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Mikeitz 5779

Mikeitz (Genesis 41:1-44:17 )

by Kalman Packouz

GOOD MORNING!  Years ago my 6 year old son was late for dinner. After frantically calling the neighbors in the building with kids his age, I finally located him and got him on the phone. Frustrated with anxiety and concern and upset with his lateness, I angrily asked, "Do you know what time it is?" After a moment of silence, I hear his small voice asking the parents of his friend, "Excuse me, my father wants to know the time." I immediately realized that my anger did not communicate and had no effect; it was the wrong manner to get through to this child.

I believe that every child gives a parent the opportunity to work on and improve one (or more) of his own character traits -- like frustration and anger. Being a parent can be trying, but the rewards are great. There's an old Yiddish saying: "Small children, small problems; big children, big problems." Small children, small opportunities; big children, big opportunities. It is the only job that by the time you're trained ... you're out of a job. Here is an interesting piece from "Quote Magazine" (September 1, 1985) about what children want from parents. They surveyed children 8 to 14 years old in 24 countries. Here are the top 10 wanted behaviors:



  1. They want harmony -- their parents should not have unresolved and destructive conflict in front of them.
  2. They want love. They wish to be treated with the same affection as other children in the family.
  3. They want honesty. They do not want to be lied to.
  4. They want acceptance. They desire mutual tolerance from both parents.
  5. They want their parents to like their friends. They want their friends to be welcomed in the home.
  6. They want closeness. They desire comradeship with their parents.
  7. They want their parents to pay attention to them and answer their questions.
  8. They want consideration from their parents -- not to be embarrassed or punished in front of friends.
  9. They want positive support -- for parents to concentrate on their good points rather than their weaknesses.
  10. They want consistency. They desire parents to be consistent in their affections and moods.


In essence, these children want from us what we should give every human being -- respect, consideration and love. In addition, we owe our children to be good role models to learn from and to emulate. Perhaps the following piece will give some insight into what kids learn from us:



If a child lives with hostility .................he learns to fight.
If a child lives with fear ....................... he learns to be apprehensive.
If a child lives with jealousy ................he learns to feel guilt.
If a child lives with tolerance ...............he learns to be patient.
If a child lives with encouragement .....he learns to be confident.
If a child lives with praise ................... he learns to be appreciative.
If a child lives with acceptance ...........he learns to love.
If a child lives with approval ................he learns to like himself.
If a child lives with recognition ............ he learns that it is good to have a goal.
If a child lives with honesty .................he learns what truth is.
If a child lives with fairness .................he learns justice.
If a child lives with security .................he learns to trust in himself and others.
If a child lives with friendliness ............he learns the world is a nice place in which to live.

What is your child living with?



Torah Portion of the week

Miketz, Genesis 41:1 - 44:17

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

Pharaoh likes Joseph's interpretation of his dream and then appoints him to be in charge of Egypt's economy. The Torah states:

"And Pharaoh said to Joseph, 'after the Almighty has informed you of all this, there is no one who is as understanding and wise as you' " (Gen. 41:39).

How could Pharaoh trust Joseph whose resume listed his last two positions as "convict" and "slave"?

Rabbi Chaim Shmuelevitz, the late head of the Mir Yeshiva, explained that Pharaoh saw Joseph's extreme honesty when Joseph began by saying that he had no power to interpret dreams on his own; that it was entirely a gift from the Almighty. Joseph did not want to take credit even for a moment. This total honesty in one minor point showed that Joseph could be completely trusted.

Note that Pharaoh saw one minor positive point in Joseph's character and extrapolated it to a larger scale. This should be our model in viewing people. Keep finding minor strengths and good qualities in others and then give the person positive feedback. This can help someone build a positive self-image. The more a person sees himself as having positive attributes, the more motivated he will be to utilize those strengths for further growth.

Many people have a tendency to notice minor faults and weaknesses in others and then keep telling them that they have major character problems. More can be accomplished to help people by focusing on the positive than harping on the negative ... especially if they have low self-esteem.



Your Chanukah gift via
Bohemian Chanukah --
Kindle the lights,
remember the Maccabees,
and rock on.



Candle Lighting Times

December 7
(or go to

Jerusalem 4:00
Guatemala 5:14 - Hong Kong 5:21 - Honolulu 5:32
J'Burg 6:33 - London 3:34 - Los Angeles 4:26
Melbourne 8:14 - Mexico City 5:40 - Miami 5:12
New York 4:10 - Singapore 6:40 - Toronto 4:23

Quote of the Week

The best present
you can give your children
is your presence



With Deep Appreciation to

Shlomo & Karina Birman

With Special Thanks to

Rabbi David & Rona Holzer



With Tremendous Gratitude to

Marc & Sarah Sheridan

With Heartfelt Recognition to

Jerry & Enid Green


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