In this week's parsha we are introduced to the two major players among the twelve tribes: Yehudah and Yosef. These two powers have accompanied the Jewish people throughout our long history as the two Mashichim, Mashiach ben David and Mashiach ben Yosef. In every generation, the potential is there for the forces of the Mashichim to come out - if

In every generation, the potential is there for the forces of the Mashichim to come out.

only the generation would be worthy.

The holy Vilna Gaon teaches us that all that befell Yosef in his life, will befall "Zion" - the Land of Israel - as we find that the numerical value in Hebrew of Yosef and Zion are one and the same.

"Yet the chamberlain of the cup-bearers did not remember Yosef, and he forgot him."

Rashi tells us concerning the above sentence: "Since Yosef depended upon him to remember him, he had to remain imprisoned two more years, as it says: Fortunate is the man who has placed his reliance upon HaShem and not turned to the arrogant ones. This means: do not rely upon Egypt, which is called 'the arrogant one'."

Rabbi Meir Kahane, H.y.d., of blessed memory, writes: "A Jew who seeks help from a non-Jew out of despair and fear lest G-d not help him, commits a grave sin. Had Yosef approached the steward with a demand because the steward owed him a favor, that would not have been considered a sin. Yet, by petitioning him with a request, indicating that he needed a favor from the non-Jew, he profaned G-d's Name, showing that he did not trust in G-d, but only in flesh and blood."

It seems to me, in my humble opinion, that what Yosef had requested from the steward far outweighed the service Yosef had given over to the steward. For we find that Yosef had simply interpreted the dream of the steward, telling him that he would go free. Even if Yosef had not interpreted the dream, the steward would still have been set free the following day. It was not because of Yosef that the steward was set free; all Yosef did was to relieve the agitation of the steward. On the other hand, Yosef requested from him a great favor, by speaking up to the king on his behalf. It was Yosef who was beseeching the steward to speak up before Pharaoh on his account.

It would be during the next two years in prison that Yosef would learn the lesson of trust and faith in HaShem, a trait that would be inherited by Mashiach ben Yosef - the physical redeemer of the Jewish people and their Land.

From here, Rabbi Kahane delivers a great lesson regarding receiving aid from a non-Jew, and so he wrote: "If the non-Jew gives it as part of mutual aid, or payment for what he owes the Jew, that is allowed. If, however, we approach a non-Jew or a country with a request like a pauper standing at the door, then there is no more severe chilul HaShem and lack of trust in G-d than this."

Concerning Yehudah, the Torah states: "And he (Yehudah) went up to the shearers of his sheep - he and his Adullamite friend, Hirah - to Timnah.... Yehudah saw her, and he thought her to be a harlot because she covered her face. So he turned to her on the road and said: 'Prepare, please let me come to you.'"

From this union of Yehudah and his daughter-in-law Tamar, whom Yehudah had mistaken for a harlot, came forth the line of the redeemer of the Jewish people, Mashiach ben David. Our rabbis teach us that since Tamar was modest when she lived in her father-in-law's house, G-d said: 'I decree that kings should come forth from her, as it is from the tribe of Yehudah that I decreed kings should be established in Israel.'

How is it possible that from such a union of a father-in-law with his daughter-in-law could come forth the holy Mashiach? Our rabbis have already told us that the ways of the Redemption and Mashiach are likened to a snake, hidden from all. Precisely from a

Rabbi Kahane delivers a great lesson regarding receiving aid from a non-Jew.

union like this, the last place the satan - the prosecuting angel - would look for holiness, came forth the greatest light the world will ever know. The Mashiach will enter though the back door, so to speak.

Later on, Yehudah's descendant, David, would also have his lineage examined. As we find in the case of King Saul, who asked his adviser if David comes from the line of kings; the advisor answered: 'Before you can ask about that, ask if David is really a Jew, for he comes from Ruth the Moabitess,' who many thought at that time could not enter the Jewish people. Once again, we find the line of the Mashiach is coming in thought the back door. David himself fathered Solomon, who would follow him sitting on the throne only after he took Bat-Sheva for a wife, who was married to another, although not according to halacha. Still, certainly not a place where the prosecuting angel would look.

The two Mashichim, Yehudah and Yosef, each with their own lessons for the Jewish people: faith, perfect faith in Hashem, relying only upon Him and not upon the nations of the world; and when all seems lost, never give up hope in HaShem's salvation, for it will come from the least expected place - through the back door.