(Genesis-41:1-44:17)

(Haftara: Kings I 3:15-4:1)

(Chanukah)

  1. [42:7] “…and he made himself strange to them and spoke with them roughly…” What did Yosef hope to achieve by pretending that he didn’t recognize his brothers, and by causing them distress?
  1. [42:36] “…you have bereaved me, Yosef is no longer alive…” Yosef was Ya’akov’s favourite son and Yosef had a position of power in Egypt. Why didn’t Yosef inform his father that he was alive in order to save his father from further grief?
  1. [Haftara: Melachim I, 3:16] “Then two prostitutes came to the king…” Why is it important to the story that these 2 women were prostitutes?
  1. [Chanukah] On Chanukah, we were victorious over the Greeks, and we rejected Greek culture totally. Later, however, many of our rabbis had great respect for Greek philosophy and other aspects of Greek culture. At the time of the Maccabees, why couldn’t we accept some aspects of Greek culture and reject their paganism?
  1. [Chanukah] We have a rule that if all the people are impure, then pure oil is not needed for the menorah in the Temple. Therefore, the search for pure oil was unnecessary. In addition to this, even though 1 candle per household is enough, the Jews light an extra candle every night. What is so special about Chanukah (which is a rabbinic mitvah) that  would prompt us to go so far beyond the minimum requirements for the commandment?

Commentary

Someone who sees with clarity must know that a perception of the world that teaches ethics, awe of God, and proper personal qualities, must precede any desire for spirituality.

–R. Avraham Y. H. Kuk, 1865-1935, Lithuania and Israel.

This study page is dedicated to the memory of Gad Eliahu ben David and Kochava—Eli Zucker

And this study page is dedicated to the memory of Sarah Bella bat Yitzchak Kummer, Chaim Yosef Yechiel ben Eliyahu Kummer and Eliyahu and Margaret Kummer