The Zoom lecture by Dr. Ronald Ellis will answer all of your questions about the safety of the Covid Vaccines and Dr. Fauci Admits He's Been Moving the Goalposts on COVID on Purpose and W. Somerset Maugham’s Jewish Literary Protagonists By Saul Jay Singer and WHO Deletes Naturally Acquired Immunity from Its Website by Jeffrey A. Tucker – and Rabbi Kahane on Parsha Viyagash and a piece on The Portion of Shmot
Yehuda Lave is an author, journalist, psychologist, rabbi, spiritual teacher, and coach, with degrees in business, psychology and Jewish Law. He works with people from all walks of life and helps them in their search for greater happiness, meaning, business advice on saving money, and spiritual engagement.
Dr. Anthony Fauci is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health. He quickly became America's go to guru on all things related to the pandemic.
Back in March, Dr. Fauci told us that in order to achieve herd immunity in the U.S., 60 to 70 percent of Americans would need to acquire resistance to COVID-19, "either through infection or vaccination." In recent appearances, however, his earlier estimate has gradually increased to the 80 to 85 percent level. And Fauci readily admits he's been moving the goalposts.
The New York Times reports, "About a month ago, he began saying '70, 75 percent' in television interviews. And last week, in an interview with CNBC News, he said '75, 80, 85 percent' and '75 to 80-plus percent.'"
"In a telephone interview the next day, Dr. Fauci acknowledged that he had slowly but deliberately been moving the goal posts. He is doing so, he said, partly based on new science, and partly on his gut feeling that the country is finally ready to hear what he really thinks," the Times reported.
"When polls said only about half of all Americans would take a vaccine, I was saying herd immunity would take 70 to 75 percent," Fauci said during a telephone interview with the Times. "Then, when newer surveys said 60 percent or more would take it, I thought, 'I can nudge this up a bit,' so I went to 80, 85."
"We need to have some humility here," he said. "We really don't know what the real number is. I think the real range is somewhere between 70 to 90 percent. But, I'm not going to say 90 percent."
He won't say 90 percent, he told the Times, because he's "not sure there will be enough voluntary acceptance of vaccines to reach that goal."
According to the Times, approximately 20 percent of Americans are opposed to taking a vaccine. The Washington Post reported on a Kaiser Family Foundation poll, released on Dec. 15, which found that 15 percent of those surveyed "definitely won't get vaccinated."
So is Dr. Fauci basing his expert opinion on how Americans "feel" about taking the vaccine, rather than on the science behind it? It sure seems like it.
And are his changing numbers inspired by shifts in poll results, in other words, politics, instead of science? It sure appears that way.
In March, we were told to quarantine for 15 days to flatten the curve. This measure was introduced to keep U.S. hospitals from being overwhelmed with large numbers of coronavirus patients. On March 13, three days before the nationwide lockdown began, USA TODAY presented the results of their analysis which warned that "if the nation sees a major spike, there could be almost six seriously ill patients for every existing hospital bed."
Now, the 60 to 70 percent requirement to achieve herd immunity is turning into 90 percent. That isn't how public health should work.
Fauci tells the Times that "a herd-immunity figure at 90 percent or above is in the range of the infectiousness of measles." He adds, "I'd bet my house that Covid isn't as contagious as measles."
Give it to us straight Dr. Fauci. You're supposed to be the expert. Americans deserve to know the truth so they may make their own decisions on how to handle it.
The truth is that with incomplete information, it may be impossible for even an expert to determine the precise amount of acquired resistance in the population necessary to achieve herd immunity. The problem is that Fauci has been ratcheting up his estimates based upon decidedly non-scientific data. Or more accurately, he's been basing his assessments on politics.
This is not new for him. Over the last year, Fauci has given Americans mixed and even conflicting messages. On March 8, in an interview with 60 Minutes, he said, "there's no reason to be walking around with a mask."
n a January 21 interview with Newsmax, he was asked, "Bottom line, we don't have to worry about this one, right?"
He responded, "Well, you know, obviously, you need to take it seriously and do the kinds of things that the CDC and the Department of Homeland Security are doing. But this is not a major threat (emphasis added) for the people of the United States, and this is not something that the citizens of the United States right now should be worried about."
In the meantime, Fauci has been elevated to heroes' status. It's time Americans stop taking all of this man's statements as the gospel. Ridiculously, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser went so far as to proclaim Christmas Eve "Dr. Fauci Day."
R&D for biologics, immunotherapeutics and vaccines - for indications in immunology, infectious diseases, CNS, oncology, inflammation & autoimmunity. R&D Champion and/or Project Leader/co-Leader through phases from preclinical and entry to Phase 1 to lice... see mor
WHO Deletes Naturally Acquired Immunity from Its Website
Maybe you have some sense that something fishy is going on? Same. If it's not one thing, it's another.
Coronavirus lived on surfaces until it didn't. Masks didn't work until they did, then they did not. There is an asymptomatic transmission, except there isn't. Lockdowns work to control the virus except they do not. All these people are sick without symptoms until, whoops, PCR tests are wildly inaccurate because they were never intended to be diagnostic tools. Everyone is in danger of the virus except they aren't. It spreads in schools except it doesn't.
On it goes. Daily. It's no wonder that so many people have stopped believing anything that "public health authorities" say. In combination with governors and other autocrats doing their bidding, they set out to take away freedom and human rights and expected us to thank them for saving our lives. At some point this year (for me it was March 12) life began feeling like a dystopian novel of your choice.
Well, now I have another piece of evidence to add to the mile-high pile of fishy mess. The World Health Organization, for reasons unknown, has suddenly changed its definition of a core conception of immunology: herd immunity. Its discovery was one of the major achievements of the 20th century science, gradually emerging in the 1920s and then becoming ever more refined throughout the 20th century.
Herd immunity is a fascinating observation that you can trace to biological reality or statistical probability theory, whichever you prefer. (It is certainly not a "strategy" so ignore any media source that describes it that way.) Herd immunity speaks directly, and with explanatory power, to the empirical observation, that respiratory virus are either widespread and mostly mild (common cold) or very severe and short-lived (Ebola).
Why is this? The reason is that when a virus kills its host, it cannot migrate. The more aggressively it does this, the less it spreads. If the virus doesn't kill its host, it can hop to others through all the usual means. When you get a virus and fight it off, your immune system encodes that information in a way that builds immunity to it. When it happens to enough people (and each case is different so we can't put a clear number on it) the virus loses its pandemic quality and becomes endemic, which is to say predictable and manageable. Each new generation incorporates that information through more exposure.
This is what one would call Virology/Immunology 101. It's what you read in every textbook. It's been taught in 9th-grade cell biology for probably 80 years. Observing the operations of this evolutionary phenomenon is pretty wonderful because it increases one's respect for the way in which human biology has adapted to the presence of pathogens without absolutely freaking out.
And the discovery of this fascinating dynamic in cell biology is a major reason why public health became so smart in the 20th century. We kept calm. We managed viruses with medical professionals: doctor/patient relationships. We avoided the Medieval tendency to run around with hair on fire but rather used rationality and intelligence. Even the New York Timesrecognizes that natural immunity is powerful with Covid-19, which is not in the least bit surprising.
Until one day, this strange institution called the World Health Organization – once glorious because it was mainly responsible for the eradication of smallpox – has suddenly decided to delete everything I just wrote from cell biology basics. It has literally changed the science in a Soviet-like way. It has removed with the delete key any mention of natural immunities from its website. It has taken the additional step of actually mischaracterizing the structure and functioning of vaccines.
So that you will, believe me, I will try to be as precise as possible. Here is the website from June 9, 2020. You can see it here on Archive.org. You have to move down the page and click on the question about herd immunity. You see the following.
That's pretty darn accurate overall. Even the statement that the threshold is "not yet clear" is correct. There are cross immunities to Covid from other coronaviruses and there is T cell memory that contributes to natural immunity.
Some estimates are as low as 10%, which is a far cry from the modeled 70% estimate of virus immunity that is standard within the pharmaceutical realm. Real-life is vastly more complicated than models, in economics or epidemiology. The WHO's past statement is a solid, if "pop," description.
However, in a screenshot dated November 13, 2020, we read the following note that somehow pretends as if human beings do not have immune systems at all but rather rely entirely on big pharma to inject things into our blood.
What this note at the World Health Organization has done is deleted what amounts to the entire million-year history of humankind in its delicate dance with pathogens. You could only gather from this that all of us are nothing but blank and unimprovable slates on which the pharmaceutical industry writes its signature.
In effect, this change at WHO ignores and even wipes out 100 years of medical advances in virology, immunology, and epidemiology. It is thoroughly unscientific – shilling for the vaccine industry in exactly the way the conspiracy theorists say that WHO has been doing since the beginning of this pandemic.
What's even more strange is the claim that a vaccine protects people from a virus rather than exposing them to it. What's amazing about this claim is that a vaccine works precisely by firing up the immune system through exposure. Why I had to type those words is truly beyond me. This has been known for centuries. There is simply no way for medical science completely to replace the human immune system. It can only game it via what used to be called inoculation.
Take from this what you will. It is a sign of the times. For nearly a full year, the media has been telling us that "science" requires that we comply with their dictates that run contrary to every tenet of liberalism, every expectation we've developed in the modern world that we can live freely and with the certainty of rights. Then "science" took over and our human rights were slammed. And now the "science" is actually deleting its own history, airbrushing over what it used to know and replacing it with something misleading at best and patently false at worst.
I cannot say why, exactly, the WHO did this. Given the events of the past nine or ten months, however, it is reasonable to assume that politics are at play. Since the beginning of the pandemic, those who have been pushing lockdowns and hysteria over the coronavirus have resisted the idea of natural herd immunity, instead insisting that we must live in lockdown until a vaccine is developed.
That is why the Great Barrington Declaration, written by three of the world's preeminent epidemiologists and which advocated embracing the phenomenon of herd immunity as a way of protecting the vulnerable and minimizing harms to society, was met with such venom. Now we see the WHO, too, succumbing to political pressure. This is the only rational explanation for changing the definition of herd immunity that has existed for the past century.
The science has not changed; only the politics have. And that is precisely why it is so dangerous and deadly to subject virus management to the forces of politics. Eventually, the science too bends to the the duplicitous character of the political industry.
When the existing textbooks that students use in college contradict the latest official pronouncements from the authorities during a crisis in which the ruling class is clearly attempting to seize permanent power, we've got a problem.
Jeffrey A. Tucker is Editorial Director for the American Institute for Economic Research.
He is the author of many thousands of articles in the scholarly and popular press and nine books in 5 languages, most recently Liberty or Lockdown. He is also the editor of The Best of Mises. He speaks widely on topics of economics, technology, social philosophy, and culture.
The Portion of Shmot
Seven- A Very Special Number
The Children of Israel settle in Egypt, in the land of Goshen, and they multiply rapidly. The death of Joseph, Viceroy of Egypt, brings with it a radical change. The "good life" ends; oppression and servitude begin. Decree follows decree, and when you finally think that the situation couldn't get any worse, along comes Pharaoh's most severe edict "Every boy that is born shall be cast into the river" (Exodus 1;22).
Into this darkness is born the deliverer- Moses. His mother hides the new born infant as long as she can, but when she decides that she can no longer hide him she places him in a basket in the side of the river.
Pharaoh's daughter goes down to the river to bathe and sees the ark. Upon opening it and seeing a crying baby she identifies him as being a Hebrew. "This is from the Hebrews" (Exodus 2;6).
From the date of his birth until the date of his death Moses is destined to lead the people of Israel.
The number seven, which has been seen as a special number since G-d rested on the seventh day of creation, accompanied Moses throughout his life.
Moses was born on the seventh of Adar and died on the seventh of Adar. Moses is also the seventh in the line of fathers of the nation: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Levi, Kehat, Amram and Moses.
The letter "zayin" (whose numerical value is seven) in the word "zeh" (this) in the phrase "This is from the Hebrews" is emphasized in a special way and as such alludes to the story of the seventh in the line of leaders of the people of Israel- Moses. (Sefer Rokeiach)
W. Somerset Maugham's Jewish Literary Protagonists
William Somerset Maugham (1874-1965) made important contributions as a highly successful playwright; as perhaps the foremost short story writer of his time; and as a novelist.
His reputation and popularity as a novelist rests primarily on four great works: Of Human Bondage (1915), a semi-autobiographical account of a young medical student's painful progress toward maturity; The Moon and Sixpence (1919), an account of an unconventional artist, suggested by the life of Paul Gauguin; Cakes and Ale (1930), the story of a famous novelist; and The Razor's Edge (1944), the story of a young American war veteran's quest for a satisfying way of life.
Although many critics argue that Maugham had a number of Jewish friends and that he, therefore, could not have been an anti-Semite, he wrote a diary as a young man that included descriptions of deceitful and seedy-looking Jewish men and lewd Jewesses. He privately embraced disturbing anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about Jewish refugees, alleging that many of them were Gestapo spies. Dismissively referring to a departing Jewish dinner companion, he commented that "he should stick to his race's dietary laws."
Furthermore, he often described his Jewish characters in derogatory terms. For example, in Of Human Bondage, he described a Jewish undertaker as "a little fat Jew with curly black hair, long and greasy, in black, with a large diamond on his pudgy finger."
In The Alien Corn – in which Maugham seems to emphasize anti-Semitic Jewish racial characteristics, including large, fleshy noses – his lead Jewish characters have assimilated to the point where their wealth, materialism, and high position in the British aristocracy wrecks the dreams of their son who, to their great mortification, has rediscovered his Jewish identity.
Jewish acceptance by the Gentiles was a common theme in early 20th century English literature, which generally presented social acceptance, particularly amongst societal elites, as a desirable ambition that could only be secured through assimilation – notwithstanding the fact that Gentile antagonism against even fully assimilated Jews often continued unabated. Maugham famously addressed this theme in The Alien Corn, whose title has its origins in the Book of Ruth (see Ruth 2:2-3) and Ode to a Nightingale (1819) by John Keats:
Perhaps the self-same song that found a path through the sad heart of Ruth when, sick for home she stood in tears among the alien corn.
As the pundits would have it, Ruth, a non-Jewish woman in the fields of the aristocratic Boaz, is a metaphor for a rootless Jewish family living amid the "alien corn" of England who, having been fully assimilated into the English gentry, are stunned and scandalized when their eldest son rejects the accouterments of nobility to become a pianist.
In fact, however, both Keats and Maugham miss the fact that, unlike their subjects, who grieve over their spiritual "exile," Ruth was enthusiastic about leaving her homeland in Moab to accompany her mother-in-law Naomi to Eretz Yisrael, there to join the Jewish people.
In any event, The Alien Corn is an analysis of the conflict between Jewish identity and Jewish assimilation as seen through the prism of British aristocratic society during the post-World War I years. We are introduced to the Bliekogel family, who had left Germany for England at the end of the 19th century. By the time we first meet them in the late 1920s, however, family patriarch Adolphus Bliekogel has renounced his Jewish faith and taken steps to hide even the fact of his being Jewish.
He has changed the family name to Bland and his own name to "Freddy" and his wife, Muriel, has changed her name from Miriam and converted to Catholicism. Freddy, who served as a conservative member of Parliament and as Britain's Minister of Munitions during World War I, has become an esteemed and well-recognized member of the English aristocracy.
The story begins with a narrator (most certainly Maugham himself), who evokes his longtime recollections of Freddy's nephew Ferdy Rabenstein, a prosperous Jewish bachelor who had achieved great success at a time when, as Maugham describes it, "English society was still a closed body and it was not easy for a Jew to force its barriers." To Ferdy, these barriers had fallen "like the walls of Jericho," but notwithstanding his high status in the English gentry, Ferdy – who "still had his fine Semitic profile and the lustrous black eyes that had caused havoc in so many a Gentile breast" – readily acknowledges his Jewish heritage.
The Blands had severed relations with Ferdy because of their general policy of refusing to associate with non-assimilated Jews and, in particular, because he refused to anglicize his "horrible German name" during the Great War. (Said Ferdy, "I was not ambitious to be a Smith, a Brown or a Robinson.")
Ferdy invites the narrator to lunch and asks him to invite the eldest Bland son, George (whom Ferdy has never met), to join them, but Muriel refuses to let him meet his great-uncle, commenting, "I can't see any object of his knowing Jews just because they happen to be distant connections of his." George nonetheless joins the narrator and Ferdy for lunch, which the narrator/Maugham unflatteringly describes as follows:
[Ferdy] had an inexhaustible fund of Jewish stories. He was a very good mimic and he assumed the Yiddish accent and reproduced the Jewish gestures to perfection; his head sank into his body, his face grew cunning, his voice oily, and he was a rabbi or an old clothes merchant or a smart commercial traveler or a fat procuress in Frankfort. It was as good as a play. Because he was himself a Jew and insisted on it you laughed without reserve, but for my own part not without an under-current of discomfort. I was not quite sure of a sense of humor that made such cruel fun of his own race. I discovered afterwards that Jewish stories were his specialty and I seldom met him anywhere without hearing him tell sooner or later the last he had heard.
The narrator is perplexed by Ferdy's tactlessness and his apparent pleasure at George's discomfiture. After they part ways with Ferdy, George calls him "a filthy old Jew" and expresses disgust for his Jewish stories. But his opinion of Jews in general and Ferdy in particular is about to dramatically change.
George, the apple of his father's eye and heir to the Bland fortune, has been raised to be the perfect English gentleman and is expected to pursue a "respectful" profession befitting the family's high status, such as the diplomatic service and politics, but he manifests a burning ambition to become a concert pianist. His furious father threatens to cut him off financially, but George flippantly responds that he'll earn money by selling old clothes.
When his horrified mother says, "like a Jew?" he manifests the Jewish sense of identity that had been growing within him: "Well, aren't I a Jew? And aren't you a Jewess and isn't daddy a Jew? We're all Jews, the whole gang of us, and everyone knows it and what the hell's the good of pretending we're not?"
George's embrace of his German-Jewish origins is particularly ironic – and foreboding – taking place as it does during years that will soon see the birth of Nazi Germany and the looming Holocaust. His rediscovery of his Judaism is even more poignant given his parents' rejection of a suggestion by his grandmother that George marry a Jewess.
A compromise is ultimately reached whereby George will be permitted to study music in Munich for two years, during which time no family member is to communicate with him. After the two-year period, he will return home and, if an impartial judge determines that he lacks the talent to become a leading pianist, he will remain at home and assume the responsibilities of managing the Bland family estate.
When the narrator visits George in Munich (at Muriel's instigation as a way to check up on him), he is shocked to find that George, who has "heard the nightingale's song," has not only adopted a bohemian lifestyle but has also rejected his identity as an Englishman in favor of his Jewish identity and pride in his Jewish heritage.
George now sympathizes with Ferdy: "I used to hate hearing great-uncle Ferdy tell his Jewish stories. I thought it so damned mean. I understand now; it was a safety valve…" In a seminal moment in the story, George, much like Ruth the Moabite expressing her attachment to the Jewish people, beautifully and passionately explains:
I? I'm not English. I haven't got a drop of English blood in me. I'm a Jew and you know it, and a German Jew into the bargain. I don't want to be English. I want to be a Jew. My friends are Jews. You don't know how much more easy I feel with them. I can be myself. We did everything we could to avoid Jews at home; Mummy, because she was blonde, thought she could get away with it and pretended she was a Gentile. What rot! D'you know, I have a lot of fun wandering about the Jewish parts of Munich and looking at the people. I went to Frankfort once, there are a lot of them there, and I walked about and looked at the frowzy old men with their hooked noses and the fat women with their false hair. I felt such a sympathy for them, I felt I belonged to them, I could have kissed them. When they looked at me, I wondered if they knew that I was one of them. I wish to G-d I knew Yiddish. I'd like to become friends with them and go into their houses and eat Kosher food and all that sort of thing. I wanted to go to a synagogue, but I was afraid I'd do the wrong thing and be kicked out. I like the smell of the Ghetto and the sense of life, and the mystery and the dust and the squalor and the romance. I shall never get the longing for it out of my head now. That's the real thing. All the rest is only pretense. (Emphasis added)
In this November 21, 1956 correspondence on his Dorchester, Park Lane, London letterhead, Maugham writes to screenwriter Walter Newman, M.D. care of the Kodimoh Congregation in Springfield. He thanks Newman for forwarding the Kodimoh Bulletin, but adds a "mild protest:"
I never thought that a Gentile who entered a synagogue would be turned out. It was only the idea of the young man whom I was describing [George], and who had fantastic and, of course, erroneous ideas of what would happen to a stranger. He may well have thought he would have been hustled about just as a Christian might be who entered a mosque on a Friday morning.
The Jewish community formed in Springfield, Massachusetts during the mass immigration from Eastern Europe in the last decades of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Springfield's first Orthodox congregation, Congregation Kodimoh (1916), initially met in members' homes and in Robert's Hall before laying the synagogue cornerstone at 19 Oakland Street (1919). As the membership grew, the congregation built a new synagogue nearby at 124 Sumner Ave (1963).
At the end of two years, George returns to his family's estate, where the family gathers to assess his talent. With his concurrence, they have invited renowned concert pianist Lea Makart to render judgment on George's prospects. (According to a number of authorities, "Makart" is an amalgam of two renowned British Jewish pianists, Myra Hess and Harriet Cohen.)
Tragically, an hour after she renders her devastating opinion that he can never hope to be more than a very competent amateur, George, caught in the limbo of musical mediocracy and failed ambition and tormented by the idea of a return to a stultifying assimilated life, dies from a self-inflicted shot through the heart.
Maugham's general tone – and George's ultimate suicidal act – arguably suggest that Maugham sees George as unreasonable and not in his right mind when he embraced his love for Jews and the Jewish faith and that, in any event, his life as a musician ultimately proved far more important to him than his newly-discovered Judaism.
Ironically, in 1954 the Yiddish Press in Buenos Aires published an Illustrated Supplement in honor of Maugham's 80 thbirthday that characterized him as "an honest friend of the Jewish people." Exhibited here is a page from that publication, "William Somerset Maugham is Eighty" over a photograph of the renowned author.
The translation of several essays and letters by Maugham, as well as a dissertation about him, in the supplement are the work of author Miguel Lejbowicz, with the legend under the photo reading: "In honor of the 80th birthday of genius playwright, brilliant novelist, masterful writer, author of short stories, and honest friend of the Jewish people."
The publication includes a copy of a letter from Maugham to Lejbowicz in which he happily notes that "quite a number of my works have been translated into Hebrew and been published in Israel."
(Correction: In last week's article, I wrote that William Shatner "delivered a dramatic reading from the Bible and the Haggadah for Exodus: An Oratorio in Three Parts, performed and recorded in 2005 by the Oklahoma Symphony Orchestra and a choir of 350 conducted by David Itkin, who composed the piece." In fact, the piece was recorded by the Arkansas Symphony. I apologize for the error.)
Rabbi Meir Kahane- Parshat VaYigash
G-D'S WILL COMES FIRST
"And Joseph made ready his chariot and went up to meet Israel, his father, in Goshen...and he fell on his neck and wept" (Genesis 46:29). "But Jacob did not fall on Joseph's neck and did not kiss him, for our Rabbis said that he was saying the Shema..." (Rashi).
Happiness is that which every man seeks. Indeed, in our times, it is happiness and the search for it- in material and physical terms- that have become the very purpose of life. Books are written about happiness and peace of mind and the masses devour them, searching for the Holy Grail in the shallowness that is fit only for McCall's or Cosmopolitan. The psychiatrists' couches groan beneath their weight; the airlines and drug peddlers both sell their trips; the race is on and non-stop, and not to the swift or the slow is the trophy awarded. The sadness is that happiness is not the essence of life, and how much did the Rabbis know when they said: It would have been better and more pleasant for man had he not been born, but since he was, let him search his deeds. Life is a series of difficulties and sadnesses, broken by occasional rays of light that pass.
Happiness is a wonderful thing, and what a life it would be if we could abolish tears and fears, worries and tribulations. But not for this was a man made, and if he persists in making it his raison d'etre, he is guaranteed misery. Man is not an island unto himself nor is his entry into this world like some sudden underwater eruption that thrusts a piece of land into the wide ocean. His is a deliberate and planned and reasoned birth. He came into this world to do good. And that which is "good" is defined for him, not subject to the independent and anarchistic commentaries of his own mind or breed. For the Jew there is the Halacha that shapes, molds, guides, and drives him to sanctity and spiritual holiness. It is for him a guideline and a compass; it gives him ritual and gives him concepts, and DEFINES HIS EMOTIONS, TOO.
Joseph was a boy of 17 when he left his father's home. For years Jacob thought he was dead, devoured by a wild beast. For years he mourned and refused to be comforted. "Nay, for I will go down to the grave mourning for my son" (Genesis 37:35). And suddenly he hears the incredible words: "Joseph is yet alive" and- wonder of wonders- "he is ruler over all the Land of Egypt!" (ibid. 45:26). Jacob cannot believe it; the joy is too much and he finally cries out: "It is enough! My son Joseph still lives! I will go and see him before I die!" (ibid. 45:28). And he does. He takes his family and goes down to Egypt. See the old man, the man grown aged and white from a life of sadness and tragedy. How he counts every moment; how he impatiently looks towards the south to see the first glimpse of the royal caravan! How he savors the moment when he can hold his son Joseph in his arms and kiss him! And then- at last- finally- the moment arrives, and Joseph rushes to his father's arms and embraces him and kisses him. and Jacob?
"But Jacob did not fall on Joseph's neck and did not kiss him for he was saying the Shema..." What greatness lies in a man who can take his deepest-felt emotions and discipline them to the Halacha and say: Wait! Wait, though I burst from impatience; wait, though my every limb cries out for release. Wait: I am in the midst of accepting upon myself the yoke of heaven, of recognizing the L-rd as one, and this is why I was created. Wait, my Joseph, wait, for though I love you more than all, this is my G-d.
Let us understand what happiness and rejoicing in the Law means to a Jew. To begin with, it is a COMMANDMENT. Can one command an emotion? Can one "say", be happy, rejoice, it is commanded? Apparently yes. Apparently, the purpose of Torah is to elevate man to holiness and sanctification that he can make his very emotions and feelings cry out: "Who is like You, my G-d!" Yes, the Torah can tell a Jew who has lost a beloved one not to mourn on the Sabbath, though his heart is breaking. It can tell a Jew to stand over the open grave of a parent or a son and say the words of the Kaddish: "May His great Name be exalted and magnified..." Yes, the Torah can tell a person who seeks joy: No, not now. There is no commandment to be sad. There is no law that declares that man must be miserable. This is not Judaism. But we are told that there is something greater than happiness and joy. It is the climb and the reaching up to holiness and sanctification, to beauty and dedication, the smashing of the ego and the greed and the selfishness and the "I." One should strive to be happy, of course. And if one can be both good and happy- how fortunate he is. But in the end, life is not a vessel for joy. It is a corridor in which one prepares his soul. Be happy with the Torah though your own soul is in agony. It is a command and, slowly, it proves to be a balm for the wounds that ache. The Jewish Press, 1977