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Joseph Draws Down Divine Intuition for the Entire Jewish People

The three patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are referred to as the Divine chariot.  Their relation to God is a passive one. The patriarchs are so in tune with Godliness that they are merely a vehicle by which God is revealed. They automatically carry out God’s will because they nullify themselves to God’s will, as explained at length in Tanya. In a certain sense, this level is above that of prophecy, it is total nullification of self to God, and they thereby become a pure vehicle, a channel, of God’s expression.


The next two are Moses and Aaron, they are the two greatest prophets. The greatest prophet of all is Moses; the prophecy of Aaron is the spiritual origin of the prophecy of all the other prophets of Israel. Although Moses’ prophecy is unique, “he prophesied with the word ‘zeh’ whilst all other prophets prophesy with the word coh,’” yet the word coh is the first word of the Priestly Blessing, “coh tevarchu....” From this we learn that the blessing of the Cohanim, the priests, is actually the source of prophecy of all other prophets. Even the word Cohen itself begins with coh.” Thus, Moses and Aaron are the two origins of prophecy.


A differentiation made in Kabbalah between prophecy and ruach hakodesh (lit. “Divine Spirit.”) Ruach hakodesh is Divine intuition. Someone with ruach hakodesh does not hear God’s voice explicitly telling him to do something or to convey God’s explict words to others. Ruach hakodesh is rather a spontaneous sense of knowing what to do next. It is a wellspring from within that tells you that you are definitely in tune with God. This is not the level of being a “vehicle,” rather it is true, holy intuition. The Baal Shem Tov says that a righteous person who has ruach hakodesh, does not initially know exactly what to do with it, or how much he can rely upon it. But he gradually learns through experience how much he can rely on his intuition in life situations. In other words, he learns from his experience how much is really Divine intuition. The soul of Joseph is that which draws Divine intuition for all Jewish souls from the wellsprings of Divinity.  The soul who receives it is one who experiences a state of complete selflessness, feeling that he is worth nothing and possesses nothing, like an empty vessel. This is King David who receives this Divine intuition through his connection to the righteous person, who draws it out and passes it on to him. The connection between these two can also be likened to male and female, a bride and groom. The one who is the fountain who draws out water is the concept of yesod, the male, throughout Kabbalah. 


Through his great experience, Joseph was able to rely upon his intuitions and he was able to interpret dreams. First he had his own dreams and his intuition expressed itself primarily in dream interpretation.  However, he was gradually able to know that the ideas that he received from his inner wellspring were true, and he noted that by expressing the idea verbally it was realized in practice. When a person who has Divine intuition, expresses the idea verbally, he actually makes it come true. The power of the righteous person is that God even carries out what he decrees.  The Zohar relates that when Joseph interpreted the dreams of the two prisoners imprisoned with him, telling Pharaoh’s chief wine-pourer that he will live and the chief baker that he will be hanged, his interpretation made it happen! He did not merely interpret the dreams objectively, he had the subjective power to actually decree, in other words, his interpretation was a decree.  Thus, Joseph was inspired and had intuition, but he also had the power to make a decree that would come true.  This is the power of yesod, of the rectified covenant.


The ruach hakodesh that King David had was of a different type. His primary ruach hakodesh was Divine inspiration to truly express his soul, to pray, the ruach hakodesh of prayer.  For instance, when a person sincerely prays to God from the depth of his heart, this is an expression of ruach hakodesh.


When a God fearing person without this talent prays for something that he believes he needs, then God may give him exactly what he prays for. However, once he has received that which he prayed for, he may discover that he actually did not need it at all and he must cry out to God once more. God then listens and saves him from the results of his own prayers. This is an interpretation of the verse in Psalms, “He will carry out the will of those who fear Him, and answer their cry and will save them.” The Godfearing person receives what he wants but it places him in a very bad position and then he cries out to God to save him from what he himself asked for because he did not have the correct inspiration. 


Thus, King David had a different type of Divine inspiration from that of Joseph; he had the Divine inspiration to pray and to compose music.


To summarize, we stated that there are various levels of connection to God. There is complete self-nullification such as that of the three forefathers, there is prophecy such as that of Moses and Aharon and there are two types of ruach hakodesh, that of Joseph, Divine intuition and that of David, Divine inspiration.


All of these levels are holy, that is to say separate, different from normative human psychology.

What we are now in need of, this year and this millennium and in order to bring the Messiah, is to connect to the level of Joseph, for he is the one who draws down ruach hakodesh for the Jewish nation. This can only come into effect if we rectify the power of yesod, the power of the covenant.


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