This week’s Haftorah is a nevuah of Yechezkel. Hashem appears to Yechezkel and instructs him to take one stick and write on it ‘Yehuda’ and to take a second stick and write on it ‘Ephraim’. Hashem then further instructs Yechezkel to bring the two sticks together and tells Yechezkel Hanavi that when he does this the sticks will become one. Hashem explains to Yechezkel that this symbolizes the Kibbutz Galuyos (Ingathering of the Exiles) when all of Klal-Yisroel will come together under one king from Malchus Yehuda.
It seems very obvious that the reason we read this Haftorah is because our Parsha speaks of the reunion of Yosef with the rest of the Shevatim. While there is definitely a parallel, there seems to be an even stronger contrast. In our Sedra the tribes come together under the rule of Yosef Hatzadik, whereas in the Haftorah the tribes unite under the rule of Malchus Yehuda. Wouldn’t it have been more appropriate to choose something else for the Haftorah, something which appears to conflict with our Sedra?
Throughout Tanach it is clear that the only legitimate Malchus is Malchus Yehuda. Malchus Yosef Hatzadik is never granted the same legitimacy. It seems that Yosef only has some sort of temporary role.
Yosef always came into the picture as a leader in order to unite Klal-Yisroel. When Yosef went to find his brothers in Shechem, he said: “Es Achai Anochi Mevakesh” – “I am seeking out my brothers”. When Yeravam established the Kingdom of Israel, he was rebelling against Shlomo’s son Rechavam who was abusing his own Kingship (of what then became the Kingdom of Yehuda) by oppressing Am-Yisroel (Yeravam and his malchus eventually became idol worshipers, but his original attentions were to protect Am-Yisroel).
Perhaps this is the message of the Haftorah: Yosef was a Tzadik who only watched out for Klal-Yisroel’s well being. His Malchus was very crucial at points in time and often saved Klal-Yisroel from destruction. However this shouldn’t be misconstrued with genuine Melucha. The real Melucha is and will always be reserved for Malchus Yehuda. Malchus Yosef will serve as the conduit to bring about the unity under Malchus Yehuda, but the Melucha will be that of Yehuda. May we be Zoche to see the rapid reunion of the entire Am-Yisroel under Melech Yehuda.
A very warm Good Shabbos, Rabbi Y. Dov Krakowski