(Genesis-37:1-40:23)

(Haftara: Amos 2:6-3:8)

 (Chanuka)

  1. [37:9] “And they said to each other, “Here comes the dreamer.” There is an approach in learning the Torah which says that we must see our forefathers as always having good and proper motivations.  The midrash echoes this approach when it tries to justify Yosef’s brothers by saying that they thought that Yosef was planning a type of spiritual murder against them. Another approach says that our forefathers were very God-conscious, but also had negative feelings and motivations at times. Which approach do you prefer in reading the Chumash?
  1. [38:26] “…’She is more righteous than me…'” Our commentaries tell us that Yehudah’s greatness is shown in the fact that he admitted his failure in the way that he had treated Tamar earlier.  At this point, he was a powerful person and could have had Tamar executed, but instead, he chose to be very embarrassed.  Was Yehudah’s admission of guilt really as praiseworthy as some say, or would any average person have done the same thing?
  1. [39:4] ” …and he put him in charge of his house…” It seems that Yosef was well-liked, and was recognized for his superior talents wherever he was in Egypt. Why couldn’t he have done the same with his bothers? Was it Yosef’s fault that his own brothers turned against him or is it natural in a family that a younger brother will not be admired for superior talents?
  1. [Haftara Amos 2:7] “…to profane My holy name.” The prophet Amos lists the sins of Israel that show man’s inhumanity to man.  He calls these “profaning God’s holy name”? One would think that sins against God are “profaning God’s name”.  Why is “profaning God’s name” applied to sins against man?
  1. [Chanukah] The main reason for our lighting Chanukah candles is in order to publicize the miracle of Chanukah to ourselves and to the world. What effect does publicizing a miracle have on us and on the world?

Commentary

…look at the light of the Divine Presence which is in all of existence. Look at the harmony of the heavenly realm, how it is present in every aspect of life—the spiritual and the material—which are in front of your physical eyes and your spiritual eyes. Contemplate the wonders of Creation–their Divine dimension–not as some dim reality which is far from you, but as the reality in which you live.

–R. A. 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  to the memory of Sarah Bella bat Yitzchak Kummer, Chaim Yosef Yechiel ben Eliyahu Kummer and Eliyahu and Margaret Kummer