One Track Education

December 19, 2017 at 2:15 AM , , ,

“…He sent Yehuda ahead of him to yosef, to prepare goshen in advance…” – Bereishit 46:27

ואת יהודה שלח לפניו אל יוסף להורת לפניו גשנה ויבאו ארצה גשן – בראשית מו, כח

Yaakov sent Yehuda to Egypt to establish a place of Torah study and education in Goshen before the rest of the family arrived. Why was it necessary for this institution of learning to be established by Yehuda, rather than by Yosef who was already living in Egypt, and certainly had both the means and the conviction to do so? Yosef had even proven himself to be on a higher spiritual level than Yaakov’s other sons, considering that his preoccupation with the governance of Egypt diminished neither his spiritual sensitivity nor his devotion to G-d. So why did Yaakov insist on sending Yehuda to establish the school instead of Yosef?

Despite Yosef’s spiritual greatness, excellence in Torah study requires something that he simply did not have—time and freedom to devote oneself exclusively to Torah study, with no other care in the world. Granted, this does not reflect negatively on Yosef, who flawlessly fulfilled his G-dly mission that demanded wholly engrossing himself in Egypt’s national interests, but the quality of his Torah study, in and of itself, could not be on par with that of his brothers who were shepherds by trade and, for the most part, entirely removed from the pressures of the world.

Yaakov therefore appointed Yehuda to establish the center of Torah study and education in Goshen. This academy would be the foundation of Yaakov’s family’s residence in Egypt, and the spiritual power plant for the entire world, so it was crucial that the students devote their minds to Torah alone, without worrying about the outside world. It was Yehuda alone, not Yosef, who was capable of founding such a school.

—Likutei Sichos, vol. 3, pp. 827-830

 

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