Mikeitz (Genesis 41:1-44:17 )
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GOOD MORNING! Happy Hanukah! I hope your candles are burning bright! Chanukah is the time of miracles. If you would like to see an uplifting one-minute movie on Chanukah and miracles, go to our site, http://www.aish.com/a/chanukah.asp . You won't be sorry! (also check out http://www.aish.com/holidays/Chanukah/default.asp )
When most people hear the word "Kiddush" they think of the food reception following Saturday morning services. The word "kiddush" means to sanctify and on Shabbat morning (as well as Friday night before the meal). One sanctifies the Sabbath with words remembering that God created the world and took us out of Egypt - and then says the blessing over a cup of wine. HaShem means "the name."
Kiddush HaShem, then means "Sanctifying the Name" referring to sanctifying God's name. It is incumbent upon us to sanctify God's name. The source in the Torah is the verse "But I will be hallowed among the children of Israel" (Leviticus 22:32 ). What does this mean and how do we do it?
There are two aspects of Kiddush HaShem. The first is when one is required to give up his life. The Mitzvot (commandments) were given "to live in them, not to die in them." Therefore, to save a life one can violate all of the commandments EXCEPT three:
- Not to Murder.
- Not to engage in illicit sexual relationships.
- Not to worship idols.
The second aspect of Kiddush HaShem is in everyday living. One should live his/her life so that people will bless the parents who gave birth to you, the Torah that you live by and the Almighty. Rambam, Moshe Maimonides, specifies in the Mishneh Torah, Foundations of the Torah, Chapter 5, that if one speaks pleasantly with others, shows honor and concern for others, is honest in business, he creates a Kiddush HaShem. Then:
"He will be praised and beloved and others will desire to emulate him. This person has sanctified the Almighty."
This is how a Jew is to live in his everyday behavior!
The following story illustrates the greatness of our people and how our Torah teaches us to raise our children with values:
Many children travel to school or Yeshiva in Jerusalem by bus. Many of them carry a cartisia (a pre-paid bus ticket good for numerous rides), which is hole-punched by the bus driver each ride. One time, Chaim Sholom Kupfer of Los Angeles witnessed a touching Kiddush HaShem on the Number Three bus.
There was an unusually long line of people waiting to board the bus, so the driver opened both the front and the back doors and called out, "tell everyone to get on and let those in the back pass up their money or cartisiot." As the people continued to board the bus, an eight year old boy made his way to the driver and extended his cartisia to be punched. "I already punched your card," said the driver. "No, you didn't," said the boy softly.
It was hot. The driver had lost his patience a few stops earlier and was in no mood for an argument. "Get inside," he ordered. "You are blocking the people behind you." The little boy looked up at the stern-faced bus driver and said softly, "I can't. That's stealing."
"I told you, I punched your card," repeated the driver. "Get inside." The little boy walked toward the middle of the bus, downcast. The driver looked into the rearview mirror and noticed that the boy was leaning against a pole and crying. He stopped the bus and called the boy up front. "What's the matter, young man? Why are you crying?"
The little boy came forward and said softly, "I can't. I'll be stealing."
The driver took out his puncher, took the cartisia from the child, punched it, and gave it back. He then patted the boy on the head and said in amazement and Jewish pride, "That's beautiful!"
(From Along the Maggid's Journey with permission of Rabbi Pesach Krohn on behalf of Mesorah Publications available from your local Jewish book store or by calling toll-free: 877-758-3242)
Torah Portion of the Week
Pharaoh dreams of cows and sheaves and demands for someone to interpret his dreams. The wine butler remembers Joseph's ability to interpret dreams. They bring Joseph from the jail. Pharaoh acknowledges the truth of Joseph's interpretation (that there would be seven good years followed by seven years of famine) and raises Joseph to second-in-command of the whole country with the mandate to prepare for the famine.
Ten of Joseph's brothers come to Egypt to buy food, Joseph recognizes them, but they don't recognize him. Joseph accuses them of being spies and puts them through a series of machinations in order to get them to bring his brother Benjamin to Egypt. Then Joseph frames Benjamin for stealing his special wine goblet.
Next week ... the denouement!
based on Growth Through Torah by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin
The Torah states:
"And they said one man to his brother (Joseph's brothers), we are guilty about our brother. We saw the suffering of his soul when he pleaded to us and we did not listen to him. Therefore, this misfortune has befallen us." (Genesis 42:21)
What lesson for our lives can we learn from their statement?
Rabbi Dovid of Zeviltov comments in the commentary Otzer Chaim: If a person did something wrong and recognizes that he has done wrong, he will be forgiven. However, if a person does something wrong and denies it, there is no atonement for him. When Joseph's brothers previously said that they were innocent, Joseph responded by calling them spies. When they said that they were guilty, Joseph was full of compassion for them and cried.
Many people deny their faults and the things that they have done wrong because they mistakenly think that others will respect them more by their doing so. In reality people admire someone with the honesty and courage to admit his mistakes. It takes a braver person to say, "Yes, I was wrong." This kind of integrity will not only build up your positive attribute of honesty, but will also gain you the respect of others. When you apologize to someone for wronging him, he will feel more positive towards you than if you denied that you did anything wrong. This awareness will make it much easier for you to ask forgiveness from others.
CANDLE LIGHTING - December 26:
(or go to http://www.aish.com/candlelighting)
Guatemala 5:22 Hong Kong 5:29 Honolulu 5:38
J'Burg 6:43 London 3:38 Los Angeles 4:31
Melbourne 7:21 Miami 5:19 Moscow 3:45
New York 4:17 Singapore 6:49
QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
A man should never be ashamed to own
he has been in the wrong,
which is by saying, in other words,
that he is wiser today than he was yesterday.
-- Alexander Pope