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Mikeitz 5767

Mikeitz (Genesis 41:1-44:17 )

by Kalman Packouz

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GOOD MORNING! When I was in the Israeli army (I lived in Israel for 15 years before coming to Miami 16 years ago), I was posted to a tank base and assigned to inventory the bolts, nuts, screws and washers. I energetically attacked the job with vim and vigor. The Israelis I was working with were grumbling as we worked and finally one of them asked me, "How come you're so happy having to sit here all day counting parts?" I answered, "For three reasons: (1) I am not standing out in the sun for 14 hours doing guard duty, (2) 'For want of a nail the kingdom was lost' (I had to explain that one -that if they can't find the part to fix the tank, Israel could lose a war), and (3) It doesn't matter what I think, I going to be here anyway, so I might as well be happy!

Often there is very little we can do about our circumstances, but with effort we can control our attitude towards what happens to us. This is called "re-framing" - perceiving a situation or event differently than first perceived or differently than it is usually viewed. It is impossible not to reframe because any way that you view a situation or event is a reframe from every other possible way of viewing it. Find a way to put a positive spin on a situation: (1) Look at what you can gain from the experience. (2) Repeat it to yourself and integrate into your consciousness. There is an alternative - you can continue to focus on the negative ... and suffer.

(If you are interested in being happier and looking for practical ideas to help you, I highly recommend Rabbi Zelig Pliskin's Gateway to Happiness. It has helped countless people to change their lives and enjoy life more. It is available at your local Jewish bookstore, at or by calling toll-free to 877-758-3242.)

Your outlook on life not only affects you, it affects your family and your children. Many times I have mentioned that a parent only owes his children three things - Example, Example, Example. The following piece by the renown and prolific writer, A. Nonymous, will demonstrate why:


When you thought I wasn't looking,
I saw you hang my first painting on the refrigerator,
and I wanted to paint another one.

When you thought I wasn't looking,
I saw you feed a stray cat,
and I thought it was good to be kind to animals.

When you thought I wasn't looking,
I saw you make my favorite cake just for me,
and I knew that little things are special things.

When you thought I wasn't looking,
I heard you say a prayer,
and I believed there is a God

I could always talk to.

When you thought I wasn't looking,
I felt you kiss me good night,
and I felt loved.

When you thought I wasn't looking,
I saw tears come from your eyes,

and I learned that sometimes things hurt,

but it's all right to cry.

When you thought I wasn't looking,
I saw that you cared
and I wanted to be everything
that I could be.

When you thought I wasn't looking,
I looked ... and wanted to say thanks
for all the things I saw
when you thought I wasn't looking.

For more on "Attitudes" go to!

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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!

* * *

Dvar Torah
based on Growth Through Torah by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin

When the food ran out from the brother's first trip to Egypt, Jacob wants to send them back for more food. Yehuda informs his father that they cannot return to Egypt without bringing their brother Benjamin. The man (Joseph) explicitly told them not to return without Benjamin. Then Jacob reprimands Yehuda:

" ...'Why did you cause me bad by telling the man that you had another brother?' " (Genesis 43:6)

The Midrash (Braishis Rabba 91:13) censures Jacob for evaluating the situation as bad. The Almighty said, "I am involved in having his son rule in Egypt and he says, 'Why did you cause me this bad.' "

There are many events in each person's life that might appear to be negative when they first happen. However, if a person were to know the entire picture of the consequences of theses events, he would readily see how the Almighty planned them for good. What is needed is patience. When an event that seems to be against your interests happens, ask yourself, "How can I be certain that this will turn out bad in the end?" The answer is that you never can. It is always premature to evaluate non-tragic life situations as bad. Acquire a "wait and see" attitude towards events. This will prevent you from much needless suffering in your life.

To internalize this principle, make a list of events that happened in your own life that at first seemed to be negative, but which you later saw were positive.

* * *

Hanukah Dvar Torah
based on Living Each Day by Rabbi Dr. A.Twersky

Hillel, the great rabbi, taught that on the first night of Chanukah we light one candle and each successive night we add an additional candle until on the eighth night there are eight candles.

Why did Hillel prescribe this method for commemorating the eight days of Chanukah? Wouldn't it have been more impressive to light eight candles each night?

There are two important lessons for us to learn: (1) We must always strive to grow and increase our spirituality. One never stays in the same place -you either improve or you fall behind. (2) It is a mistake to grasp too much too fast. Growing spiritually is like climbing a ladder. If you try to climb too many rungs in one step, you're likely to fall. That is why we increase the Chanukah lights one candle at a time!

(or go to

Jerusalem 4:05
Guatemala 5:21 - Hong Kong 5:26 - Honolulu 5:36
J'Burg 6:41 - London 3:25 - Los Angeles 4:30
Melbourne 8:24 - Mexico City 5:45 - Miami 5:18

New York 4:14 - Singapore 6:47 - Toronto 4:26


Pain in life is inevitable;
suffering is optional.

In Loving Memory of my uncle
Mordichai ben Aaron
and my father
Shlomo ben Mordichai
by Jeffrey Pasler

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