For [Yoseif is the] Son of Wisdom

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For [Yoseif is the] Son of Wisdom / Old Age

By Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk

Our Devri Torah is in the loving Memory of Mr. Donald Wayne Belk and Mr. Gary Lee Belk, may they rest in peace.

Parshat Vayeishev

Bereisheit [Genesis] 37.1 - 40.23

Ha Torah Says, And Yisroel [Yaakov] loved everything from Aleph to Tav of Yosef from all his sons for he was the son of old age [Wisdom].  How do we know the reference is to wisdom and not to age? ˆq,z: Zaw Kehn is singular for old.  Zaw Kehn normally refers to an individual who has reached seventy years old or greater.  Tanna Kamma / the majority view of the Sages of Mishnah hold that one should stand for Zaw Kehn {an elder man} providing he is not iniquitous.  One is not required to stand for a young Sage. Issi ben Yehudah's opinion requires that one stand for a Zaw Kehn even if he is iniquitous a Sage even if he is young. {See Kiddushin 32b 18}  The first usage of Zaw Kehn in Ha Torah is Bereisheit 18.12. There Sarah makes reference to her master [Avraham] as an old man. 

hn:±d"[, yLi¢Aht;y"h;î yŸtiløb] yrE•j}a' rmo-ale HB...¢r"qIB] hr:¡c; qjæàx]Tiw"

.ˆqEêz: ynI¡doaw"ô

Zaw Kehn is used often in Bereisheit for a single older male.  See: Bereisheit 18.12; 19.4,31; 24.1,2; 25.8; 27.1; 35.29; 43.27; 44.20; 48.10.  The plural usage for Zaw Kehn is first recorded in Ha Torah in Bereisheit 18.11.  There Ha Torah Says,  Avraham [who was 99 years of age] and Sarah [who was 89 years of age] were µynIqez" Zih Kay Neem meaning elderly.

 hr:+c;l] t/y§h]li l~d"j; µymi-Y:B' µyai`B; µynI±qEz" h~r:c;w" µh...¶r:b]a'w"

.µyviâN:K' jr"ao¡

Why is this important?

First Zih Kay Neem is normally used as the plural word for more than one older individual as noted in the above example.  See: Bereisheit 18.11; 37.3; 44. 20; Shemot / Exodus 24.14; Bamidbar / Numbers 11.25; Devarim / Deuteronomy 22.16; 25.7; 25.9. 

Second, one of the thirteen principles of Torah Hermeneutics as defined by Torah Scholar, Rabbi Yishmael, is hw:v; hr:zEG" Gezeirah Shavah.  The thirteen Rules of Hermeneutical are listed in most Jewish Siddurim.  For Ashkenazi: Rabbi Menachem Davis, Editor, The Schottenstein Edition Siddur for Weekdays, (Brooklyn, NY: Mesorah Publications, Ltd., First Edition, 2002), pp 64-69  For Sefard: Rabbi Menachem Davis, Editor, The Schottenstein Edition Siddur for Weekdays, (Brooklyn, NY: Mesorah Publications, Ltd., Third Impression, 2007), pp 73-77

The Second Hermeneutic Rule:  Gezeirah Shavah is defined as when similar words or phrases occur in two  otherwise unrelated Passukim / Verses of Ha Torah, the principle of Gezeirah Shavah Teaches that these Passukim are linked to one another, and the laws of one Passuk are applied to the other.  Only those words which are designated by the Oral Law for this purpose may serve as a basis for Gezeirah Shavah. The Schottenstein Edition Talmud Bavli Tractate Kiddushin 36 (Mesorah Publications, Ltd., Brooklyn, N.Y. fourth edition 2005) Glossary

Based upon the interpretation of  Gezeirah Shavah Bereisheit 18.11 and Bereisheit 37.3 are related by the Word  µynIqez" Zih Kay Neem.  How are they related?  In Bereisheit 18.11 the Word Zih Kay Neem makes reference to two individuals, Avraham and Sarah. In Bereisheit 37.3 the Word Zih Kay Neem makes reference to two individuals, Yaakov and Yoseif.   So the Word  µynIqez" Zih Kay Neem and µynIquz" Zih Koo Neem which are both spelled the same establishes a connection between them through Gezeirah Shavah.  There is an additional tie-in.  Onkelos translates it [ µynIquz" Zih Koo Neem] as, 'He was a wise son to him,' [because] all that [Yaakov] had learned from Sheim and Eiver, he transmitted to him [Yoseif]. Rabbi Avrohom Davis / Rabbi Avrohom Kleinkaufman, The Metsudah Chumash / Rashi Bereishis (Hoboken, NJ: KTAV Publishing House, Inc. 1991) p 417  How does one make this tie-in?  Bamidbar 11.16 Hashem Said to Moshe, 'Gather seventy men for Me, from the Elders [Sages] of Yisroel [men] that you know to be elders of the people.'

Rabbi Yose Says, The Word Zaw Kehin in this context can only mean Sage.  The Word ˆq,z: Zaw Kehn is treated as an acronym of hnq; hz< (Zeh Kanah), this one has acquired [Wisdom] (Rashi), {Kiddushin 32b}.  Our Sages Ask, What is there to acquire but Wisdom? Our Sages Teach If one acquires it [i.e. wisdom], what does he lack?  If one fails to acquire it, what does he possess? Nedarim 41a

So we learn that Yoseif was a wise son.  We already understand that µynIquz" Zih KooNeem cannot refer to age for two reasons.  First Zih Koo Neem is plural.    Zih Koo Neem includes Yaakov who is 91 years of age and Yoseif who is just 17 years of age.  One is old and one is young so  Zih Koo Neem must mean something else.  Our Sages Teach that  Zih Koo Neem can not refer to age because Yoseif was a son born to Yaakov in his old age, because all of Yaakov's sons were in fact born to him when he was older [84 years of age or older].  Yissocher and Zevulun were only a year or two older than Yoseif.  Binyomin was even younger! So it could not be that Yaakov loved Yoseif for that reason.  Avrohom Davis, Metsudah Midrash Tanchuma Bereishis 1 (Monsey, NY Eastern Book Press Inc. 2005) p168

Having set the basis for the discussion notice that the Gematria of  µynIquz"AˆB,AyKi For [Yoseif is the] Son of Wisdom is the Gematria of 289.  The Word dr<P;hi Hee Paw Rehd meaning separation is also the Gematria of 289.  At about this time Yoseif began a 22 year separation from his father.  His father was under the impression that Yoseif was πrOf; Taw Roof meaning torn in pieces, Bereisheit 37.33. The Gematria for Taw Roof is also 289. After the 22 year separation Yoseif set a sign to his father so his father would know that it was indeed Yoseif.  It was a sign that only Yaakov would know.  In Bereisheit 45.27 Ha Torah Notes, And [Yoseif's Brothers] told [Yaakov] all the words of Yoseif...  Our Sages Teach that Yoseif's sign was the subject that they were studying at the time of Yoseif's separation.

Our Sages also Teach that Yaakov and Yoseif looked alike.  When Yoseif would look in the mirror he would see the face of his father, Yaakov.  So when Ha Torah Notes bqO[æyæ axeyEwE Vah Yay Tzah - Yaakov meaning Yaakov left separated from Beer Sheva..., Bereisheit 28.10 Ha Torah is Informing us of the great vacuum left when Yaakov departed from Beer Sheva.  Mystically Ha Torah through the Gematria 289 is Informing us that Yoseif and Yaakov left off from their Torah Study together.  Ha Torah is Informing us that Yoseif left a large vacuum when he departed Eretz Canaan.  Ha Torah is informing us that Yaakov left of from studying Ha Torah for the 22 years while Yoseif was separated from him.  He mourned the entire time with the exception of Shabbat and Yom Tovim.  One does not study Ha Torah when they are mourning.

289 = µ40 y10 n50 q100 z7   ˆ50 b2   y10 k20

289 = d4 r200 p80 h5

289 = π80 r200 f9

289 = b2 q100 [70 y10  a1 x90 y10 w6

May Hashem Bless each of us to not be dr<P;hi Hee Paw Rehd from our Torah study.  May we not be πrOf; Taw Roof away from learning Ha Torah and may we not leave off from studying Ha Torah.

Blessings and Peace,

Dr. Akiva Gamliel

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This page contains a single entry by JewishPath Blog published on December 19, 2008 3:47 PM.

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