREAD OF SHAME put into practice today but I want to address one specifically that relates to what I personally consider the most important spiritual awakening and move since the Torah and the Land of Israel were promised to the descendants of Jacob.
If every gift has associated with it a SLICE of the BREAD of SHAME, the same holds true of the free gift of Torah and the Land of Israel to the people of Israel. But how is the BREAD OF SHAME for these gifts remedied?
Logically, both the Torah and Eretz Yisrael should be shared with those who were not initially party to the gift: that is the nations!
Israel is destined to become this "Light" to the Nations. Yet most of the Jewish world is overly cautious about social intercourse with the "goyim," and extremely reticent to open the borders of the Promised Land to non-Torah observant faiths.
Enter the descendants of the House of Joseph - ASSIMILATED DESCENDANTS - meaning the appropriate mixture of the goyim is already preformulated, measured and rising in the bread pan. Just a little leaven leaveneth the loaf. And each ASSIMILATED morsel of bread is baked through and through over the fire of Torah.
Joseph's descendants, promised a specific region of Eretz Yisrael - the Shomron and the Golan, also include the ASSIMILATION of the goyim into those regions also remedying the Bread of Shame associated with the gift of the Land.
Hashem's gift of Y'shua from Bethlehem (Beit Lechem or HOUSE OF BREAD also the place of Naomi's corn) takes on a whole new meaning in this context. He is the leaven that leaveneth the loaf of the House of Joseph. His bread (as the manifest Torah) is for the sower to "sow seeds for first fruits resulting in the bread (the Torah) for the eater to cast deep roots." As the Gospel of the BREAD OF TORAH begins to be SHARED in non-Jewish circles, the Bread of Shame for the free gift of Y'shua from Hashem to the nations may also be remedied.
But what of the Palestinians who were never GIVEN these same portions yet today USURP them? Until the House of Joseph is allowed to make its Return and remedy the Bread of Shame, the Palestinians may represent the USURY Israel is paying. But when the fire of Jacob and the flame of Joseph again unite, this stubble will suffer the fate of all USURERS. They will dissolve in the flames, (Obadiah 18-21) satisfying Hashem's "interest" very soon coming due.
Maggid ben Yoseif