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Beauty Over Substance? Two Versions of Pharaoh's Dreams

The Timeless Tension Between Two Phases in Joseph’s Life, Between the Greeks and the Jews

52 min

Class Summary:

Beauty Over Substance?- What is superior—essence or projection? A subtle change of order in Pharaoh’s dreams teaches us about the timeless tension between two phases in Joseph’s life, and between the Greeks and the Jews

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  • Anonymous -6 months ago

    Shame on you Jews of Chabad 

    who gave all credit 

    and not mension the the soldiers 

    that died and wounded

    this is because you sit in America 

    and so disconnected 

    we in israel save you also

    you forgot already

    but don't worry it comes to america

    shame onnyou

    i can't listen to you anymore

    הכל קישקוש

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  • ST

    shlomo tawil -11 years ago

    me gusta mas iosef que josé, en general los nombres propios mejor ponerlos en su origen, no en au traduccion, salvo la primera vez.

    masejet Horaiot, no horahot 

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  • KT

    Kayo, Tokyo -13 years ago

    Thank you for sharing your Chasidus
    Baruch HaShem

    When I come to your class, I see brilliantly shining Torah.

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  • CA

    chaim argentina -14 years ago

    I have a question.

    Many times i heard that the Avot performed all the 613 mitzves. I heard from the R' Amnon Itzhak that an architect can build an edifice using a "plan", and he also can draw a plan seeing the edifice. So the Avot could discover the "plan"(Torah and it's mitzvos) observing the world. But I never knew if they physically performed the mitzves as we know them today, or maybe the sages are just trying to convey a spiritual message. So they performed the mitzvos in a ruchanius level only.

    As far as Yoma 28b and Kidushin 82b, I don't know if they were aggados or it is literal.

    All the best. an a git gebencht chanike! Chaim.

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    • A

      Anonymous -12 years ago

      Re: question
      Many of the mitzvos were performed on a spiritual level, meaning they tapped into the spiritual energy of the mitzvah and they observed it. For example, they did not have tefilin like we have them, because the portions in the tefilin were not written yet. And the Exodus of Egypt, which is transcribed in the tefilin portions, did not happeb yet. Yet the Zohar says, that Yaakov observed tefilin with the "sticks" that he set up at the canals of waters in Parshas Vayeitzei. The same hold true for many of the other mitzvos. The Avos grasped the energy behind each mitzvah, its inner soul, purpose and meaning and that is what they performed.

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  • ML

    Meira Lerman -14 years ago

    My Answer to the Questions
    Questions and Exercises

    1. Do you attribute more value to substance or to beauty?
    Beauty or substance? Mine! How difficult it is to make a choice, when we love both!
    Each substance has indefeasible attribute of beauty of its own. (Just look at the dance of subatomic particles inside of it.) But in modern age with its artificial flavors and substances abuse…, dissonance, disproportion, dysfunctions we are witnessing major divorce between substance and beauty. We are like children of divorced parents and we are pushed to make a choice whom we prefer to live with? Ultimately we gravitate to more secure one. But here is a new problem: they may masquerade each other to win our love, “AFIELD is like AFIELD”… If only we could excrete substance from those husks and peels every time we need to make a choise!
    2. How about the culture you live in?
    They say its taste is still on the level of husks and peels…
    3. What was the difference between the Mitzvos performed before Sinai and after Sinai?
    Before Sinai there was only Divine transmission of Aroma of what is good, appealing to sensitive sensors of lofty souls. After Sinai we got clear instructions “WHERE IS SUBSTANCE”, Oil of Mitzvos we have to follow without any excuses of troubles in our sensors.
    4. What caused the change in the life and perspective of Joseph?
    At the beginning he might be a follower of Pure Aesthetic concept and gravitated to values of Pointless Beauty. Jacob’s education embedded in him from his childhood was dormant until he met Potiphar’s wife… Only when his belief was tested with fetish he realized wisdom he inherited from his father. He discovered eternal value of beauty that derives from ethic.
    5. Why the change of order between Pharaoh’s actual dream and his repetition of it?
    Joseph’s ambiance, his presence, his new approach for life curves influenced Pharaoh’s comprehension of patterns in his dreams. Can we say that Divine Aroma channeled through Joseph’s mind descended to Pharaoh?
    6. Why did the Greeks want the Jew to write on the horn of the ox that they have no part in the G‐d if Israel?
    They scared to death of the threatening Judaism brought to their ideology. They hated Jewish awareness of vanity of their fetish.

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  • Y

    Yossi -14 years ago

    Mitzvos of Avos
    Regarding the issue of the Avos keeping the Mitzvos, I mentioned that I remember that there were opinions that understood the posuk otherwise.

    The Rashbam explains the words: Ekev asher shama Avraham b'koli... mishmarti, mitzvosei, chukosei, v'torasei as follows.

    Shama Avraham b'koli = Akeyda

    Mishmarti= Bris milah

    Mitzvosei = Bris milah on the eighth day

    Chukotsi, v'toratsi = Ethical laws like stealing, adultery, jealousy, justice, and hachnasas orchim.

    Based on the above, there is no reason to say that he kept Kol HaTorah etc.

    It seems that all of the above items listed by the Rashbam, are actual events that happed to Avraham.

    2.Bris Milah = His own bris
    3.Milah on the Eighth day = his son yitzchok
    4.Stealing = when “gazlu avdei Avimelech”
    5.Adultery, jealousy = Avimelech and Sarah
    6.Justice = War with the Kings / Sedom
    7.Hachnasas orchim. = Tent / guests

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    • A

      Anonymous -12 years ago

      Re: Mitzvos of Avos
      No one argues with the fact that the Avos observed all of the Mitzvos. It is stated clearly in Talmud Yuma 28b and Kidushin 82b. Rashi quotes it and also the Ramban quotes it (Genesis 26:5). The Ramban suggests there that they did this only while in the Land of Israel and that is why Yaakov could marry two sisters outside of the land.

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  • MBA

    Melech B&#39n Arieh -14 years ago

    14 Cows
    As usual, My friends and I can not get enough of your wisdom and insight.
    When will you be back in Newtown, PA., at Rabbi Weinstein's shule?

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  • A

    Admin -14 years ago

    To Lazer
    We fixed it

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  • LC

    lazer calderon -14 years ago

    mp3 is a different shiur
    Rabbi Jacobson: My wife watched your shiur on the video and I listened to the mp3 and when we shared ideas, we realized they were too different shiurim. The video is about Yosef and Paroah's dream and the mp3 are 8 insights about chanuka. Do you have the mp3 for the shiur on Paroah's dream??

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  • S

    sharon -14 years ago

    Thanks Rabbi Jacobson for lifting us up every Jewish holiday to the values of Torah

    and for showing us yiddishkait in ethical/moral ways, charging our battery with your uplifting insights and handouts in a beautiful way. My appreciation.

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  • ב

    בער -14 years ago

    לא הבנתי, הרי יוסף הצדיק הי' לפני מתן תורה. וכבוד הרב אמר בשיעור, שלפני מתן תורה הי' משובח במראה קודם משובח בגופו, דמצוות האבות ריחות היו


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    • A

      Anonymous -12 years ago

      Re: שאלה


      ידוע שהתורה "כללות ופרטות נאמרה", כדאיתא במס' חגיגה. היינו, שכל דבר בתורה ישנו כפי שהוא ענין כללי וכפי שהוא ענין פרטי. ולכן בכלל, לפני מ"ת הוא משובח במראה, ולאחרי מ"ת משובח גופו, אמנם זהו בדרך כלל, אבל בדרך פרט, הרי גם לאחרי מ"ת גופא יש החילוק (ע"ד המבואר בלקו"ת פ' שמיני בחילוק נוני ימא ונוני יבשא), וכן לפני מ"ת יש החילוק, ע"ד המבואר בחילוק בין לפני לך לך ולאחרי לך לך, ולפני ברית מילה ולאחרי ברית מילה. וכן יש לומר, שביוסף גופא היו מעין ב' המדריגות דלפני מ"ת ולאחרי מ"ת.

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  • N

    NK -14 years ago

    Question with an eye to a beautiful future.
    Would it be fair to say that the Torah opinions giving priority to presentation and beauty represents a messianic state of inherent harmony where it would not be possible to divorce beauty from substance. this too expressed in paroh's dream i.e. a reality to be revealed.

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    • A

      Anonymous -12 years ago

      Re: Question with an eye to a beautiful future.
      Yes. Indeed, Pharaph -- the Zohar tells us -- in his spiritual, pristine and Divine source, represents a levels of complete openeness and revelation (Pharaph from the word "priah," which means to open and expose). So when that level of reality is revealed and exposed, substance and beauty will merge into one.

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  • J

    Josh -14 years ago

    "Content" vs. "Presentation"

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  • C

    Chaim -14 years ago

    Yeshar Koach...

    but your tie suit and tie was distracting...


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Rabbi YY Jacobson

  • December 19, 2013
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  • 16 Tevet 5774
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Dedicated by David & Eda Schottenstein in memory of Alta Shula Swerdlov And the merit of Yetta Alta Shula, Aliya, Schottenstein And by David Farkash in the merit of Shmueli Farkash for his birthday

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