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PARASHAS MIKEITZ - The Connection Between Chanukah and Parashas Mikeitz

Parashas miketz year 1 issue 17
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ברוך בן שמואל זנוויל

אסתר בת שאול אריה

Baruch Ben Shmuel Zanvel

Esther Bas Shaul Aryeh

The Rosenberg Family Edition

This week’s parasha, Parasha Miketz has a direct relationship with Chanukah. However, the connection between this week’s parashah and Chanukah is not just al pi drush, where one tries to find a connection between the Parsha of the week and the Yom Tov. Instead, the Rishonim explain the events of the end of parashas Vayeshev is precisely the history of Chanukah and what happened in exile by the Bayis Shenei and after that, as well as when Mashiach comes, where we will be redeemed. It is all in the history of this week’s Parsha.

The Siferna in last week parasha says that when Yaakov returned, that is the describing the history of what will happen in Bayis Shenei. Here in this week’s parashah, Yosef, after so much suffering, becomes the king! That is the concept of Melech Hamoshiach, Moshiach Ben Yosef. The Siferna says that whatever happened to Yosef in Vayeshev and Meketz is Bayis Shenei, the churban, the golus, and the future - the final redemption.

This incident of Yosef has a direct correlation with the story of Chanukah. The Medrash In Shir Hashirim explains the words “hadodoyim nosnu reach. -The flowers that give smell”. That refers to the incident when Reuven saved Yosef. ‘Veal Pischeinu Kol Begodim Zeh Ner Chanukah.' The sweets and delicacies by the door refer to the lights of the Menorah. The story of Reuven rescuing Yosef is united in the Medrash. In this week's parashah, Yosef is also freed from the pit, making the final redemption. The pit was the beginning of him going to Mitzraim. It was not comfortable being in Egypt, facing numerous tests (nesyonos), and then being accused of something he did not do. Later, Yosef is crowned king.

I want to go deeper into Yosef's story in this week's parashah to see in a more profound way how it is compared to Moshiach.

The posuk uses the word 'ritzuhu' to describe how Yosef was taken out of jail and taken to Pharoh. The siforna asks, why is this expression used as opposed to 'taken out'? The term 'rip' is a sign of quickness because the salvation of Hashem comes quickly. When Mashiach comes, we will be redeemed the way Yosef was suddenly taken out of the pit. I want to add that the Torah says the Parsha of Vayashev and Mikaitz is the blueprint of the final geula. It says in the midrashim that Yoven had a distinct hatred for Mashiach ben Yosef. That is because The Or hagonus is hidden in the Torah and will come out when Moshiach comes, leaving no confusion, only clarity. It will not only be clarity of Hashem; it will also be clarity in the Torah, which is Hashem's wisdom. That is what Moshiach ben Yosef is. On the other hand, Yoven endured darkness and darkened Yisroel's eyes because they did not like the Torah sh'bal peh. This is the reason for the extra hatred towards Mashiach ben Yosef; he was against the whole system of Yovon.

Yovon, which endures darkness, and geula being the light in this darkness, is concerning one's ability to open and close the eye. One of the themes of golus is that we cannot see what is there. There are two types of darkness. One that it is dark outside, and the other is a person that has darkness inside. Yoven was the second type of darkness. It does not say it was dark outside, it says Yoven closed the eyes of Klal Yisroel. The Torah Temima said many fascinating and controversial statements that people debated if they should learn the sefer. One of the statements he made was that the darkness in mitzryim was not on the outside, but rather the eyes' darkness. Hashem shut the eyes of the mitzryim. The Torah Temimah learns this from a Medrash stating the darkness was tangible, and therefore, tangible was a piece of skin that grew on top of the eye. The same is with the darkness that yoven brought.

Seventy-five years ago, the holocaust was external dark; the world was dark and in chaos. Now we are still in golus. Some concerns come up now and then, but we have our homes and jobs, and for the most part, there is not darkness. So, where is the darkness today? The choshech now is internal, our eyes are closed, and people are suffering silently.

Yovon was very cultured, so the jew that became a misyavni had a wonderful life with riches and opportunity for Olom Hazeh. They were even allowed to have the bible if they wanted. The only thing the Greeks took away was Torah sh'bal peh; therfore, the darkness was internal.

The Yevonim tried to diminish the internal of the Jew, the neshama, which is compared to the candle of Hashem. Therefore, they went particularly after the Menorah and not after anything else. The Rakeach and other Rishonim seem to learn that the goal was not to be matemah the Beis Hamikdosh, though it became tomeh just from the Yevonim entering it was not their goal. Their goal was to destroy the Menorah and its kindling. There is a greek coin with a picture of the Menorah and the the arch of titus showing the Menorah being taken down to Bovel in the Romans' times. No other vessel from the Beis Hamikdash is pictured like this, so it seems that the Menorah symbolized the triumph of greeks and Romans and the defeat of Klal Yisroel. The Greeks knew that if they destroyed the Menorah, they would defeat Klal Yisroel. The Menorah is the emblem of the Ohr HaTorah and Klal Yisroel. Without this, we cannot survive. We survived through golus and the destruction of the Bais Hamikdosh, but we cannot survive if the Torah, Kedusha, and it is leaning are taken away from us. The goyim knew this, so they tried to take away our Menorah so that the learning should not be through the kohanim.

That is the explanation for 'vayahi mikaitz' at the beginning of Parshas It Chazal tells us that from here we see that Hashem has a 'Budget,' a deadline for time for the darkness because the yetzer horah, which is darkness, also has its time and when Moshiach comes the darkness will end. The Kaitz here in the parashah refers to the deadline where by then Moshiach will have had to come just like Yosef had a "miketz" to his darkness in jail.

From here, we see that the choshech is the darkness where the person himself is blind, and that blind is called the yetzer hora. Chazal is defining that the choshech of the golus is not the pain, but that we cannot see what is right because of the yetzer hora. This was the same for Yosef. He may have been in the Beis Asurin, and it hurt him, and there was darkness and pain. However, the blindness there was even worse.

When the posuk says that Paroh had a dream, the wording should have been Pharoh dreamt, but it says Paroh is dreaming. The Or Hachaim says that Paroh had this dream not just then but for two years. However, it never affected him. Only now, when Yosef had to come out of the pit, did it bother him. The Meforshim Question the necessity of the two years. R' Pinchas, a Chasidic rebbe, gives an incredible explanation. The table was set for Yosef to leave two years earlier. However, Yosef was not ready; he tells the Sar Hamashkim, "remember me," this was a mistake of 2 words. Consequently, he needed to spend two more years in prison. From here, we see the consequence of two words. We can explain more in-depth it is not about the two extra words. Yosef needed two years to fix himself from the lack of betochon. The moment Yosef was ready, the dream began to bother Paroh.

Hashem prepares the Geula for us, but we must fix something to receive it. The Bais Halevi says that it would not be a problem for another person because they have to do hishtadlus, but for someone on the level of Yosef, it was a problem. The same is for Doctors; as we discussed many times in the past, tzadikim do not go to doctors because they or on the level of Emunah t

hat Hashem will take care of them; however, we go to doctors because we are not on that level.

What was Yosef's lack of emunah? There is a blind spot. Sometimes we do not see that we are making a mistake. The Yetzer Hora is putting it in front of us. Sometimes we have darkness, and we do not know how to continue. However, this Choshech will not last forever. It can feel very complicated to find the fine line between normal hishtadlus and too much hishtadlus. Nevertheless, when he fixes the problem, everything quickly starts moving in the right direction.

The Sifarna says that when Hogor and Yishmoel were dying in the midbar, Hashem opened their eyes to see the well. This well was always there. Yet, they did not open their eyes to see it. She was blind. People should never think they have 20/20 eyesight since the yetzer hora makes us lost in the clouds. The Medrash uses the term fog.

How did Yosef manage to fix the mistake?

Yosef went to the other extreme. When Yosef was told that Paroh wanted him, he was taken out with force (vayertzuhu). This day was Rosh Hashana, and they had to force him to cut his hair and bathe. Why was he resisting? Some learn because it was yom tov Yosef did not want to do melacha. However, we can say (al pi drush) When someone hears that the king wants him, they go enthusiastically. Yosef learned that he does not lead his life; Hashem leads him. He will not do extra hishdadlus but let things happen. Therefore, Yosef did not go rushing. Rashi specifies that Yosef had a haircut for the respect of the kingdom. This is obvious; why is Rashi mentioning it? It is essential to mention this since it was not to attract attention from the king but purely because he understood that that is the next step that Hashem wanted from him to speak with the king, and out of respect, he had to take a haircut. But it was not done to impress the king. Yosef is in the Torah to teach us Bitochon.

Now, back to Chanukah. We have the Hadlakah, but the war did not end then; it continued. However, now Klal Yisroel understood what would turn the golus around, What the tikkun was. They saw the light in the darkness. So actually, we do not celebrate the yeshua but rather that the darkness went away, and the people knew how to proceed further. The Chashmanoyim brought the light, the clarity. This was the miracle. R Elchanan Wasserman asked why by Purim did we not get the Yeshua through the war and Chanukah we did? Megillas Antiyoches clearly says that the people discussed they were spiritually lost, and Yochanan said they would direct them and be fine. That was the crack in the darkness! Purim, there was no war because it was not a spiritual fight but a physical one. When there is Kefirah, they want to kill us spiritually; then we have to act!

If someone felt the Torah's sweetness, he would run in the street like a Drunk man. We in this darkness do not see this light. Chanukah teaches us to open our eyes to see the beauty of what it means to be a jew!

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