Erev Shabbos Kodesh Vayeishev Inspiration 5776


So let’s take a look at Parashas Vayeishev and see how it connects to Chanukah. We know from previous years that the difference in gematria between the word וישב  and the word מקץ equals the word חנוכה, so that should give us a clue as to what else is in store. The Parshiyos of Vayeishev and Mikeitz discuss  dreams, and the word חלם forms an acrostic for the words ח להדליק מנורה, eight days of lighting the Menorah. Furthermore, the wordחלום  equals in gematria the word חנוכה. The seven cows and seven sheaves in Pharaoh’s dreams in Parashas Mikeitz allude to the seven-stick candelabra that the Jews list in the Bais HaMikdash. The word בלהה, when rearranging the letters, spells out the word הלהב, the flame. There are numerous allusions to the 36 candles that we light on Chanukah, and here are a few (the bolded letters are ל and ו, which equals 36):

וְיִשְׂרָאֵל אָהַב אֶת יוֹסֵף מִכָּל בָּנָיו כִּי בֶן זְקֻנִים הוּא לוֹ וְעָשָׂה לוֹ כְּתֹנֶת פַּסִּים

וְיִשְׂרָאֵל אָהַב אֶת יוֹסֵף מִכָּל בָּנָיו כִּי בֶן זְקֻנִים הוּא לוֹ וְעָשָׂה לוֹ כְּתֹנֶת פַּסִּים

וְיִשְׂרָאֵל אָהַב אֶת יוֹסֵף מִכָּל בָּנָיו כִּי בֶן זְקֻנִים הוּא לוֹ וְעָשָׂה לוֹ כְּתֹנֶת פַּסִּים

וַיִּרְאוּ אֶחָיו כִּי אֹתוֹ אָהַב אֲבִיהֶם מִכָּל אֶחָיו וַיִּשְׂנְאוּ אֹתוֹ וְלֹא יָכְלוּ דַּבְּרוֹ לְשָׁלֹם: וַיַּחֲלֹם יוֹסֵף חֲלוֹם וַיַּגֵּד לְאֶחָיו וַיּוֹסִפוּ עוֹד שְׂנֹא אֹתוֹ

וְהִנֵּה אֲנַחְנוּ מְאַלְּמִים אֲלֻמִּים בְּתוֹךְ הַשָּׂדֶה וְהִנֵּה קָמָה אֲלֻמָּתִי וְגַם נִצָּבָה וְהִנֵּה תְסֻבֶּינָה אֲלֻמֹּתֵיכֶם וַתִּשְׁתַּחֲוֶיןָ לַאֲלֻמָּתִי

וְהִנֵּה אֲנַחְנוּ מְאַלְּמִים אֲלֻמִּים בְּתוֹךְ הַשָּׂדֶה וְהִנֵּה קָמָה אֲלֻמָּתִי וְגַם נִצָּבָה וְהִנֵּה תְסֻבֶּינָה אֲלֻמֹּתֵיכֶם וַתִּשְׁתַּחֲוֶיןָ לַאֲלֻמָּתִי: וַיֹּאמְרוּ לוֹ אֶחָיו

וַיַּחֲלֹם עוֹד חֲלוֹם אַחֵר וַיְסַפֵּר אֹתוֹ לְאֶחָיו וַיֹּאמֶר הִנֵּה חָלַמְתִּי חֲלוֹם עוֹד וְהִנֵּה הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ וְהַיָּרֵחַ וְאַחַד עָשָׂר כּוֹכָבִים מִשְׁתַּחֲוִים לִי

וַיַּחֲלֹם עוֹד חֲלוֹם אַחֵר וַיְסַפֵּר אֹתוֹ לְאֶחָיו וַיֹּאמֶר הִנֵּה חָלַמְתִּי חֲלוֹם עוֹד וְהִנֵּה הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ וְהַיָּרֵחַ וְאַחַד עָשָׂר כּוֹכָבִים מִשְׁתַּחֲוִים לִי: וַיְסַפֵּר אֶל אָבִיו וְאֶל אֶחָיו וַיִּגְעַר בּוֹ אָבִיו וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ מָה הַחֲלוֹם הַזֶּה אֲשֶׁר חָלָמְתָּ הֲבוֹא נָבוֹא אֲנִי וְאִמְּךָ וְאַחֶיךָ לְהִשְׁתַּחֲוֹת לְךָ אָרְצָה

Furthermore, Yaakov was likened to fire, and Yosef, the extension of Yaakov, was likened to a flame, which also allude to the Chanukah lights.

The Holy Berditchever tells us that the verse regarding Yehudah and Tamar that states וַיְהִי כְּמִשְׁלֹשׁ חֳדָשִׁים וַיֻּגַּד לִיהוּדָה לֵאמֹר זָנְתָה תָּמָר כַּלָּתֶךָ וְגַם הִנֵּה הָרָה לִזְנוּנִים וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוּדָה הוֹצִיאוּהָ וְתִשָּׂרֵף alludes to the third month, Kisleiv, and we take the Chanukah lights outside and light them. To add to this, we have mentioned previously that Yehuda alludes to Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi, a scion of the tribe of Yehuda, who was displeased with the Chashmonaim taking away the kingdom from the tribe of Yehuda. Thus, this verse would be interpreted as follows: In the third month, i.e. of Kisleiv, when the Chashmonaim found the flask of oil and miraculously, the lights burned for eight days, it was told to Yehuda, i.e. Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi, that the Tamar, i.e. the righteous ones , had taken away the kingdom from Yehuda and expanded it further, and Yehuda, i.e. because of this aggressiveness and violation of Yaakov’s promise that Yehuda would retain the kingship, the entire family of the Chashmoniam was tragically destroyed.

To end on a positive note, at the end of the Parasha it is said וַיִּתֵּן הַכּוֹס עַל כַּף פַּרְעֹה. The words כַּף פַּרְעֹה equal in gematria the word חשמונאים. What is the connection between Pharaoh and the Chashmonaim? Interestingly enough, in the recital of Maoz Tzur we sing the words רָעוֹת שָׂבְעָה נַפְשִׁי בְּיָגוֹן כֹּחִי כִּלָה. חַיַּי מָרְרוּ בְּקוּשִׁי בְּשִׁעְבּוּד מַלְכוּת עֶגְלָה. וּבְיָדוֹ הַגְּדוֹלָה הוֹצִיא אֶת הַסְּגֻלָּה. חֵיל פַּרְעֹה וְכָל זַרְעוֹ יָרְדוּ כְאֶבֶן בִּמְצוּלָה. Thus, we see that the Egyptian kingdom is compared to a calf. The Greeks sought to eradicate religion from the land, by declaring to the Jews, “write for your selves on the horn of an ox that you have no portion in the G-d of Israel. This is alluded to in the word כַּף, translated as palm or sole, and we find the expression (Yechezkel 1:7) וְכַף רַגְלֵיהֶם כְּכַף רֶגֶל עֵגֶל, literally translated as “and the sole of their feet was like the sole of a rounded foot.” The word עֵגֶל also means a calf. Yet, HaShem reversed the scheme of the Greeks and turned the כַּף, i.e. the ox/calf into the word פך, a flask of oil. With that we can understand why the words כַּף פַּרְעֹה equal in gematria the word חשמונאים.

Have a DeLIGHTful Shabbos!

Rabbi Adler

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