The passage from Prophets that we read after the portion Vayeshev is from the Book of Amos, and it says: “The Creator says, ‘I will take from your children to be prophets, and from the young ones, to be Nazirites.’” Here, Nazirites means to be separated from the physicality of this world completely, and therefore connected totally to the Light of the Creator. Rav Ashlag tells us that when we talk about prophecy, it means the ability to bring the Light down to those who are not yet awakened to a connection to the Creator. A prophet is an individual who awakens a connection to the Light of the Creator for others.
When it says in this passage, “I will take from your children,” children represent those not yet connected to the Light of the Creator. In previous generations, one had to be of a higher state to be a prophet, to be chosen by the Creator to be a conduit for the Light to be revealed and to inspire others to connect to the Light of the Creator. However, in our generation, anybody who truly desires can become a prophet and can be chosen by the Creator to be the one who brings that Light to the world.
How do we know this? In Isaiah,when it talks about the time called the Final Correction, the end of pain, suffering, and death in this world, it says it will be on that day, the day of the Final Revelation, that a great horn will be blown. A horn that awakens others to a connection to the Light to the Creator. But it doesn't say who specifically will do this work; it says there will be those who do that work, and then the entire world will come to a complete connection with the Light of the Creator. The Midrash points out that usually it says who's going to do what, such as this person's going to do this action, or that person's going to do that action. But in the verse of Isaiah that speaks about the End of the Correction, it leaves the names blank, simply saying there will be those who will do it. Why didn't they tell us who it will be?
When we talk about this horn, or the voice that will enable the removal of pain, suffering, and death from this world, we're talking about those who will be the inspirers, the elevators, the ones who will bring the wisdom to the world. And, again, in previous generations, one had to be chosen and taught. But in our generation, in our time, a person chooses if he or she will be part of the blowing of the horn, part of the heralding of the conduit of that revelation of the Light of the Creator in this world.
Therefore, when the Creator says, “I will take from the youngest of you, from the smallest of you, to be prophets, to be Nazirites, to be connected to the Light of the Creator,” it means one does not have to be of an elevated spiritual state to be part of the blowing of that horn, of doing the work to bring the Final Redemption. In previous generations, it had to be Moses, or Rav Shimon, for example. But in our generation, anybody who chooses can be part of that revelation.
This is why, in Isaiah, it does not say who will be the ones who will be the heralders of Mashiach, of the end of pain, suffering, and death… because any person who chooses can be the one who receives the Light to bring the Final Redemption into this world. That is why you can't say it's this person or those people; there are going to be many who take upon themselves that job of being what we call the blower of the horn, the heralder, the one who brings the Light of the Final Redemption into the world and to others.
And the Creator says, “I will pour out My spirit,” which means the Creator will pour the Light and wisdom abundantly down to the individual who chooses to be a conduit for that Light, so that he is able to do this job. “Then even the youngest of you, the smallest of you,” the Creator says, meaning the smallest spiritually, “can become a prophet,” that conduit for bringing this Light of wisdom into the world. Which means that in our generation, even the lowest of the low spiritually, if they awaken their desire to be a conduit, can be what we call a prophet for that Light. This has never been true before. In the time of Moses, a person could want to be a prophet, to be a true conduit for the Light of the Creator, but it was not possible.
So, the Light that is revealed in the reading from Amos – “I will take from the youngest of you to be prophets… I will overwhelm you with an abundance of Light and wisdom to be able to take this Light and message to the world”- is such that all a person has to do is awaken that desire. Therefore, it says we will we get to the Final Redemption when enough people hear this message. It doesn’t say the Creator's going to do it, it doesn't say a specific prophet is going to do it; rather, it will be a collection of many people who take upon themselves the desire to bring this Light and message to the world.
And, of course, the Negative Side is going to tell us, “No, you're not able, you're not capable.” But when that happens, we have to remind ourselves what it says in this reading from Prophets in the week of the portion Vayeshev: that even the youngest of the young can become a prophet. We have to remind ourselves that it says the Creator will pour an abundance of Light and wisdom down to anybody who awakens a desire to be a prophet. In this generation, the “youngest” of us can become a prophet, a true conduit for the Light of the Creator to come into this world.
One of the greatest revelations and desires we need to awaken, therefore, is this: “I can, and I want to be, a prophet of this revelation, a conduit to bring this revelation to the world, and I am certain that even if I'm the lowest of the low, if I desire, then I can become a prophet for the Light of the Creator.” This is the Light and wisdom that we can bring to the world; and who is “we?” Anybody. The Creator will pour down Light and wisdom to anybody who awakens the desire. And we have the merit on Shabbat Vayeshev to be awakened to both desire, and receive, this ability in greater and greater ways, to be a conduit to bring this Light to the world, moving all of us closer to the Final Redemption.