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Pesukei D’Zimrah-Releasing the Imprisoned

“God releases the bound (Psalms 146).” What does the verse say regarding Joseph? “The King sent and freed him; the ruler of peoples, and set him free (Psalms 105:19).” Does that not imply that it was the king, Pharaoh, who released Joseph, and not God? Why do we declare that, “God releases the bound,” when this verse implies that there are others who can free the bound?


According to Rabbi Shimon, the word “ruler” in this sentence is the object of the verb “sent,” and refers to the ruler of peoples, meaning, the Angel–Redeemer, who is the appointed ruler of the earthly beings, and whom God sent to set Joseph free (Zohar II, 195a).

The Zohar is teaching us that whenever a person is freed, God is either directly or indirectly involved. The inhabitants of besieged Jerusalem believed that they would be able to call upon the Angels to free them from the Babylonians. They believed that there was a disconnect between the Angels and God, and that although they were rejecting God’s instructions through Jeremiah, that they could still call upon the Angels to free them. The Zohar is reminding us that such freedom and salvation is impossible. It is God, Who is in total and absolute control of freeing the imprisoned.

Application for the Tenth of Tevet:

it is essential to spend time as we prepare for the anniversary of the siege of Jerusalem by the Babylonians, to strengthen our awareness of God and His absolute control of all that happens.

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