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Beit Midrash Torah Portion and Tanach Miketz

Lies And Lights

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We’ve asked this question before, but we shall ask it again: Is there a connection between Yosef and Chanuka? After all, Yosef’s story is eternally read during Chanuka, so there MUST be some linkage!

In this week’s sedra of Miketz, Yosef rises to power, becoming, for all practical purposes, the primary mover and shaker in all of Egypt. This, of course, is an astounding transformation, for only yesterday the Hebrew slave-boy was languishing in the dungeon-pit, with no foreseeable hope in sight; and now, the entire nation bows to him and pays him homage.

What is so striking to me is that Yosef – by virtue of his outstanding virtue in not violating Potiphar’s wife – is the subject of slander and false accusations. He conducts himself in a noble and moral fashion, and yet his name is vilified. Despite all this, Yosef remains calm & maintains
his ethical stature, as well as his belief system. And he is ultimately vindicated, as Hashem takes up his cause.

Flash forward: We live in a world where Am Yisrael is constantly being condemned and falsely accused of all types of indignities. We are branded as criminals and terrorists by those who are the REAL terrorists, and the world – clueless in the extreme – often swallows these lies whole. In particular, the State of Israel is under constant attack, our enemies claiming we have no right to this land, no history in this land, no place here at all.

Enter Chanuka. This is the one ancient holiday of ours which confirms the truth of our historic link to the land: We lived here, we fought here, we prayed here. Here we built our Bet HaMikdash in our capital of Yerushalayim and reclaimed it from the Syrian-Greeks. Unlike the Palestinians – who never lived here as a nation, who fabricate a fairy-tale history and impose it upon an ignorant world - the Jewish People are authentic, indigenous, eternal. This is our land, now and forever.

Every single time a Jew – anywhere in the world – lights a Chanuka light, he or she is affirming the unbreakable connection between Am Yisrael and Eretz Yisrael. Each candle, each drop of oil, illuminates the rightness of our mission, and dispels the darkness cast by Islam on the truth. Each Chanukiya in every Jew's home is a personal Ner Tamid which testifies to our immortal existence here.

And this is indeed the connection to Yosef. Just as he was able to go on, despite all the lies said about him and all the suffering it brought him, so, too, will we not falter in strengthening our presence in Israel and our building of the State. And, like Yosef, we will ultimately be shown to be correct, and our holy cause will be confirmed.

Those little lights, and the Rock of Ages upon which they rest, will see us through all the way to Redemption.
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