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Chanukah Summaries

Mikeitz/Chanukah 5777-2016

“Pharaoh Was Agitated”

Why was Pharaoh agitated and disturbed by his dream. Certainly Pharaoh knew that most dreams are mere fantasy?

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Mikeitz-Chanukah 5768-2007

“Unexpected Parallels between Mikeitz and the Story of Chanukah”

Parashat Mikeitz is always read on the Shabbat of Chanukah, not only because Joseph may be viewed as an assimilationist who regains his identity, but also because of the numerous parallels to the festival of Chanukah that may be found in the text of parashat Mikeitz.

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Mikeitz-Chanukah 5764-2003

“Chanukah–The Struggle of Joseph and Judah”

Clothed in his coat of many colors, Joseph was betrayed by his brothers and eventually sold to Egypt. His subsequent involvement in Egyptian society is contrasted by Judah’s purist, more conventional philosophy. These two viewpoints are echoed in the struggle of Chanukah, as Jews throughout the ages question how much to participate in the culture of the day.

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Mikeitz-Chanukah 5763-2002

“In Those Days, in These Times”

The story of Joseph may be seen as the saga of an assimilator struggling with his identity, very much paralleling the struggle of the Traditionalists and the Hellenists in the 2nd Century B.C.E. It appears to be an ancient story with an ancient theme. What contemporaries often fail to acknowledge is that a subtle assimilation that is taking place today as well. This powerful force is exacting a heavy toll on our people today, even among some of the most committed Jews. To resist its influence, it is necessary for all to affirm and reaffirm their commitment to the ethics and morality reflected in our Torah. As the honored values of the Jewish past are whittled away by the pernicious values of the contemporary environment, the battle of Chanukah continues today.

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Mikeitz-Chanukah 5761-2000

“What is Chanukah really about?”

Given the massive assimilation in our times, it is no longer enough to passively light our candles on our windowsills or in our doorways. We must light our candles in our homes, on our tables and in our hearts, thus reaffirming our Jewish commitment. In this manner we may increase the light of our Chanukah candles, until the entire world is illuminated by these lights spreading the values of our Torah and our traditions.

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