Researchers believe that some stress can help to fortify the immune system. For instance, stress can improve how your heart works and protect your body from infection. But on a deeper level, rising to challenges and overcoming them is the essence of life.
In this week's Torah reading of "Vayeshev", the central figure is Yosef. The Talmud tells us that before the appearance of Mashiach Ben David, there is another one, Mashiach Ben Yosef. Why do we need both?
Yosef’s behavior in relation to his brothers raises many questions. In the first stage, we find that the brothers hated Yosef because of Yaakov’s preferential treatment. However, afterwards, the dreams that Yosef had, which demonstrated his expectation to have full leadership, and especially the fact that he shared these dreams with his brothers, just made things worse. Regarding the dreams, the matter happened in two stages – first, he told them that he had dreams; then, he specified their details (see Bereishit 37:3-8). Why did Yosef, who saw that his brothers already hated him due to the special cloak his father made for him, continue to do things that exacerbated the hatred?
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.