Joseph, The Elevating Power Of the Number Eleven

Sages tend to see in Joseph a corrected and updated version of Cain. While Cain becomes a self-possessed one and can’t bear the thought of letting Abel pass through the land with his herd, and kills him for doing so.

Unlike Cain, Joseph shares everything, his most intimate dreams, his companionship with the sons of Bilhah, his mother maid, a relation that his brothers, Leah’s sons, cannot tolerate. Later on, he will share his covenant with the infinite and feed the people of the world, including his family. And more than this, he will give his brothers who hated him to death and sold him for slavery, mansions in the land of Goshen. He will also help the ministers of Egypt including the mighty king Pharaoh and interpret their dreams, saving them and the people around them from catastrophes.

Joseph is the eleventh son of Jacob. The way we write the number eleven is by drawing the number one next to another number one, like this 11. In a way, this way of writing the number eleven describes Joseph relation to the world. He always sees against his eyes the other as a whole complete one, cause he sees in everyone a spark of the one, a spark of the letter aleph, a spark of the uniting power, and with the power of the number eleven, he elevates everybody around him.

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About Eti Shani

Eti Shani was born in Israel and has been teaching Hebrew for more than 10 years with a special interest and experience in ancient Hebrew scriptures and culture. She's also the author of a series of books for novice and intermediate Hebrew learners.

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