Mikeitz - Dream to the Stars
Mikeitz-Dream To The Stars
should be light before the Shabbat candles and under no
circumstances after sunset (which is 18 minutes after candle
N.Y. City Candle lighting 4:13 Shabbat ends 5:17
For Shabbat times anywhere in the world go to
The Menorah should be lit after
Shabbat ends after Havdalah
Mevarchim Tevet. The Molad is
Sunday, 10:31 p.m.
Rosh Chodesh is Monday and Tuesday
MIKEITZ - DREAM TO THE STARS
Shalom and Bracha!
because of Chanukah, we read from two Torah scrolls. In the
first we read the portion of Mikeitz and in the second we read
the portion of Chanukah.
The portion of Mikeitz continues the
narrative of Yosef in Egypt. Through interpreting Pharaoh’s
dreams, Yosef was appointed viceroy of Egypt. During that time,
his brothers came to Egypt and bowed down to him, fulfilling one
his prophetic dreams in last week’s portion. The conclusion of
the portion is the ruse concerning the theft of his cup, which
was done for the purpose of awakening full repentance on the
part of his brothers for having kidnapped him.
The Egyptian exile was a precursor to
the current exile. Just as the Egyptian exile was necessary
before the receiving of the Torah and the receiving of the land
of Israel, The current exile is a necessary step before the
coming of Moshiach, receiving the new depths of Torah he will
reveal and the receiving of Greater Israel. As such, the Torah’s
teachings concerning Egypt are pertinent to us in our daily
The arrival of Yosef to Egypt was
preceded by dreams. Pharaoh’s message from Hashem concerning the
famine was also through dreams. This is because Galut (exile) is
likened to a dream. When we dream our perception is muddled and
there is no consistency. Similarly, in Galut we develop a false
perception. Rather than realizing that everything comes through
Hashem’s grace, and that we should dedicate ourselves to
following His will, and that thereby we will receive His
blessings, we see observance of the Torah as a stumbling block
in achieving our personal goals. The lesson is that we must know
we are in a dream and adjust our awareness. Furthermore, Galut
creates a mentality in which the inconsistency of good and evil
in our own lives doesn’t bother us. This aspect has a positive
quality as well: the negative aspects of our lives don’t prevent
us from striving to great heights and performing great acts far
above our nature.
As we look at the specific dreams,
there is a striking difference between those of Yosef and of
Pharaoh. Pharaoh’s dreams were passive: the characters weren’t
accomplishing. Further, they were in a downward trend, healthy
cow and then sick cows, the first dream was the animal kingdom
and the second the plant kingdom. Yosef’s first dream was
gathering of wheat: active work and uniting of the dispersed.
His second dream was of the heavens. The tendency of Galut is to
drag us down. Yosef teaches us that we must always be
accomplishing and striving higher. If we do, even the sky isn’t
This teaching is exemplified by the
Chanukah Menorah. Each day we light an additional candle. We can
never be satisfied with our previous accomplishments. What was
sufficient yesterday isn’t enough for today. We must progress
only one step at a time, but we must always progress.
Through following the teachings of
Yosef may Hashem speedily have mercy on Israel and grant us the
final redemption through the coming of Moshiach immediately.
Shabbat Shalom, Chodesh Tov and Chanukah Sameach!
Tuesday is the Eighth Candle
May Hashem grant you, your family and
all those who are dear to you a wonderful and inspiring
Chanukah! As these are days of miraculous victory and blessings,
May His blessings flow in a remarkable manner.
Although the Menorah of Chanukah
commemorates the miracle that occurred with the Menorah in the
Temple, there are striking differences. The Menorah in the
Temple had seven branches, not eight. The Menorah in the Temple
was only lit during the day, whereas (excluding Shabbat) the
Chanukah candles are always lit after sunset. The Menorah in the
Temple was lit inside, whereas the Chanukah candles shine into
the street. The Menorah in the Temple was on the right side, and
the Chanukah Menorah is on the left. (The custom mentioned in
the Talmud is to light the Menorah in the doorway on the left
side, so that when we enter the doorway we are surrounded with
Mitzvot: the Mezuzah on the right and the Menorah on the left.)
King Solomon taught that “I have seen
the quality of folly from wisdom light the quality of light from
the darkness.” Seemingly his words are obvious and perplexing.
Wisdom is better than folly and light is better than dark.
Obvious! The phrase light “from the darkness is perplexing.
Light’s quality is over darkness or compared to darkness. Shlomo
Hamelech is alluding to a higher form of light, a light born
from the darkness. When the darkness is transformed and
illuminated its light has unique intensity and quality.
Similarly, one who has reached wisdom through folly has a deeper
appreciation of wisdom and a deeper wisdom than someone who has
only seen wisdom.
The differences all stem from one
major difference. The Temple Menorah illuminated in the period
of peace, whereas the Chanukah Menorah illuminates in the time
of oppression. When the Greeks sought to defile the sanctity of
the Torah, this brought forth a deeper service of Hashem amongst
the Maccabees than had existed before. They risked their lives
against impossible odds, which required serving Hashem with the
very depths of their souls. Hashem responded by granting not
only a miraculous victory, but also the miracle of the oil,
demonstrating His love by transcending all rules of nature. The
number seven represents nature, whereas eight represents
transcending nature. Hence the candles eight candles in the
When we serve Hashem with our very
essence, we accomplish more than we could otherwise.
Illuminating the dark and evil side of the world is beyond our
regular capabilities. This is why the Temple Menorah was lit
during the day. The right side represents our divine nature and
the left side represents our animal nature. This is why the
Temple Menorah burned on the right side. The Maccabees reached a
higher level: they illuminated the night and the left side. The
street represents the profane world: the Menorah’s light reaches
there as well.
There is an interesting parallel in
this week’s portion. Yosef had two sons in Egypt: Menashe and
Ephrayim. Menashe means Hashem caused him to forget the
tribulations of his life. Ephrayim means Hashem made Yosef
fruitful in the land of his oppression. What is the meaning of
fruitful in the land of oppression? The Jewish people’s presence
in exile is for a purpose. It is not simply a punishment or
preparation for a further stage. While in exile we have the
capability to serve Hashem from the depths of our souls more
than in the times of the Temple. The darkness brings forth our
deepest powers. Using those powers to their utmost will bring
forth the ultimate great light, the light of Moshiach.
Shabbat Shalom and Chanukah Sameach!
Dedicated to my dear son Levy upon his graduation. May Hashem
grant you tremendous success in your career and every aspect of
your life. May your blessings grow from day to day like the
lights of Chanukah.
A project of Chabad of Great Neck
400 East Shore Rd. Great Neck NY 11024
516 487 4554 fax 516
There is a great Chanukah website at
lights increase from day to day. Wouldn’t it be great to
convince one more Jew each day to light a Menorah?