Moshiach ben Yosef II

I think this is the year of Moshiach ben Yosef.

In Rebbe Nachman’s story “The Master of Prayer,” there are two main characters. The first is the Master of Prayer (בעל תפילה), who represents מלכות – that is Moshiach ben Dovid. The second is the Mighty Warrior, who corresponds to יסוד – which is Moshiach ben Yosef.

I just thought of a clear parallel between the story of Yosef and the Master of Prayer story. In the story, the Master of Prayer is in the land of wealth and hears about a mighty warrior, and wonders if it is the Mighty Warrior that he knew from long ago. This is similar to the storyline where Yehuda (who was the forebear of Moshiach ben Dovid) did not know that he was in fact talking to Yosef (the forebear of Moshiach ben Yosef) until Yosef later revealed himself. This revelation brings about a reunification of the family.

In the story, it is clear that the Mighty Warrior (מב”י) reveals himself much before the Master of Prayer (מב”ד) actually goes and gathers all the other characters of the story, leading to the final rectification. Moshiach ben Yosef is the first to appear on the scene, similar to how Yosef himself comes down a number of years before Yehuda.

I think that the most potent message of the story is that Rebbe Nachman teaches that the most desperate place a person can be is in the Land of Wealth. This place is a land that worships wealth and literally calls the wealthiest people there gods. The story states that there is almost no way for someone trapped in the desire for wealth to escape. Many words can be said, but they will fall on deaf ears, as happens when the Master of Prayer tries to convince them of their error. Eerily, the story states that the only way to release people from their mistake in regards to worshiping wealth is via the path of war.

I highly recommend getting a copy of Breslov Research Institute’s “Rabbi Nachman’s Stories” translated and annotated by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan.

Leave a Comment