Parshas Mikeitz – A Jew In Exile

This week in the Torah:

Joseph, now the Viceroy of Egypt and unrecognizable to his brothers, sets to bring his brothers to repent, (for selling him into slavery), by framing them with theft of his silver goblet. When Joseph’s messenger uncovers the silver goblet in Benjamin’s baggage, all the brothers say to the messenger, “Chalillah (Far be it) for us to do such a thing.”

Rashi’s first interpretation:

Chalillah, refers to the mundane. The brothers used this term to express their disdain for theft. I.e. “It is too mundane a thing for us to have done.”


So holy are Jews, that even, merely, mundane matters are disdainful to them.

Although we are told to work during the six days of the week (and to withhold from work only on the Sabbath), the idea is not to let ourselves descend into the mundane; rather it is so that we may elevate the mundane by using it as a catalyst for serving G-d and appreciating Him. The purely mundane must be recognizably disdainful to a Jew.

This is possible, by virtue of the G-dly soul that enlivens each and every Jew; this soul being an actual part of G-d, Who is totally removed, in character, from the mundane.


Only the Jewish bodies have been cast into Exile; the soul of a Jew has never been cast into Exile; it remains strongly bound to G-d. This empowers a Jew to realize that the Exile is a mere means to achieve its real purpose, to elevate all of existence to a state of holiness. This will be fulfilled at the end of the Exile with the coming of Moshiach, imminently.

(Based on Likkutei Sichos Vol. 15, Mikkeitz)

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