Yosef accused his brothers of being spies. Why did Yosef call his brothers such a derogatory name?
We all know the remarkable noble selfless deed of Rachel Imeinu when she gave over the simanim to Leah on the night of her wedding. Yet many of us are not privy in realizing the depth of her mesiras nefesh which had a long-lasting, compromising effect throughout her entire marriage. When Rachel asked Leah to give her the flowers of Dudaeem in exchange for intimacy with Yaakov, Leah chastised her by saying isn’t it enough that you took my husband and now you also want my flowers. All the commentators are aghast at this response since after all, it was Rachel who was willing to forfeit her spouse Yaakov in order not to embarrass her sister on the wedding night. For this reason, she handed over to Leah the preplanned password which Yaakov made between them, lest the deceitful Lavan switch Rachel with Leah which he actually did. One of the answers given to portray Leah in a better light is that the password between Rachel and Yaakov was the three laws of a woman Niddah Challah and Hadlakas Haneir. These three dinim Rachel taught Leah in the format that being Yaakov’s wife she will have to fulfill these obligations. So when the night of the chasanah came, Yaakov as planned asked from whom he thought was Rachel, the three dinim and Leah stated them to Yaakov. Yaakov, therefore, did not have an inkling that his bride was Leah until the morning.
Likewise, Leah was never told the truth that Rachel was really the preferred choice of Yaakov and that Rachel sacrificed her future spouse only in order that Leah should not be shamed on the wedding night. This explains how Leah could snappily with seeming audacity, shoot back an unfair response of lack of gratitude to Rachel, “Isn’t it enough that you infringed on my relationship of my marriage to Yaakov”!
Now think about the long ongoing period of mesiras nefesh of Rachel Imeinu that she underwent because of all the years of duress and criticism that she received due to Leah’s perspective as herself being the first choice of Yaakov. How dare Rachel infringe on her marriage to Yaakov! Rachel in her righteousness never said or hinted to the contrary. No wonder her pleading voice for the geulah of Am Yisrael is heard above in Shamayim because of this incredible “ongoing” mesiras nefesh.
But wait! How did Rachel conduct herself so without first making a cheshbon how Yaakov would feel and react to this chesed initiative of Rachel for her sister? Secondly, by Rachel facilitating the switching of kallas, she was presenting to Leah that her marriage relationship with Yaakov was an afterthought which was a living sheker and misrepresentation? How could she place herself in a marriage with the pillar of emes when she by her chesed epitomized sheker?
We suggest saying that through this masquerade of Rachel she fixed up the shortcoming of Yaakov masquerading as an Aisav. It is true that Yaakov was coerced to get the berachos by instruction of ruach hakodesh and his mother’s wishes (Targum Yonasan Ohr Chaim). Nevertheless, it was Yaakov who raised the fear of being discovered as an imposter and for that reason Rivka got him to wear Aisav’s clothing and sheepskins to be placed on his arms and neck. Maybe from the aspect of the ultimate emes, Yaakov should have gone to Yitzchak as Yaakov without the feigning of being Aisav and should have trusted totally in Hashem who could ensure that he will receive the berachos anyway without any complications. Receiving the berachos of Yitzchak with even the slightest compromise of emes would open the berachos to kitrug. For only pure emes lasts forever as the passuk says ואמת תכון לעד.
As far as Leah was concerned Rachel was the second fiddle and Rachel faithfully played her self-imposed role. This was a tikkun for Yaakov אשתו כגופו עזר כנגדו)) who at Berachos time, played the role of Aisav who was also the second fiddle in the spiritual reality. Rachel switched Leah instead of her place with Yaakov in order to correct the slight compromise of emes that existed when Yaakov received Yitzchak’s berachos, thereby ensuring the continuity of the berachos without kitrug. Rachel’s decision to role-play the number two wife of Yaakov included the cheshbon of how Yaakov would react to finding out that he married Leah instead of Rachel. Rachel knew that for Yaakov, who was the ultimate embodiment of middas Emes in the world, every movement and action were motivated by lishma alone. To ensure the future of Klal Yisrael in its fullest dimensions which was Yaakov’s foremost ambition, he realized that the berachos he received from Yitzchak had to be given with every aspect of emes, which it was lacking. There was no question that Yaakov would agree retroactively to Rachel’s switching herself with Leah for that would be a tikkun for the compromise of emes that was present at the giving of Yitzchak’s berachos, and with this rectification, the destiny of Klal Yisrael would thereby be forever locked in.
Let us take a step further into this rectification of Yaakov who he himself had to feign his outside like an Eisav even though it was incongruous with his insides. ברא כרעיה דאבוהו the son is a leg of his father. It is also through the children that the father can attain his tikkun. אלה תולדות יעקב יוסף The Igre D’Kallah writes that the word תולדות which means offspring refers to the inner letters of each letter. Yaakov possessed the middah of אמת as it is written תתן אמת ליעקב. The inner letters of אמת which are לף ם ו add up to 156 the same gematriah of יוסף. This allusion says that Yosef was the continuous building of Yaakov’s emes in Am Yisrael. It was through him that Yaakov could fix the blemish of his feigning his outsides appear as Aisav even though his insides were Yaakov.
Here is an example of Yosef correcting the emes of Yaakov when he took the berachos in the dress of Aisav. Chazal say that because of three merits Yisrael was redeemed from Mitzrayim: they didn’t change their names, their dress, and their language. In other words, their outsides remained like their insides. This was all due to the righteousness of Yosef. Even though Pharaoh called Yosef Tzafnas Paneiach, Yosef nevertheless stuck with his name Yosef which was the one given to him at his Bris. Even Pharaoh who initially gave him the Egyptian name nevertheless called him Yosef (Bereishis 41,55). Yosef preserved his outside name in order to align it with his inside name, as the Maharal says that the שם (shaim) the name, tells one of the hidden שם (shawm) what is there in his essence and potential.
When the wife of Potifar attempted to seduce him, the passuk says she grabbed him by his unique clothing. She was telling Yosef that as long as you wear your modest-looking Jewish clothing you can control yourself not to lie with me. The body is clothing to the nefesh which dwells inside. One reason the Yid dresses in clothes that hide the body is that he should be constantly reminded that his body also hides something and that is his nefesh. By aligning his outside and inside he will follow the directives of his nefesh and not his body.
Concerning his language, he spoke Lashon Hakodesh to the Shevatim כי פי המדבר אליכם and he also taught Menashe his son Lashon Hakodesh since he acted as the translator between Yosef and his brothers. Lashon Hakodesh is the lashon of the neshama and the letters by which the world was created. The inability to speak Lashon Hakodesh manifests an outside that is not connected to an inside of a Yid.
The passuk says (Bereishis 37,4) ולא יכלו לדברו לשלום they couldn’t even speak peacefully with Yosef. On this, Rashi brings their praiseworthiness because of this conduct for this proves that they were not fakers in misrepresenting how they felt in their hearts towards him, smiling on the outside but hating within. We can say that this madraigah came from their father Yaakov who epitomized the middah of Emes תתן אמת ליעקב. On this madraigah of emes the Shevatim were able to fix up Yaakov’s taking of the berachos through an incomplete emes.
Yet, on the other hand, they entertained the plan of murdering Yosef and concealing the evidence, making up a story of a wild animal killing him. This is the opposite of their father’s middah of emes. Yosef wanted to bring a tikkun to them and also to his father by accusing them of being Meraglim. They would now have to do deep introspection and strive to prove that this accusation was false. They had to verify that their insides were like their outsides on many levels, thereby fixing up those levels that were not in shelaimus. Being Yaakov’s children, this avodah would bring a shelaimus to Yaakov’s taking the berachos while his outsides were not aligned with his insides.
When Yaakov fought with the angel of Aisav, Chazal in one opinion tell us that Aisav’s angel appeared to Yaakov in the form of a Talmid Chacham. In other words, his outsides were not like his insides. This was to stir up a kitrug in shamayim that Yaakov also received the berachos with his outsides not like his insides. Yaakov who was alone on the very night of his encounter with Aisav’s malach, also was in the form of his outsides not like his insides. Inside he was a master talmid chacham but outside he was demonstrating that he wasn’t, since Chazal say that a talmid chacham should not walk alone at nighttime. With Yaakov’s past and present unwholesomeness of emes, the malach battled with Yaakov injuring him in the thigh. Nevertheless, in the end he acknowledged the fact that Yaakov is indeed deserving of Yitzchak’s berachos (maybe because of Rachel’s tikkun). Chazal, however, tell us that the effect of the momentary injury of Yaakov took place during the period of Chanukah when the Yidden assimilated into becoming Hellenists.
Now we can understand the relationship between Yosef and Chanukah. When Moshe Rabbeinu was commanded in the making of the Menorah for the Mishkan he could not understand how to build it on the physical level even though the spiritual aspect of the Menorah was understood. Only when Hashem showed him a picture of the Menorah זה מעשה המנורה, the spiritual and physical, the inside and outside were congruous.
The Menorah symbolizes the miracle of Chanukah. The Aron holds the Luchos which is the Written Torah, the outside and the revealed. The Menorah represents the Oral Torah which corresponds to the insides which are formulated in the hearts of the Talmidei Chachamim (Rav Tzadok Hakohen as we find the lashon (אליביה. Both Torahs are connected to each other and are dependent upon each other. This is why the Greeks were against Yosef as the Megaleh Amukos brings מלך יון is gematriah Yosef, אנטיוכס is gematriah יוסף. For Yosef lived the אמת of Yaakov, his outsides like his insides. He lived the Torah Sh’baal Peh with the Written Torah as the Baal Haturim writes on the word זקנים which is the acronym of the Seder Mishanyos. He was תוכו כברו no disparity between the outside and inside which we see from Rabban Gamliel was a prerequisite to learn in his Bais Medrash (Berachos 28).
The gemarah Yuma 72b תלמיד חכם שאין תוכו כברו אין תלמיד חכם. Yosef was all of the above which contradicted the wisdom of the Greeks. According to their secular knowledge if one possesses more wisdom than his actions it’s ok. However, in Torah we find prerequisites for being its student כל שחכמתו מרובה ממעשיו אין חכמתו מתקיימת (Avos 3,9) if one has more wisdom than action, meaning his insides are not like his outside, his Torah learning will become distorted.
Chanukah is a time of rectification of the infusion of our Torah knowledge with our Middos and behavior. The letters on the dreidel are the acronym נס גדול היה שם they also spell גש הן bring close the letters of הן. The letter of ן represents the חמשים שערי בינה the wisdom of the Torah. The letter ה represents the five senses of the body which are our windows to the world. Chanukah is the time when we rededicate the connection of our outsides to our insides, our knowledge of Torah to its practice. הן עם לבדד ישכון (Bamidbar 23,9) the connection of these two letters of הן of this people Am Yisrael are to them very unique and exclusive, for no other nation lives with this shidduch.