96. וּמִשּׁוּם כָּךְ, בִּזְמַן שֶׁמָּכְרוּ אֶת יוֹסֵף, הִשְׁתַּתְּפוּ כֻלָּם עִם הַשְּׁכִינָה, וְשִׁתְּפוּ אוֹתָהּ עִמָּהֶם כְּשֶׁעָשׂוּ שְׁבוּעָה, וְעַד שֶׁהִתְגַּלָּה דְּבַר יוֹסֵף, לֹא שָׁרְתָה שְׁכִינָה עַל יַעֲקֹב.
97. וְאִם תֹּאמַר שֶׁהַשְּׁכִינָה לֹא נִמְצְאָה עִמָּהֶם – בֹּא רְאֵה, שֶׁכָּתוּב (תהלים קכב) שֶׁשָּׁם עָלוּ שְׁבָטִים שִׁבְטֵי יָהּ עֵדוּת לְיִשְׂרָאֵל לְהוֹדוֹת לְשֵׁם ה’. כֻּלָּם צַדִּיקִים וַחֲסִידִים, הַקִּיּוּם שֶׁל כָּל הָעוֹלָם, הֵם קִיּוּם לְמַעְלָה וּלְמַטָּה.
“וַיֵּלְכוּ אֶחָיו לִרְעוֹת אֶת צֹאן אֲבִיהֶם בִּשְׁכֶם.”
“Then his brothers went to feed their father’s flock in Shechem.”
Rabbi Shimon says that the verse can be proper even without the word ‘אֶת’ in the middle. This word in the Torah scroll appears with two dots above the word.
The word ‘אֶת’ in this verse represents the Shechina that was with the brothers because she joins anywhere there are ten men. The brothers were ten because young Benjamin stayed home and Joseph was not with them.
All the brothers took part in the selling of Joseph, including the Shechina. They swore not to tell and that vow included the Shechina. Because of that, the Shechina stayed away from Jacob, until he learned that Joseph is alive.
The Zohar says that we should have no doubts about the connection of the Shechina with the tribes of Israel. They were righteous with the spiritual power to sustain the entire world.
“שֶׁשָּׁם עָלוּ שְׁבָטִים שִׁבְטֵי יָהּ עֵדוּת לְיִשְׂרָאֵל לְהֹדוֹת לְשֵׁם יְהוָה.”
“Where the tribes go up, The tribes of YHVH, To the Testimony of Israel, To give thanks to the name of YHVH.”
The twelve tribes established the link between the upper worlds and the lower world.
The word ‘אֶת’ has the first and the last letters of the Hebrew Alef-Bet. Like the Shechina the Hebrew letters connect us from Keter to Malchut.
The two dots above the letters tell us that there is a higher Light connected to the word.
Since Shechina was with the brothers when they made the vow to hide the truth from their father, she had to stay away from Jacob. If she were to be with him, he would know the truth immediately and that would break the vow of the Shechina and the brothers.
Jacob’s soul revived after he learned to know that Joseph is alive, and the Shechina could return to him as we read in Genesis 45:27 “וַיְדַבְּרוּ אֵלָיו אֵת כָּל דִּבְרֵי יוֹסֵף אֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר אֲלֵהֶם וַיַּרְא אֶת הָעֲגָלוֹת אֲשֶׁר שָׁלַח יוֹסֵף לָשֵׂאת אֹתוֹ וַתְּחִי רוּחַ יַעֲקֹב אֲבִיהֶם.”
“But when they told him all the words which Joseph had said to them, and when he saw the carts which Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of Jacob their father revived.”