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Beit Midrash Series Parashat Hashavua

The Ladder, Chanuka, and Israeli Independence

Are the miracles of Chanuka relevant in our generation? The answer is: more than ever. Let us start with this week’s parasha. Yosef’s sale into slavery, taking him from Eretz Yisrael to Egypt, could be described as the beginning of a period of exile – a long, painful path stemming from a loss of independence.
Rabbi Yossef CarmelKislev 20 5778
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Are the miracles of Chanuka relevant in our generation? The answer is: more than ever. Let us start with this week’s parasha.
Yosef’s sale into slavery, taking him from Eretz Yisrael to Egypt, could be described as the beginning of a period of exile – a long, painful path stemming from a loss of independence.
The Rambam (Chanuka 3:1) explains that the thanks we offer Hashem about the events of Chanuka are on two successes: 1. The undoing of the decrees that prevented our nation’s full Torah observance and a life of purity and sanctity. 2. The return of autonomous rule to Am Yisrael. As the Rambam famously ends off: "Kingdom returned to Israel for more than 200 years, until the second destruction."
In our generations, we have, baruch Hashem, seen a broad and significant ingathering of the exiles. We have merited having independence for already more than 70 years. We have seen an unparalleled flourishing of Torah study. Let us thank Hashem for these too during this upcoming holiday of Chanuka. Let us pray that we will soon merit the continuation of the promise, "Yaakov will return and have quiet and be tranquil without fear," both physically and spiritually.
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