1 "How We Perceptively Orient Our Recognition Determines Whether We Successfully Recognize A Truthful State: Insightful MoralPsychological Lessons From Jacob's Extreme Grief At Recognizing The Blood-Stained Coat Of His Favourite Son Joseph" By Jolivette Bodon Gonzรกlez Alvarado Thornhill (Written:April 8th, 11th,12th, 2018-40 years of age)
I am respectfully further expanding on the profound Biblical exegesis of The Great Torah Sage Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, pertaining to a Shavuot Shiur which he gave at the Finchley United Synagogue in London, England on June 7th 2016 explaining his interlinking assessments of historical personages and the significance of event-evolution which he analyzed, primarily between the Holy Biblical Books of Ruth and Genesis.
I learned from Rabbi Lord Sacks the word "contronym", which is actually the perplexing linguistic rarity of a single word simultaneously containing opposite meanings, either of which is comprehensively defined according to the possibilities of forging situations.
Rabbi Lord Sacks taught me in this particular 2016 Shavuout lecture, how there is but one contronym which appears in all of the studied Biblical Books of The Tanakh, and that contronym appears only in the Book of Bereshit/Genesis and in the Book of Ruth. Rabbi Lord Sacks taught in this specific lecture of his, about the perplexing applicative situational intricacies, which descriptively blends with contradictory states, of this particular Hebrew verb "Haker" (which signifies "to recognize") and of its variant, which is another form of that very same Hebrew verb, that is said, " lehitnaker" ( which signifies "to act as a stranger" "to alienate")
2 This precise Biblical Commentary of mine focuses primarily on the Parasha (the Weekly Torah Portion) of Vayeshev (which means in Hebrew " and he lived") that is comprised of the portion of Genesis 37:1 to Genesis 40:23.
Rabbi Lord Sacks cites the prominent textual manifestation, in observable contronym form, of the aforementioned Hebrew verb "Haker" from Genesis 42:7, in which we read how Joseph recognized his brothers when they came to Egypt searching for grain, yet Joseph acted as a stranger towards his own brothers, and in that particular Biblical passage the verb form " lehitnaker" is rather written "vayitnaker" or "he made himself a stranger".
However, for this specific Biblical Commentary opus of mine, I focus instead, and I respectfully further elaborate, on a particular Biblical passage which Rabbi Lord Sacks mentioned from the Book of Bereshit/Genesis 37:32, in which Joseph's brothers, after having sold their much younger brother Joseph into slavery, seek to odiously deceive their father Jacob as to the true fate of his favourite son Joseph. Joseph's brothers bring Joseph's fine woolen coat, which they had deceitfully dipped in the blood of a baby goat (a baby goat is called a kid- Genesis 37:31 ), to their increasingly anxious and bewildered father, and Joseph's brothers say unto Jacob their father " Haker-Na" or "Recognize please" in direct reference to Joseph's blood stained fine woolen coat,
3 thus the brothers of Joseph manipulatively seek to induce a recognition of their tragically betrayed brother's literal person through the distorted visible presence of one of Joseph's altered belongings, in this case, of Joseph's fine woolen coat. Jacob at seeing that the coat is indeed the coat of his favourite son Joseph, recognizes a non-existent fate through the presentation of a material item of personal possession that was significantly linked to Joseph's favoured status among his own extended family, as a type of proclaimed identity marker, even though Joseph's identity in G-D Decreed Exalted Terms was obviously already Determined before the existence of the fine woolen coat that was given to him as a willing confirmation of long pre-existing favour, rather than as a "tangible foundation" of the kind of FAVOUR which can only come From THE G-D OF ISRAEL!
Rabbi Lord Sacks states in his clarifying analytical words, the irony of how the much older brother of Joseph who is called Judah, uses the very idea of recognition in order to get his father Jacob to recognize a story that was not true.
Now, logic is in accordance that one can realistically recognize the false as an untrue state for corrective remedial purposes, but there is no rationally feasible way that one can recognize the false itself as an elaborative revelation!! No one can recognize what does not exist, and what is false realistically does not exist.
How did Judah get his father Jacob to believe in the literally false as the perceived acknowledgment of an act of realism's bitter confrontation?!
What can we psychologically and morally learn from this specific situational scene drawn from a literal historical account of our Jewish History in Holy Scripture?
4 There are sorely deficient recognition-linked perceptive tendencies which do verily often, in unsuspecting folk bearing those encroaching fallacies, overly materialize our overall efforts at recognition, until people find themselves unwittingly recognizing things (objects, material items) linked to a person, rather than ably recognizing the personality and the naturally distinguishing essence of the very person being recognized.
However, by acutely recognizing the authentic personality and potential of a person, rather than what they own or what they have access to in material terms, we can avoid errors of judgement with regard to what we associatively surmise from our recognition efforts of any person.
Our Ancestral Patriarch Jacob was deceived by his other sons, because he was recognizing the fine woolen coat's undeniable ties with his favourite son Joseph in an instant acknowledgement of the undeniable reality of Joseph's ownership of that fine woolen coat. However, Jacob was evidently not recognizing the true personality of his mentally-ancient and genius-prodigy son Joseph, otherwise he would have instantly suspected a beguiling ruse afoot, because Joseph was an extraordinarily G-Dly and mature, extremely sober, and brilliantly witty young man (or "bachur" as we say in Hebrew), who being such a great analytical and administrative super-genius (Genesis 39:2-6, Genesis 39:21-23, Genesis 41:33-37, Genesis 41:54-55 ) would not recklessly expose himself to a situation in which he could likely be mauled by a wild beast! Jacob adored Joseph above all of his other sons, yet Jacob's doting favour upon Joseph seemed to be tied more to the fact that he was Rachel's eldest son (and the son whose birth did not eventually lead to Rachel's death, unlike Rachel's other younger son Benjamin whose birth had indirectly caused her death ),
5 and Genesis 37:3 implies that virtue was not the primary reason why Joseph was so palpably favoured by his father over his other much older and occasionally unruly brothers.
When we choose to value people solely for what they materially own, or solely for their connections to other people, we lose so much vital insightful knowledge pertaining to literal truths about the people whom we favour with our appreciative regard.
Jacob did keenly observe that Joseph was his most virtuous son, and Jacob most definitely had absolutely no unpleasant experiences with his younger son Joseph with regard to the natural dues of rightful paternal reverence owed to him, but Jacob sadly did not fully understand the amazing magnitude of Joseph's genuine virtue, and therefore, Jacob was tragically lacking in necessary awareness of extremely vital expressive aspects of Joseph's beautiful yet very complex transcendentally-centred personality. Genesis 37:9-11 (Joseph is unjustly rebuked for accurately narrating a Prophetic Dream Revelation which he Received From THE G-D OF ISRAEL)
And he again dreamed another dream, and he related it to his brothers, and he said, "Behold, I have dreamed another dream, and behold, the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were prostrating themselves to me." And he told [it] to his father and to his brothers, and his father rebuked him and said to him, "What is this dream that you have dreamed? Will we come I, your mother, and your brothers to prostrate ourselves to you to the ground?"
So his brothers envied him, but his father awaited the matter.
6 Joseph's Reverent Pious Fidelity to mandatory accuracy when narrating Prophetic Dream Revelations which he Truly Received From THE G-D OF ISRAEL was incomprehensibly perceived by his father Jacob as a fictionally-negative â€œvain supremacist tendencyâ€? in the completely candid and virtuous Joseph! Ironically, the Prophetic Dream Revelation which really irritated Joseph's father Jacob, in Genesis 37:9-11, came to Prophetic Fruition when Joseph ascended to the heights of Earthly Power in Egypt after being viciously oppressed, falsely accused, and persecuted for his extraordinary G-Dliness during an extremely trying period of thirteen long bitter years.
Jacob at some level of his conscience refused to make significant perceptive efforts to internalize the hard-core reality of his son Joseph's true level of amazing virtue, because Jacob intuitively knew that such awareness would intensify the pain and disappointment at seeing the immense disparity between the ultra-healthy Spiritual state of his son Joseph and the ailing Spiritual state of his other much older sons.
Therefore, Jacob's unrealistic downplaying of the morally-challenged state of Joseph's older brothers unjustly required the willfully unacknowledged reality of Saintly Joseph's True Virtue-Level.
Jacob did recognize the existence of virtue in his much younger son Joseph, while paradoxically choosing to be estranged from a Justice-Endowing accurate awareness of that virtue's true scope of intensity. Therefore, when Jacob recognized Joseph's fine woolen coat in response to his disrespectful older sons' invitation to induced-error in Genesis 37:32, Jacob was really only recognizing his own previously-existing fallacies when it came to how he completely viewed his son Joseph, despite the earnest adoration which he truly felt for Joseph.
7 I will also draw attention in this Biblical Commentary of mine to the reality that the fine woolen coat which Jacob gave unto his favourite son Joseph was likewise a reminder for Jacob himself, of Jacob's own special doting favour for his son Joseph, rather than it being any reminder for Jacob's perspective-stream of his son Joseph's extraordinary virtue, for Joseph's extremely high virtue-level was not the primary reason why Jacob adored Joseph so much, and we are allowed to understand this from a reading of Genesis 37:3.
Therefore, when Jacob saw the blood stained fine woolen coat of his son Joseph, Jacob would only recognize his great favouritism towards Joseph,but Jacob would not recognize Joseph's real virtue by seeing the fine woolen coat, and as a lamentable result Jacob could not recognize either the beneficial implications of that extraordinary virtue which his son Joseph factually possessed, otherwise Jacob would have immediately shrewdly doubted the fictional account of Joseph's proclaimed fate, that was being deceitfully told to him by his older sons.
The blood which Jacob erroneously "recognized" as Joseph's blood, that was heavily staining the textile contours of the fine woolen coat which really did belong to Joseph, was actually in hard-core reality the blood of a kid (a baby goat), and in the plotted decision of Jacob's older sons to use a slaughtered baby animal to stain the fine garment of their younger brother Joseph, they were actually sending a sinister symbolic message to their father Jacob that was paradoxically concealed by the very secrecy of the criminal act which they had committed against their much younger brother Joseph. The baby animal symbolically represented to Joseph's much older brothers the state of being someone's child, despite the fact that all of them were from middleaged to senior-aged men.
8 The symbolic message which Joseph's much older brothers were sending to their father Jacob by choosing to stain the fine woolen coat of Joseph with the blood of a BABY animal is the following:
"We being your own offspring as well, and we being your own blood, you have treated us as if we were animals in order to exalt our baby brother Joseph! Therefore, here we now replace the blood of your favourite son Joseph with the blood of an animal, and we identify this fine coat which is the object of Joseph's exaltation over us with an animal, and we make you to recognize the blood of a literal animal as the rightful blood of your cherished Joseph!"
Of course, the older sons of Jacob were in fact greatly exaggerating their unfavoured sin-caused family-status-placement situation, for the reality is that even though Jacob greatly favoured his much younger son Joseph over all of his other sons, he still treated his other sons almost extremely well, and Jacob in fact had actually been much too lenient with his older sons with regard to certain absolutely horrific offenses which they had committed against their still genuinely G-Dly father Jacob. Jacob was most definitely not wrong in the actual favouring of Joseph so immensely.
9 However, Jacob was sorely misguided in the reasons for which he chose to so greatly favour Joseph, in the way in which he paternally did.
Joseph's much older sons still had considerable genuine good in them, and they still retained considerable valuable potential, and so THE G-D OF ISRAEL would not allow Jacob to completely disown them, for the older sons of Jacob were Deemed Still Usable in G-D's OMNISAPIENT Nation-Building Plans.
If Jacob's sons would have had absolutely no good in them, THE G-D OF ISRAEL Would have Ordered for them to be completely disowned, as occurred much later during the time of the Scribe and Prophet called Ezra, when THE G-D OF ISRAEL Commanded in Ezra 10:1-3 that all wickedly corrupt non-Jewish wives (who obviously had not wanted to convert to the One True Faith of Orthodox Judaism, as the virtuous Moabitess Ruth had so Wisely done) and the tainted offspring which were born of those evil women, and which realistically had no goodness in them at all, that they all be disowned and cast away (the pagan wives and the tainted offspring born of them) by the Penitent Jewish men who were fully returning to The Ways Of Torah.
Jacob was deceived by his older sons with regard to Joseph's true fate, because Jacob chose to readily acknowledge things (objects) linked to his favourite son Joseph, instead of readily acknowledging the positive realities pertaining to his favourite son's personality and natural Exalted Attributes.
This is a psychoanalytical Biblical Commentary which I wrote a few days ago, and which will be the first Torah Study within a gradually evol...
Published on Apr 15, 2018
This is a psychoanalytical Biblical Commentary which I wrote a few days ago, and which will be the first Torah Study within a gradually evol...