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Kedoshim / Pesach / Sefiras HaOmer - Breaking the Cycle of Exile

In this exceptionally deep shiur delivered in Tomer Devorah Rav Burg explores the nature of sibling rivalry as it relates to Galus. From Yaakov and Eisav to Yosef and his brothers and ultimately to Rav Akiva's Talmidim, Galus is a product of the wounds we do not heal and the healing words left unsaid. Only through communication will we let go of resentment and choose love.

Sources for the shiur can be found quoted below!!!!


Love Your Neighbor

Leviticus 19:17-18

(17) You shall not hate your kinsfolk in your heart. Reprove your kin butincur no guilt on their account. (18) You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against members of your people. Love your fellow [Israelite] as yourself: I am יהוה.

ויקרא י״ט:י״ז-י״ח

(יז) לֹֽא־תִשְׂנָ֥א אֶת־אָחִ֖יךָ בִּלְבָבֶ֑ךָ הוֹכֵ֤חַ תּוֹכִ֙יחַ֙ אֶת־עֲמִיתֶ֔ךָ וְלֹא־תִשָּׂ֥א עָלָ֖יו חֵֽטְא׃ (יח) לֹֽא־תִקֹּ֤ם וְלֹֽא־תִטֹּר֙ אֶת־בְּנֵ֣י עַמֶּ֔ךָ וְאָֽהַבְתָּ֥ לְרֵעֲךָ֖ כָּמ֑וֹךָ אֲנִ֖י יְהֹוָֽה׃

Rashi on Leviticus 19:17:1

(1) ולא תשא עליו חטא [THOU SHALT IN ANY WISE REBUKE THY COMPANION] AND NOT BEAR A SIN ON ACCOUNT OF HIM — i. e. though rebuking him thou shalt not expose him to shame (lit., make his face grow pale) in public, in which case you will bear sin on account of him (cf. Sifra, Kedoshim, Chapter 4 8; Arakhin 16b).

רש"י על ויקרא י״ט:י״ז:א׳

(א) ולא תשא עליו חטא. לֹא תַלְבִּין אֶת פָּנָיו בָּרַבִּים (עי' ספרא):

Rashi on Leviticus 19:18:1

(1) לא תקם THOU SHALT NOT AVENGE — If one says to another “Lend me your sickle", and he replies, “No!", and the next day he (the latter) says to him (the former), “Lend me your hatchet”, and he retorts, “I am not going to lend it to you, just as you refused to lend me your sickle״ — this is avenging. And what is “bearing a grudge”? If one says to another, “Lend me your hatchet”, and he replies “No!” and on the next day he says to him “Lend me your sickle”, and he replies: “Here it is; I am not like you, because you would not lend me” — this is called “bearing a grudge (נטירה)” because he retains (נוטר) enmity in his heart although he does not actually avenge himself (Sifra, Kedoshim, Chapter 4 10-11; Yoma 23a).

רש"י על ויקרא י״ט:י״ח:א׳

(א) לא תקם. אָמַר לוֹ הַשְׁאִילֵנִי מַגָּלְךָ, אָמַר לוֹ לָאו, לְמָחָר אָמַר לוֹ הַשְׁאִילֵנִי קַרְדֻּמְּךָ, אָמַר לוֹ אֵינִי מַשְׁאִילְךָ כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁלֹּא הִשְׁאַלְתַּנִי, זוֹ הִיא נְקִימָה; וְאֵיזוֹ הִיא נְטִירָה? אָמַר לוֹ הַשְׁאִילֵנִי אֶת קַרְדֻּמְּךָ, אָמַר לוֹ לָאו, לְמָחָר אָמַר לוֹ הַשְׁאִילֵנִי מַגָּלְךָ, אָמַר לוֹ הֵא לְךָ, אֵינִי כְמוֹתְךָ שֶׁלֹּא הִשְׁאַלְתַּנִי, זוֹ הִיא נְטִירָה, שֶׁנּוֹטֵר הָאֵיבָה בְּלִבּוֹ, אַעַ"פִּי שֶׁאֵינוֹ נוֹקֵם (ספרא; יומא כ"ג):

Five Stages:

  1. לֹֽא־תִשְׂנָ֥א אֶת־אָחִ֖יךָ בִּלְבָבֶ֑ךָ "do not hate your brother in your heart."

  2. הוֹכֵ֤חַ תּוֹכִ֙יחַ֙ אֶת־עֲמִיתֶ֔ךָ - talk about it with them!

  3. וְלֹא־תִשָּׂ֥א עָלָ֖יו חֵֽטְא - do not speak with him in an embarrassing fashion

  4.  לֹֽא־תִקֹּ֤ם וְלֹֽא־תִטֹּר֙ - Revenge - I won't lend to you since you did not lend to me. Grudge - Lend him but with a snide remark.

  5. וְאָֽהַבְתָּ֥ לְרֵעֲךָ֖ כָּמ֑וֹךָ - "Love your fellow as you love yourself."

Rashi on Leviticus 19:18:2

(2) ואהבת לרעך כמוך THOU SHALT LOVE THY FELLOW MAN AS THYSELF —Rabbi Akiba said: “This is a fundamental principle of the Torah” (Sifra, Kedoshim, Chapter 4 12; Talmud Yerushalmi Nedarim 9:3).

רש"י על ויקרא י״ט:י״ח:ב׳

(ב) ואהבת לרעך כמוך. אָמַר רַבִּי עֲקִיבָא זֶה כְּלָל גָּדוֹל בַּתּוֹרָה (ספרא):


1. How does Rav Akiva know that this is general priciple of all of Torah

2. Why is it Rav Akiva who says this as opposed to anyone else throughout history?

Yevamot 62b:9

Rabbi Akiva says that the verse should be understood as follows: If one studied Torah in his youth he should study more Torah in his old age; if he had students in his youth he should have additional students in his old age, as it is stated: “In the morning sow your seed, etc.” They said by way of example that Rabbi Akiva had twelve thousand pairs of students in an area of land that stretched from Gevat to Antipatris in Judea, and they all died in one period of time, because they did not treat each other with respect.

יבמות ס״ב ב:ט׳

רַבִּי עֲקִיבָא אוֹמֵר: לָמַד תּוֹרָה בְּיַלְדוּתוֹ — יִלְמוֹד תּוֹרָה בְּזִקְנוּתוֹ. הָיוּ לוֹ תַּלְמִידִים בְּיַלְדוּתוֹ — יִהְיוּ לוֹ תַּלְמִידִים בְּזִקְנוּתוֹ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ״בַּבֹּקֶר זְרַע אֶת זַרְעֶךָ וְגוֹ׳״. אָמְרוּ: שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר אָלֶף זוּגִים תַּלְמִידִים הָיוּ לוֹ לְרַבִּי עֲקִיבָא מִגְּבָת עַד אַנְטִיפְרַס, וְכוּלָּן מֵתוּ בְּפֶרֶק אֶחָד, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁלֹּא נָהֲגוּ כָּבוֹד זֶה לָזֶה.


1. Why were they punished with death simply because they were not respectful of one another?

2. Why does it refer to them as שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר אָלֶף זוּגִים (12000 pairs) and not 24000 Talmidim?


1. Which line is superflous?

מִתְּחִלָּה עוֹבְדֵי עֲבוֹדָה זָרָה הָיוּ אֲבוֹתֵינוּ, וְעַכְשָׁיו קֵרְבָנוּ הַמָּקוֹם לַעֲבוֹדָתוֹ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וַיֹאמֶר יְהוֹשֻעַ אֶל־כָּל־הָעָם, כֹּה אָמַר יְיָ אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, בְּעֵבֶר הַנָּהָר יָשְׁבוּ אֲבוֹתֵיכֶם מֵעוֹלָם, תֶּרַח אֲבִי אַבְרָהָם וַאֲבִי נָחוֹר, וַיַּעַבְדוּ אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים.

וָאֶקַּח אֶת־אֲבִיכֶם אֶת־אַבְרָהָם מֵעֵבֶר הַנָּהָר וָאוֹלֵךְ אוֹתוֹ בְּכָל־אֶרֶץ כְּנָעַן, וָאַרְבֶּה אֶת־זַרְעוֹ וָאֶתֶּן־לוֹ אֶת־יִצְחָק. וָאֶתֵּן לְיִצְחָק אֶת־יַעֲקֹב וְאֶת־עֵשָׂו, וָאֶתֵּן לְעֵשָׂו אֶת־הַר שֵּׂעִיר לָרֶשֶׁת אוֹתוֹ, וְיַעֲקֹב וּבָנָיו יָרְדוּ מִצְרָיִם.

מִתְּחִלָּה IN THE BEGINNING, our ancestors were idol worshippers. But now the Omnipresent has drawn us close in His service; as it is said: “Joshua said to all the people, ‘This is what the LORD God of Israel has said: Beyond the river your ancestors always dwelled – Terah the father of Abraham, the father of Nahor – and they served other gods.

But I took your father Abraham from beyond the river, and I led him all the way across the land of Canaan, and I multiplied his offspring and gave him Isaac. And to Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau, and I gave Esau Mount Seir as an inheritance, While Yaakov and his children went down to Mitzrayim."

בָּרוּךְ שׁוֹמֵר הַבְטָחָתוֹ לְיִשְׂרָאֵל, בָּרוּךְ הוּא. שֶׁהַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא חִשַּׁב אֶת־הַקֵּץ, לַעֲשׂוֹת כְּמוֹ שֶּׁאָמַר לְאַבְרָהָם אָבִינוּ בִּבְרִית בֵּין הַבְּתָרִים, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וַיֹּאמֶר לְאַבְרָם, יָדֹעַ תֵּדַע כִּי־גֵר יִהְיֶה זַרְעֲךָ בְּאֶרֶץ לֹא לָהֶם, וַעֲבָדוּם וְעִנּוּ אֹתָם אַרְבַּע מֵאוֹת שָׁנָה. וְגַם אֶת־הַגּוֹי אֲשֶׁר יַעֲבֹדוּ דָּן אָנֹכִי וְאַחֲרֵי־כֵן יֵצְאוּ בִּרְכֻשׁ גָּדוֹל.

BLESSED IS THE ONE WHO HAS KEPT HIS PROMISE TO ISRAEL – blessed is He. For the Holy One calculated the end and fulfilled what He had spoken to our father Abraham in the Covenant between the Pieces. As it is said: "He said to Abram, ‘Know that your descendants will be strangers in a land not their own, and they will be enslaved and oppressed for four hundred years; but know that I shall judge the nation that enslaves them, and then they will leave with great wealth.

Genesis 15:16

(16) And they shall return here in the fourth generation, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.”

בראשית ט״ו:ט״ז

(טז) וְד֥וֹר רְבִיעִ֖י יָשׁ֣וּבוּ הֵ֑נָּה כִּ֧י לֹא־שָׁלֵ֛ם עֲוֺ֥ן הָאֱמֹרִ֖י עַד־הֵֽנָּה׃

Five aspects of Bris Bein Habesarim

  1. Your offspring will be strangers in a land that is not their own

  2. They shall be enslaved and oppressed

  3. For four hundred years (a long time)

  4. They will go free with great wealth

  5. And the fourth generation will return to this land

צֵא וּלְמַד מַה בִּקֵּשׁ לָבָן הָאֲרַמִּי לַעֲשׂוֹת לְיַעֲקֹב אָבִינוּ: שֶׁפַּרְעֹה לֹא גָזַר אֶלָּא עַל הַזְּכָרִים, וְלָבָן בִּקֵּשׁ לַעֲקֹר אֶת־הַכֹּל. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: אֲרַמִּי אֹבֵד אָבִי, וַיֵּרֶד מִצְרַיְמָה וַיָּגָר שָׁם בִּמְתֵי מְעָט, וַיְהִי־שָׁם לְגוֹי גָּדוֹל עָצוּם וָרָב.

צֵא וּלְמַד GO AND LEARN what Laban the Aramean sought to do to our father Jacob: Pharaoh condemned only the boys to death, but Laban sought to uproot everything, as it is written: An Aramean sought my fathers death and he went down to Egypt and resided there, just a handful of souls and there he he became a great nation - large, mighty and great.


1. Where do we see that Lavan tried to destroy everything?

2. In what fashion did he try to accomplish this?

Yaakov has fulfilled all the criteria of the Bris Bein HaBesarim:

  1. Exiled from Canaan to Haran

  2. Enslaved and oppressed by Lavan

  1. Yaakov - “I was consumed by the heat during the day, and frost by night, and my sleep drifted from my eyes.”

  1. The Egyptians also worked us day and night

  1. Yaakov - “Your father [Lavan] mocked me and changed my wage ten times, but Gd did not let him harm me.”

  1. Pharaoh also played with out wages

  1. Yaakov had been there a long time

  2. Yaakov left with wealth (flocks of sheep)

  3. Yaakov leaves when Yosef is born (Yosef is the fourth generation. Why not leave as soon as Reuven is born?)

Genesis 30:25

(25) After Rachel had borne Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, “Give me leave to go back to my own homeland.

בראשית ל׳:כ״ה

(כה) וַיְהִ֕י כַּאֲשֶׁ֛ר יָלְדָ֥ה רָחֵ֖ל אֶת־יוֹסֵ֑ף וַיֹּ֤אמֶר יַעֲקֹב֙ אֶל־לָבָ֔ן שַׁלְּחֵ֙נִי֙ וְאֵ֣לְכָ֔ה אֶל־מְקוֹמִ֖י וּלְאַרְצִֽי׃

Rashi on Genesis 30:25:1

(1) כאשר ילדה רחל את יוסף WHEN RACHEL HAD BORN JOSEPH — after the birth of him who was to become Esau’s adversary (Genesis Rabbah 73:7) — as it is said (Obadiah 1:18) “And the house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame and the house of Esau for stubble“. Fire (Jacob) that has no flame (Joseph) has no effect at a distance. Therefore, when Joseph was born Jacob put his trust in the Holy One, blessed be He, and wished to return home (Obadiah 1:18).

רש"י על בראשית ל׳:כ״ה:א׳

(א) כאשר ילדה רחל את יוסף. מִשֶּׁנּוֹלַד שְׂטָנוֹ שֶׁל עֵשָׂו, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר וְהָיָה בֵית יַעֲקֹב אֵשׁ וּבֵית יוֹסֵף לֶהָבָה וּבֵית עֵשָׂו לְקַשׁ (עובדיה א'), אֵשׁ בְּלֹא לֶהָבָה אֵינוֹ שׁוֹלֵט לְמֵרָחוֹק, מִשֶּׁנּוֹלַד יוֹסֵף בָּטַח יַעֲקֹב בְּהַקָּבָּ"ה וְרָצָה לָשׁוּב:

Genesis 31:22-24

(22) On the third day, Laban was told that Jacob had fled. (23) So he took his kinsmen with him and pursued him a distance of seven days, catching up with him in the hill country of Gilead. (24) But God appeared to Laban the Aramean in a dream by night and said to him, “Beware of attempting anything with Jacob, good or bad.” Laban overtook Jacob. Jacob had pitched his tent on the Height, and Laban with his kinsmen encamped in the hill country of Gilead.

בראשית ל״א:כ״ב-כ״ד

(כב) וַיֻּגַּ֥ד לְלָבָ֖ן בַּיּ֣וֹם הַשְּׁלִישִׁ֑י כִּ֥י בָרַ֖ח יַעֲקֹֽב׃ (כג) וַיִּקַּ֤ח אֶת־אֶחָיו֙ עִמּ֔וֹ וַיִּרְדֹּ֣ף אַחֲרָ֔יו דֶּ֖רֶךְ שִׁבְעַ֣ת יָמִ֑ים וַיַּדְבֵּ֥ק אֹת֖וֹ בְּהַ֥ר הַגִּלְעָֽד׃ (כד) וַיָּבֹ֧א אֱלֹהִ֛ים אֶל־לָבָ֥ן הָאֲרַמִּ֖י בַּחֲלֹ֣ם הַלָּ֑יְלָה וַיֹּ֣אמֶר ל֗וֹ הִשָּׁ֧מֶר לְךָ֛ פֶּן־תְּדַבֵּ֥ר עִֽם־יַעֲקֹ֖ב מִטּ֥וֹב עַד־רָֽע׃ וַיַּשֵּׂ֥ג לָבָ֖ן אֶֽת־יַעֲקֹ֑ב וְיַעֲקֹ֗ב תָּקַ֤ע אֶֽת־אׇהֳלוֹ֙ בָּהָ֔ר וְלָבָ֛ן תָּקַ֥ע אֶת־אֶחָ֖יו בְּהַ֥ר הַגִּלְעָֽד׃

Exodus 14:5-9

(5) When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, Pharaoh and his courtiers had a change of heart about the people and said, “What is this we have done, releasing Israel from our service?” (6) He ordered*ordered See note at Gen. 46.29. his chariot and took his force with him; (7) he took six hundred of his picked chariots, and the rest of the chariots of Egypt, with officers*officers Heb. shalish; originally “third man on royal chariot”; hence “adjutant,” “officer.” in all of them. (8) יהוה stiffened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he gave chase to the Israelites. As the Israelites were departing defiantly,*defiantly Lit. “with upraised hand”; cf. Num. 33.3.  (9) the Egyptians gave chase to them, and all the chariot horses of Pharaoh, his riders, and his warriors overtook them encamped by the sea, near Pi-hahiroth, before Baal-zephon.

שמות י״ד:ה׳-ט׳

(ה) וַיֻּגַּד֙ לְמֶ֣לֶךְ מִצְרַ֔יִם כִּ֥י בָרַ֖ח הָעָ֑ם וַ֠יֵּהָפֵ֠ךְ לְבַ֨ב פַּרְעֹ֤ה וַעֲבָדָיו֙ אֶל־הָעָ֔ם וַיֹּֽאמְרוּ֙ מַה־זֹּ֣את עָשִׂ֔ינוּ כִּֽי־שִׁלַּ֥חְנוּ אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מֵעׇבְדֵֽנוּ׃ (ו) וַיֶּאְסֹ֖ר אֶת־רִכְבּ֑וֹ וְאֶת־עַמּ֖וֹ לָקַ֥ח עִמּֽוֹ׃ (ז) וַיִּקַּ֗ח שֵׁשׁ־מֵא֥וֹת רֶ֙כֶב֙ בָּח֔וּר וְכֹ֖ל רֶ֣כֶב מִצְרָ֑יִם וְשָׁלִשִׁ֖ם עַל־כֻּלּֽוֹ׃ (ח) וַיְחַזֵּ֣ק יְהֹוָ֗ה אֶת־לֵ֤ב פַּרְעֹה֙ מֶ֣לֶךְ מִצְרַ֔יִם וַיִּרְדֹּ֕ף אַחֲרֵ֖י בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל וּבְנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל יֹצְאִ֖ים בְּיָ֥ד רָמָֽה׃ (ט) וַיִּרְדְּפ֨וּ מִצְרַ֜יִם אַחֲרֵיהֶ֗ם וַיַּשִּׂ֤יגוּ אוֹתָם֙ חֹנִ֣ים עַל־הַיָּ֔ם כׇּל־סוּס֙ רֶ֣כֶב פַּרְעֹ֔ה וּפָרָשָׁ֖יו וְחֵיל֑וֹ עַל־פִּי֙ הַֽחִירֹ֔ת לִפְנֵ֖י בַּ֥עַל צְפֹֽן׃

Notice the similarities (in the same order!!!)

1. Both Lavan and Pharaoh were told that Yaakov/Klal Yisrael fled

2. Both Lavan and Pharaoh took their people with them and chased Yaakov/Klal Yisrael

3. Both Lavan and Pharaoh overtook Yaakov/Klal Yisrael


More similarities:

1. Yaakov leaves in the 21st year and Klal Yisrael leaves in the 210th year

2. Lavan finds out on the third day that Yaakov fled and Pharaoh finds out on the third day (he thinks they're going for a three day leave)

Genesis 37:1

(1) Now Jacob was settled in the land where his father had sojourned, the land of Canaan.

בראשית ל״ז:א׳

(א) וַיֵּ֣שֶׁב יַעֲקֹ֔ב בְּאֶ֖רֶץ מְגוּרֵ֣י אָבִ֑יו בְּאֶ֖רֶץ כְּנָֽעַן׃

Rashi on Genesis 37:2:1

Another comment on this verse is: וישב AND HE ABODE — Jacob wished to live at ease, but this trouble in connection with Joseph suddenly came upon him. When the righteous wish to live at ease, the Holy one, blessed be He), says to them: “Are not the righteous satisfied with what is stored up for them in the world to come that they wish to live at ease in this world too! (Genesis Rabbah 84:3)

רש"י על בראשית ל״ז:ב׳:א׳

 וְעוֹד נִדְרָשׁ בּוֹ וישב, בִּקֵּשׁ יַעֲקֹב לֵישֵׁב בְּשַׁלְוָה, קָפַץ עָלָיו רָגְזוֹ שֶׁל יוֹסֵף – צַדִּיקִים מְבַקְּשִׁים לֵישֵׁב בְּשַׁלְוָה, אָמַר הַקָּבָּ"ה לֹא דַיָּן לַצַּדִּיקִים מַה שֶּׁמְּתֻקָּן לָהֶם לָעוֹלָם הַבָּא, אֶלָּא שֶׁמְּבַקְּשִׁים לֵישֵׁב בְּשַׁלְוָה בָּעוֹלָם הַזֶּה:

Question - If Yaakov was correct and the Bris Bein HaBesarim had been fulfilled, what went wrong?

Similarities between the exile of Yaakov and the exile of Yosef:

How did Yaakov end up in the house of Lavan?

1. Yaakov switches places with Eisav leading to a sibling rivalry.

2. Yaakov deceives Yitzchak.

3. Yaakov wears Eisav's coat and tries to deceive Yitzchak.

4. Rivka slaughters a goat.

5. Yaakov is exiled to the house of Lavan


How did Klal Yisrael end up in Mitzrayim?

1. Alshich - Lavan switched Leah and Rachel making Reuven the bechor and not Yosef. This led to a sibling rivalry. (How Lavan attempted to destroy everything!)

2. The Shevatim deceive Yaakov.

3. The Shevatim bring Yaakov Yosef's coat and try to deceive Yaakov.

4. The Shevatim slaughter a goat 

5. Yosef is exiled to Mitzrayim

Genesis 27:9

(9) Go to the flock and fetch me two choice kids, and I will make of them a dish for your father, such as he likes.

בראשית כ״ז:ט׳

(ט) לֶךְ־נָא֙ אֶל־הַצֹּ֔אן וְקַֽח־לִ֣י מִשָּׁ֗ם שְׁנֵ֛י גְּדָיֵ֥י עִזִּ֖ים טֹבִ֑ים וְאֶֽעֱשֶׂ֨ה אֹתָ֧ם מַטְעַמִּ֛ים לְאָבִ֖יךָ כַּאֲשֶׁ֥ר אָהֵֽב׃

Genesis 37:31

(31) Then they took Joseph’s tunic, slaughtered a kid, and dipped the tunic in the blood.

בראשית ל״ז:ל״א

(לא) וַיִּקְח֖וּ אֶת־כְּתֹ֣נֶת יוֹסֵ֑ף וַֽיִּשְׁחֲטוּ֙ שְׂעִ֣יר עִזִּ֔ים וַיִּטְבְּל֥וּ אֶת־הַכֻּתֹּ֖נֶת בַּדָּֽם׃


1. Now we know why Eisav is mentioned in the Haggadah! The story of exile is the story of sibling rivalry!

2. The only reason that Yaakov did not fulfill the ultima destiny is because the brothers sold Yosef down to Mitzrayim! The sibling rivalry continued.

(טו) וַיִּרְא֤וּ אֲחֵֽי־יוֹסֵף֙ כִּי־מֵ֣ת אֲבִיהֶ֔ם וַיֹּ֣אמְר֔וּ ל֥וּ יִשְׂטְמֵ֖נוּ יוֹסֵ֑ף וְהָשֵׁ֤ב יָשִׁיב֙ לָ֔נוּ אֵ֚ת כׇּל־הָ֣רָעָ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֥ר גָּמַ֖לְנוּ אֹתֽוֹ׃ (טז) וַיְצַוּ֕וּ אֶל־יוֹסֵ֖ף לֵאמֹ֑ר אָבִ֣יךָ צִוָּ֔ה לִפְנֵ֥י מוֹת֖וֹ לֵאמֹֽר׃ (יז) כֹּֽה־תֹאמְר֣וּ לְיוֹסֵ֗ף אָ֣נָּ֡א שָׂ֣א נָ֠א פֶּ֣שַׁע אַחֶ֤יךָ וְחַטָּאתָם֙ כִּי־רָעָ֣ה גְמָל֔וּךָ וְעַתָּה֙ שָׂ֣א נָ֔א לְפֶ֥שַׁע עַבְדֵ֖י אֱלֹהֵ֣י אָבִ֑יךָ וַיֵּ֥בְךְּ יוֹסֵ֖ף בְּדַבְּרָ֥ם אֵלָֽיו׃ (יח) וַיֵּלְכוּ֙ גַּם־אֶחָ֔יו וַֽיִּפְּל֖וּ לְפָנָ֑יו וַיֹּ֣אמְר֔וּ הִנֶּ֥נּֽוּ לְךָ֖ לַעֲבָדִֽים׃ (יט) וַיֹּ֧אמֶר אֲלֵהֶ֛ם יוֹסֵ֖ף אַל־תִּירָ֑אוּ כִּ֛י הֲתַ֥חַת אֱלֹהִ֖ים אָֽנִי׃ (כ) וְאַתֶּ֕ם חֲשַׁבְתֶּ֥ם עָלַ֖י רָעָ֑ה אֱלֹהִים֙ חֲשָׁבָ֣הּ לְטֹבָ֔ה לְמַ֗עַן עֲשֹׂ֛ה כַּיּ֥וֹם הַזֶּ֖ה לְהַחֲיֹ֥ת עַם־רָֽב׃ (כא) וְעַתָּה֙ אַל־תִּירָ֔אוּ אָנֹכִ֛י אֲכַלְכֵּ֥ל אֶתְכֶ֖ם וְאֶֽת־טַפְּכֶ֑ם וַיְנַחֵ֣ם אוֹתָ֔ם וַיְדַבֵּ֖ר עַל־לִבָּֽם׃

(15) When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “What if Joseph still bears a grudge against us and pays us back for all the wrong that we did him!” (16) So they sent this message to Joseph, “Before his death your father left this instruction: (17) So shall you say to Joseph, ‘Forgive, I urge you, the offense and guilt of your brothers who treated you so harshly.’ Therefore, please forgive the offense of the servants of the God of your father’s [house].” And Joseph was in tears as they spoke to him. (18) His brothers went to him themselves, flung themselves before him, and said, “We are prepared to be your slaves.” (19) But Joseph said to them, “Have no fear! Am I a substitute for God? (20) Besides, although you intended me harm, God intended it for good, so as to bring about the present result—the survival of many people. (21) And so, fear not. I will sustain you and your dependents.” Thus he reassured them, speaking kindly to them.

Did Yaakov actually leave such an instruction for Yosef:


Medrash Tanchuma - Rabbi Shimon ben Gamliel said: Great is peace, for God wrote things in the Torah that were not [true], only for the sake of peace… For when Yaakov died: "Yosef's brothers saw that their father was dead," what did they do? They went to Bilha, and said to her: Go in to Yosef, and say to him: "Your father commanded before his death, saying." But Yaakov never commanded anything of all these things. Rather they said it on their own. Rabbi Shimon ben Gamliel said: See how much ink has been spilled, and how many pens have been broken, and how many hides have been tanned, to learn something in the Torah that never was! See how great is the power of peace! (Tanchuma Tzav 10)

Genesis 27:41

(41) Now Esau harbored a grudge against Jacob because of the blessing which his father had given him, and Esau said to himself, “Let but the mourning period of my father come, and I will kill my brother Jacob.”

בראשית כ״ז:מ״א

(מא) וַיִּשְׂטֹ֤ם עֵשָׂו֙ אֶֽת־יַעֲקֹ֔ב עַ֨ל־הַבְּרָכָ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֥ר בֵּרְכ֖וֹ אָבִ֑יו וַיֹּ֨אמֶר עֵשָׂ֜ו בְּלִבּ֗וֹ יִקְרְבוּ֙ יְמֵי֙ אֵ֣בֶל אָבִ֔י וְאַֽהַרְגָ֖ה אֶת־יַעֲקֹ֥ב אָחִֽי׃

Amos 2:6

(6) Thus said GOD:

For three transgressions of Israel,

 For four, I will not revoke the decree:

 Because they have sold for silver

 Those whose cause was just,

 And the needy for a pair of shoes.

עמוס ב׳:ו׳

(ו) כֹּ֚ה אָמַ֣ר יְהֹוָ֔ה עַל־שְׁלֹשָׁה֙ פִּשְׁעֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל וְעַל־אַרְבָּעָ֖ה לֹ֣א אֲשִׁיבֶ֑נּוּ עַל־מִכְרָ֤ם בַּכֶּ֙סֶף֙ צַדִּ֔יק וְאֶבְי֖וֹן בַּֽעֲב֥וּר נַעֲלָֽיִם׃

Midrash Tanchuma, Vayeshev 2:4

(4) When a group of Ishmaelites passed by, they said to each other: Come, and let us sell him to the Ishmaelites (ibid., v. 27). They took him to the edge of the desert, where they sold him for twenty pieces of silver. Each one obtained, thereby, two pieces of silver with which to purchase a pair of shoes. If you are surprised that a youth as handsome as he was sold for merely twenty pieces of silver, remember that when he was hurled into the pit, he was so fearful of the snakes and scorpions within it that his features were altered. The blood rushed from him, and his countenance turned pale. Therefore, they were forced to sell him for twenty pieces of silver, the value of a pair of shoes for each of them.

מדרש תנחומא, וישב ב׳:ד׳

(ד) עָבְרוּ עֲלֵיהֶם יִשְׁמְעֵאלִים. אָמְרוּ, לְכוּ וְנִמְכְּרֶנּוּ לַיִּשְׁמְעֵאלִים, הֵן מוֹלִיכִין אוֹתוֹ לִקְצוֹת הַמִּדְבָּר. עָמְדוּ מְכָרוּהוּ בְּעֶשְׂרִים כֶּסֶף, לְכָל אֶחָד מֵהֶם שְׁנֵי כֶסֶף לִקְנוֹת מִנְעָלִים לְרַגְלֵיהֶם. וְכִי תַעֲלֶה עַל דַּעְתְּךָ שֶׁנַּעַר יָפֶה כְמוֹתוֹ נִמְכָּר בְּעֶשְׂרִים כָּסֶף. אֶלָּא כֵּיוָן שֶׁהֻשְׁלַךְ לַבּוֹר, מִתּוֹךְ פַּחַד נְחָשִׁים וְעַקְרַבִּים שֶׁבּוֹ, נִשְׁתַּנָּה זִיו פָּנָיו וּבָרַח מִמֶּנּוּ דָמוֹ וְנַעֲשׂוּ פָנָיו יְרֻקּוֹת. לְפִיכָךְ מְכָרוּהוּ בְּעֶשְׂרִים כֶּסֶף בַּעֲבוּר נַעֲלָיִם.

Midrash Mishlei 1:9

Rabbi Joshua ben Levi said: The ten martyrs were drawn [to their deaths] only by the sin of selling Joseph. 

מדרש משלי א׳:ט׳

 אמר רבי יהושע בן לוי: לא נמשכו עשרה הרוגי מלכות אלא בחטא מכירתו של יוסף.

Arizal - Shaar HaGilgulim (chapter 28)

The place of the soul-root Rabbi Akiva ben Yosef was the hands. In the secret of, "And his hand was holding the heel of Esau.(Gen. 25:26)

Genesis 49:24


(24) Yet his bow stayed taut,

 And the arms of his hands were made firm

 By the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob—

 There, the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel—


בראשית מ״ט:כ״ד

(כד) וַתֵּ֤שֶׁב בְּאֵיתָן֙ קַשְׁתּ֔וֹ וַיָּפֹ֖זּוּ זְרֹעֵ֣י יָדָ֑יו מִידֵי֙ אֲבִ֣יר יַעֲקֹ֔ב מִשָּׁ֥ם רֹעֶ֖ה אֶ֥בֶן יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃

Arizal (Likkutei Torah, Parshas Vayechi, "Vayafozu") - אֲבִ֣יר יַעֲקֹ֔ב is the same letters as Rebbe Akiva.

Akiva is the same letters as Yaakov and the extra Aleph is for Avinu.

Parralel lives:

1. Both were shepherds for their father in law.

2. Yaakov married Rachel and Leah and Rav Akiva married Rachel and then later the converted ex wife of Turnusrufus who corresponds to Leah.

3. Yaakov had 12 Shevatim and Rav Akiva had 24000 pairs of Talmidim

Pesachim 112a:9-10

The Sages taught: Rabbi Akiva commanded Rabbi Yehoshua, his son, about seven matters: My son... do not withhold shoes from your feet, as it is disgraceful to go barefoot.

פסחים קי״ב א:ט׳-י׳

תָּנוּ רַבָּנַן, שִׁבְעָה דְּבָרִים צִוָּה רַבִּי עֲקִיבָא אֶת רַבִּי יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בְּנוֹ: בְּנִי... וְאַל תִּמְנַע מִנְעָלִים מֵרַגְלֶיךָ. 

Shoes are Kavod!

On Tisha B'Av and when we are in Aveilus we don't wear leather shoes as a sign of mourning. There used to be a Minhag in the times of the Gemara that the pallbearers would go barefoot as well.

On Yom Kippur we don't wear leather shoes as a sign of humility.

Final Answers:

1. Rav Akiva as the Gigul of Yaakov/Yosef understood the importance of dignity. One who wears shoes leads a dignified life and treats others with the same dignity.

2. All of exile will only come to and when we fulfill the Mitzvah of ואהבת לרעך כמוך which Rav Akiva as the Gilgul of Yaakov knew was THE Klal Gadol in all of Torah.

3. Rav Akiva's Talmidim (as the expression of the 12 Shevatim) had the opportunity to bring about the redemption by treating each other with respect but because they didn't they were punished with death. 

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