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

Parshas Vayeisheiv: For more Halacha on Hilchos Chanukah and for Real audio Shiurim please go to: Chanukah

Pasuk (37:4):

"His brothers saw that it was he whom their father loved most from all his brothers so they hated him: and they could not speak peaceably to him."

We see that the brothers hated Yosef, and they were thus unable to talk to him "L'Shalom".

Rashi tells us that even though it is a disgraceful behavior to hate another person, there was some positive behavior in their action.

For they did not act dishonestly with Yosef, and pretend that they loved him, "Echat BePeih Echat BeLeiv".

Rav Yonason Eibeshitz comes and tells us something very important that we can learn from this Pasuk.

It is natural that when someone hates another, this hatred will grow from day to day, and increase over time.

However, if the one who hates the other, tells him what is on his mind, and how he feels deep down in his heart, and the other will tell him that he was sorry for what he did wrong to the other, the hatred will dissolve and turn into a friendship, maybe even stronger than the previous friendship.

That is why the Torah tells us, "Don't hate your brother in your heart" , rather, "you should surely rebuke him for his wrong doings".

Don't hold your anger inside you, let it out, let him know how you feel, only then your claims against him will become clear, and this would bring to true peace.

However, in our Pasuk, we are told that Yosef's brothers hated him and they couldn't talk to him peacefully, they didn't bring themselves to a "brotherly talk", that would maybe bring to peace and thus get rid of the hatred. Therefore, their hatred only increased over time.

One still must be very careful when he rebukes another, that it should be done, only with good intentions, and not in front of others to see.

The Vilna Gaon brings down that Chazal tell us that when one leaves his friend he should tell the other "Lech 'L' Shalom" and not Lech 'B' Shalom."

For we know that when Yisro told Moshe "Lech 'L' Shalom", Moshe was successful and became a great leader.

However by Dovid Hamelech, when he told Avshalom "Lech 'B' Shalom", Avshalom was hung afterwardsGemarah Berachos 64:a.

Thus when one leaves another he should say Lech 'L' Shalom", with a Lamid and not a Beis.

Yet we see by Yosef's brothers, they hated him, thus they didn't want him to be successful and they felt that he didn't deserve to become a leader, thus the Pasuk tells us that they couldn't talk to him in a "peacefully" (successful) way.

Many times if people are in a dispute, if only they would talk things over and get to understand the other side of the coin, and this may get rid of the anger. It is also useful to try and get yourself used to trying to understand why the other person acted the way he did towards you, maybe he had a good reason, or maybe you just over reacted.

Pasuk (37:21)

"Reuvein heard and he rescued him from their hands."

Even though Reuvein may have had the most reason to hate Yosef, for he was the first born, nevertheless, he pushed aside any personal feelings and tried to save Yosef from his brothers hands.

Comes the Ohr Ha-Chaim and asks, why does the Pasuk need to say "And he saved him from their hands". Wouldn't it be enough to say, "and he saved him."?

Also, he asks, how did he save Yosef, for at the end he advised them to throw him into a pit?

So he explains that Reuvein knew that Hashem made a "Chok" in this world, that a person has the free choice to kill another in this world, even if the other did not deserve death at the time. For Hashem has given man free choice. However when dealing with animals, it is different, for they do not have any free choice. So if one did not have a decree to die, he will not die by an animal.

Reuvein knew that Yosef was a Tzadik, and was thus certain that Yosef did not deserve death from the heavens above. Reuvein's goal was to get Yosef out of his brothers hands, since they had the ability to kill him, and put him into pit, for the snakes and scorpions wouldn't kill him, for he was a Tzadik.

"It is not the snake that kills, but the sin that one may have committed."

The Meshach Chachma comes and brings down from the Zohar, what type of saving was Reuvein doing here, for he told his brothers to throw Yosef into a pit full of snakes and scorpions?

So the Meshach Chachma explains that the brothers thought that Yosef deserved to be killed from the hands of man. And one who deserves to be killed from the hands of man, is judged to be killed from the age of 13, if he deserves death. However, from the hands of Shamayim, one is only judged to be killed, only after he has reached the age of 20.

And since Yosef was not yet 20, Reuvein told them that since he was not yet 20, he didn't deserve the death from the hands of Shamayim, and death from the hands of Shamayim is only at the age of 20, thus Reuvein saved Yosef from their hands, the hands of man, for they had free choice and they were able to kill someone at the age of 13 for his wrong doings. And Reuvein knew that he wouldn't be killed by the snakes and scorpions (the hand of Shamayim).

We see further on in the Parsha that "Reuvein returned to the pit and behold Yosef was not in the pit- So he tore his garments".

So continuing with the above idea, the Baal H'Haflaah (Panim Yafos) explains that since one under the age of 20 is not punished from the hands of Shamayim, he was also hoping that the same will be with him, for when he moved his fathers bed into Leah's tent, he was also under 20.

Thus when he returned to the pit and found that Yosef was not there, he than understood that even though Yosef was under 20, he had the same Din as a Gadol (according to Tosfos - they were considered Gadol, even before the age of 20).

Thus Rashi on the Pasuk tells us that Reuvein returned to his fasting and Teshuvah, and said that since the "Yeled is not here", it must be that also before the age of 20 he is considered Gadol, and thus he was also worried about himself.

Chanukah in Vayeisheiv?


We know that the MeKubalim (such as The Shl"ah, Baal Hatanya...) say that we can find a connection between the weekly Parsha and the present day events. Certainly we are bound to find connections between our weekly Parsha and the YomTovim that occur during that Parsha.

Vayeisheiv is always the Parsha that is read on Chanukah when there are two Shabbos Chanukah's. When there is only one Shabbos Chanukah, then it is read before Chanukah and part/all of the week following it, is Chanukah.

There is a famous connection found in the Gemarah Shabbos (21), the saying of Rav Kahana in the name of Rav Tanchum. That if one places his Chanukah candle above 20 Amos, he was not Yotzei. And another saying brought is that of our Parsha, "And the pit was empty, it had no water in it, yet it had in it snakes and scorpions."

There are those that would like to learn in Mesechet Tamid at the end of the first Perek, that when the Torah writes "Vayashlichu", it means at least 20 Amos.

And since the pit was greater than 20 Amos deep, they couldn't see the snakes and scorpions in the pit, for one can't see more than 20 Amos. Therefore we don't light the Chanukah candles above 20 Amos.

However, one may easily ask, isn't light different?

Aren't we able to see the stars, moon, sun...that are so far away from us?(Hagaon Rav Y.D. Solveitcheik)

So it must be that Chazal wanted us to be able to see the Chanukah candles, very easily, without any extra bother to find them.

There is a Gemarah in Mesechet Berachos (54) that says "One who sees a place that a miracle happened there, one should say a blessing "Baruch Sheasah Lee Neis Bamakom HaZei". comes Rav Asheir MeiLuniel (a Baalei Tosfos) and explains, that we make this Beracha both on the miracles that happened to a Yachid(one) and Rabim(many).

However, this is only in a case that leaves the realm of what we call "nature". Like the splitting of the Yam Suf.

However, if one was robbed at night and he was saved from the hands of the robbers, he is not required to make the Berach. (Also found in the Abudraham Shaar 8 pg 339)

The Meshech Chachma brings down that when Yosef returned with his brothers, in order to bury his father in Eretz Yisroel, he stopped off at the pit that he was thrown in by his brothers, and said the Beracha there.

Comes the Meshech Chachma and asks, what about the other pit that Yosef was taken out of in Mitzrayim, when he was a servant in jail, and he became a ruler, isn't that just as great a miracle as this pit?

Why didn't he make a Beracha then?

This is a proof to what we said above in the name of the Abudraham.

The fact that Yosef went from servitude to rulership was indeed a miracle, yet it was a hidden miracle.

For this also happens in nature, sometimes a poor person may hit the jackpot and become rich.

However, to be saved from the pit of snakes and scorpions is against nature, for the nature of these animals is to kill, thus it was a open miracle, and therefore Yosef made a Beracha there.

Continues the Meshach Chachma and says that the main part of the miracle of Chanukah, was the victory that the Jews had against the Yevanim, and that the Malchus Yisroel returned for around 200 years.

Yet, this type of miracle is a hidden miracle, for we do find cases of "few winning against many."

However, the miracle found by the oil, is similar to that of Yosef surviving in a pit full of snakes and scorpions. For this small container of olive oil, was able to light more than what it usually can light, in nature.

This was a revealed miracle, therefore for this miracle, we make a Beracha on the Chanukah candles.

If the whole reason we light the Chanukah candles was because of the victory in battle, than one would be able to light even higher than 20 Amos, for it was a hidden miracle.

However, since the lighting is for the miracle of the container of oil, just like this miracle is one that was completely revealed to us and clear, so too, do the Chanukah candles have to be lit in a place where all can see without any problem.

(The above was taken from the Sefer Mitzvah's Neir Chanukah Ish U Bayso - Rav Eliyahu Shlesinger)

To end off this Halacha discussion I would like to bring something taken from the Sefer "Hakaras Ha Tov" (Rav Yoel Schwartz).

He brings down the case of one making a Beracha on a miracle that happened to him.

The Beracha is said by the one who had the miracle happen to him, his sons and his "Talmidim Hamuvhakim".

It is only said once in 30 days. As long as he didn't see that place for 30 days, and than when he returns to that place, he makes the Beracha.

Type of Miracle:


There is a Machlokes on what types of miracles one makes a Beracha on.

There are those that say one may only make a Beracha if the miracle is out of the realms of nature.

Others say that even if the miracle happens in a natural way, one should still make a Beracha.



One who sees the place from a distance, it is not called seeing. He must be at least within a "Mil" (not mile).

***The above is not meant to be a Psak, it is only here to help increase ones Torah knowledge, for final Halacha, please ask your Local Reliable Orthodox Rabbi.***