“ וַיִּקַּח מֹשֶׁה אֶת-עַצְמוֹת יוֹסֵף, עִמּוֹ: כִּי הַשְׁבֵּעַ הִשְׁבִּיעַ אֶת-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, לֵאמֹר, פָּקֹד יִפְקֹד אֱלֹהִים אֶתְכֶם, וְהַעֲלִיתֶם אֶת-עַצְמֹתַי מִזֶּה אִתְּכֶם.”
“Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for Joseph had made the sons of Israel solemnly swear, saying: “God will surely visit you, and you shall elevate up my bones with you from here.”
The Zohar explains that Joseph was the first to go to exile and carried with him also the end of the exile. Joseph knew several generations earlier that God will redeem the Israelites and take them back to the Holy Land where their fathers established the connection to the Tree of Life.
He made his brothers promise to take his bones back with them. The word ‘bones’ ‘עַצְמֹתַי’ also means essence and strength. As a Tzadik his body stays complete after death. He was also mummified as proper for the rulers of Egypt (Genesis 50:26). He didn’t use the words ‘my body’ because the focus was on what he represented in this world and not his physical body.
Joseph established the channel to Yessod and the Israelites needed him/Yessod to draw the Light to Malchut at the main connection to this world, which is the Holy Land.
After God broke the power of Egypt with the ten plagues, the Israelites could leave Egypt.
The Zohar tells us that when the Israelites were taking Gold and Silver from the Egyptians (Exodus 12:25), Moses went to fulfill the promise they gave Joseph and took his bones from the river Nile.
The Egyptians placed Joseph in a metal coffin under the river to bless its waters and also to avoid making his burial location a place of idol worship. The location of Joseph was told to Moses by Serach, the daughter of Asher (son of Jacob). She merited immortality for telling Jacob that Joseph was alive in Egypt.
Moses connected to the water and called on Joseph to join the redemption. At that moment Joseph’s coffin rose above the water.
As Yessod Joseph is our key connection to the Tree of Life and to righteousness. We must use all possible tools to elevate ourselves to Yessod and draw Light into our lives.