Parshas Mikeitz:
 By: Yaacov Silverstein
e@mail: hm16@popeye.cc.biu.ac.il
HomePage: http://faculty.biu.ac.il/~hm16/

Parshas Mikeitz:


What is wrong?


Yosef was sent to prison, while he was there he interpreted the dreams of the baker and the chief butler.

Yosef asked the chief butler to remember him when he is freed, and to help use his influence to help release him from jail.

Rashi (Pasuk 40:23) tells us that since Yosef showed a slight lack of Bitachon in Hashem, he ended up staying in prison for two more years.

Why was Yosef punished so severely, two extra years of imprisonment?

Aren't we taught not to rely solely on miracles, aren't we supposed to have our own Hishtadlus, and manage our affairs in accordance with the normal way of the world?

Also, didn't we see Yosef's great Emunah in the way he acted in Pharos house, and how he talked, showing great Emunah in Hashem?

The Midrash comes and tells us something that seems to contradict itself.

On one hand it tells us that Yosef put his complete trust in Hashem, and on the other hand it tells us that this was why he was punished for an additional two years, because he asked for the help of the chief-butler.

Complete Bitachon:


Comes Rav Henach Leibowitz, and brings down an insight from "Baalei Mussar", that the greatest distance in the human body is not the distance from ones head to his toe, rather it is from ones brain to his heart.

There are many acts that one may understand intellectually, yet one does not feel it in yet a deeper feeling, on an emotional level.

Yosef was obviously very aware of the existence of Hashem in our world, and he was aware that nothing happens in this world, without a reason. Every rain drop falls, for that is the Divines will.

Yet this did not enter into his innermost chamber of his heart, on the emotional level.

He was lacking, complete trust. Of course now a days we are no where near the level that Yosef had reached, rather it is that on his level, there was more demanding from his Bitachon. If we were in his place, it is very possible that it may even be considered sinful if we would ignore such an opportunity of possible freedom through the hands of the chief butler. The fear that he had being locked up in prison, clouded his Bitachon.

The Artscroll Chumash brings down an explanation that there is a difference between Emunah(faith) and Bitachon(trust). Faith is the belief that Hashem exists. While Trust is the conviction that Hashem is involved in all events and that the outcome of these events is according to Hashem's will.

The Chazon Ish explains this as: "Unless the future has been clarified by prophecy, the future is not definite, for no one can know Hashem's judgment and deeds".

Rather, Trust involves the faith that there is no coincidence in the world and that every occurrence under the sun was by Hashem's proclamation.

We can tie this into Chanukah, through the Mussar part.

Beis Shamai says better for man not to have been created than created.

Beis Hillel says it is better for man to have been created.

Rav Dessler comes and explains this Machlokes on the path of accomplishing in this world what Hashem wants from us. Beis Hillel holds that all you have to do is get into the mood of Torah, and you can do it.

We also know that according to Beis Hillel, one lights on the first night one candle and slowly reaches the 8 candles. For one must start his quest for good, even though one is not yet fully purified from bad.

One must open himself first to a little light, in order to clear out his darkness.

A person can inspire himself by looking at all the negative things in life, all the things that one can't overcome, and pull himself out of his own despair, and go forward. This is Beis Hillel.

Beis Shamai says you can't do it, and therefore you can do it.

He holds that first one must light 8 candles, and each night he goes decreases the amount of candles till the last night, where he lights 1 candle.

For each night, the bad decreases thus we need less light.

For in order for one to develop a positive way of thinking, one must completely uproot the bad in him, if one is not yet completely pure, not on the level of 8 candles, than he is not yet ready to enter the world of spiritual ideals.

Bais Shamai says that you have no choice. You are in this world, in a specific situation, and all you can do is try your hardest, and hope in Hashem to do the rest for you.

The deeper Machlokes is how do we reach the Emunah of seeing Hashem in our everyday life.

Rav Dessler suggests this as the lesson of Chanukah, just like when we turn towards Hashem we see at times the task can't be done, we must try our best, we are not guaranteed that the minority will be able to beat the majority, yet we have to try our utmost, that even though it is our little guy, fighting against the Yetzer Hara, we can win, Hashem can give us that extra power. (Rabbi Y. Adlerstein)

At times on may feel that there is just "no way out!". One may feel that he is to deep in the quick sand. Whether one feels this in the spiritual or physical aspect, one must understand that there is a way out.

This, writes Rav Dessler, is the secret of the Chashmonayim's victory.

If one would look at the Chasmonayim and the Greek army, they would think it impossible for such a small group to win. Yet we see that the Chashmonayim had full Bitachon that Hashem would help them , they did their Hishtadlus, and they received heavenly aid beyond the bounds of nature.

The miracle of the oil lasting for 8 days, is there to teach us all of that if we do what we must do, and what is expected from us, even against all odds, we will then have help from the higher world, which is symbloized by the number 8.

We must take this little "Pach Ha Shemen", the candle of light in this darkness and use it to light up our Faith and Trust in Hashem, and fight away our Yetzer. We must start with what we have and hope that Hashem will help us reach our true level that we should be on.

Another explanation:


Rav Dovid Feinstein gives a different explanation to this, the Egyptians were very arrogant. If the chief butler would have remembered Yosef, he would have took all the praise to himself, as if it was because of him, Yosef was freed. Therefore Hashem added two years to Yosef's imprisonment, not as a punishment, yet rather it was used as extra time that was now required to free Yosef in a way that would make Hashem's role in the sequence of events apparent.

Hay Dreideil


In Parshas Vayigash, Yakov sends Yehuda ahead to Goshnah.

Yakov foresaw that he and his family were about to go down into Galus.

He therefore sent Yehuda ahead to Goshen.

Goshna = Mashiach in Gematriah value.

For if the Jew is able to survive Galus, Goshna. This will bring the coming of the Meshiach.

We also have on a Dreidel (in Chutz L-Aretz) the following letters.

Gimel, Shin, Nun, Hay.

These letters also make up the word Goshnah. Some see history only as random events, as if there is no guiding hand.

However in truth, history is like the Dreidel, things may spin around, yet all that is happening in the world, spins around one point, the existence of Am Yisroel. This Dreidel that spins around in this world is guided by the Divine hand above.

At times we may wonder what got us into this situation, what are we doing here... Until we are lead to realize that there is no such thing as "just to happen", there is a Divine reason for everything in our life.

(Rabbi Y. Adlerstein)

Chanukah light's :


1) It says in Pasuk (16:43), "Yosef said to the one in charge of his house, bring the men into the house, and have meat slaughtered for them..."

Comes the Tanah Dbei Eliyahu(brought down in the Sefer "Ner Mitzva"), and explains that if we take a close look at the letters in the Pasuk, we see that "Utvoach Tevach Veh Haychan", spells out Chanukah.

We get this from:

Ches - from Tevach.

Vav - from Veh Hachan.

Hay - from Veh Hachan.

Chof - from Veh Hachan.

Nun - from Veh Hachan.

We then get Chanukah (Ches, Nun, Vav, Chof, Hay)!

We can also take the Gematriah of "Tvoach Tevach":

Tes=9 Beis=2 Vav=6 Cheis=8 "Tvoach" = 25

Tes=9 Beis=2 Ches=8 "Tevach" = 19



And he brings down that "Tevoach Tecvach" = 44 = 44 candles (including Shamash) lit on Chanukah.

2) Unlike the rest of the Parshios of the Torah, at the end of Pasrshas Mikeitz, which usually falls out on Chanukah, we find the amount of words in this weeks Parsha and the amount of Pesukim.

Normally, we are just told how many Pesukim, yet here we are also told how many words.

There are those that explain that we get a sum of 2025 words in this weeks Parsha.

On Chanukah we light a Ner(Nun,Raish) which has the Gematriah of 250. Therefore if we multiply 250(Ner) by the 8 days of Chanukah, we get 2000.

Chanukah also starts on the 25th of Kisleiv, thus the number 25.

So 2025 hints to us the Lights of Chanukah, and its date!! (Torah Temimah)

The Artscroll Chumash brings down that the theme of Chanukah is especially appropriate to this weeks Parsha.

Even though the first day's burning was without miraculous intervention (according to certain opinions, there was enough oil for only one day), we still commemorate the first day's burning.

By this commemoration, we testify to our belief that even the seemingly natural process of burning oil is in essence a miracle, because it is a manifestation of Hashem's will.


Chanukah on Shabbos:


On Erev Shabbos we first light Chanukah candles, and then Shabbos candles.

Even though the candles are lit before the proper time, the Berachos are said just like during the week.

If a man lit the Shabbos candles first, and he still did not accept upon himself Shabbos(and it is before Shabbos enters), he may light Chanukah candles. This is not so by women, for once they light Shabbos candles, it is considered that they already have accepted Shabbos.

In a case where she did light Shabbos candles first, another person may light for her, and he should say the first Beracha. The other Berachos, she may say herself.(M.B)

One should light the Chanukah candles after "Plag Ha-Mincha" (about 1 1/4 Shaah Zemanios before Tzays Hakochavim).

One should make sure to put more oil and longer lasting wicks than he usually puts, enough that the candles should stay lit at least 1/2 hour after Tzays Hakochavim.

The Mishna Berurah brings down that it is preferred to Daven Mincha before candle lighting, if he can find an earlier Minyan, before Plag Hamincha.

If one lit the candle and it extinguished before one accepts Shabbos

Since the Mitzvah is in the lighting, if one had enough oil and long wicks, and it still extinguished, one has already fulfilled the Mitzvah of lighting, and he doesn't have to re-light.

If one wants to re-light the candles, he may, but without a Beracha.

However, since we are dealing with Erev-Shabbos, that one lights while it is still day, there are those that say that one must re-light his candles, without a Beracha. This is thus the preferred way, when dealing with Erev Shabbos.

When lighting in the Shul, one should try to make sure that there is a Minyan present, some say that

women and children can be added to make a Minyan in this case. (Shut Rav Palim O.C. vol.2,62.)

The lack of 10 may be found when lighting in Shul on Erev Shabbos, some say that if 10 will see it even

latter on, its O.K. Others ( Shaare Teshuvah) say to light without a Beracha in this case. We are Noheg

like the Magen Avraham who says to light even if 10 have not arrived yet, since there will be 10 soon.

This is also brought down in the Biur Halacha (671:7 *veyash...) that one who lights even if there are not

10, with a Beracha, has who to rely on. (Also the Chaia Adam)

On Motzei Shabbos, one should light right after Ma-ariv (some light 35 minutes after Shekiah, while some light 45 minutes after Shekiah Sefer "Mitzva Neir Ish U Bayso"). Those that hold like the Rabbeinu Tam, to wait 72 minutes after Shekeiah, do the same this Motzei Shabbos.

One should prepare the candles for Motzei Shabbos, before Shabbos.

When the candles are lit in Shul on Motzei Shabbos, one first lights the candles, and then says Havdalah.

When lighting at home, there is a Machlokes which comes first.

The Taz and many other Achronim say to first do Havdalah since it is the most frequent of the two Mitzvos.

While the Shulchan Aruch and Ramah and others hold to first light Chanukah candles.

The Biur Halacha(681) brings down that most hold to say Havdalah first.

The above is not written as a Psak, for final Psak one should consult with his Local Reliable Orthodox Rabbi!!

Good Shabbos and Chanukah Sameiach!!