Mikeitz 5772

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

At the end of every parsha, the chumash tells us the number of pesukim of the parsha. However, for parshas miketz, the number of words (which is 2025) is also included. Using gematria, the Vilna Gaon shows us the significance of this number. The Hebrew word for candle ("ner") has a numerical value of 250. Multiply that by 8 (number of nights of Chanukah) and you get 2000. The 25 is the same as the date of Chanukah, being 25 Kislev, resulting in a total of 2025. This is a cute reason why Miketz always falls out on Shabbos Chanukah.

Vayeishev 5772

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

After Yosef interprets the dreams of the butler and baker, he mentions in passing that he was "stolen from the land of the Hebrews" (40:15), revealing to them that he is Jewish. The Chizkuni says because of this, Yosef was zocheh to be buried in Israel (unlike Moshe, which the posuk describes him as an "Egyptian man" in the story of him saving Yisro's daughters). This teaches us an important yesod. We must never be afraid or embarrassed to say we are Jewish, no matter where we live or what we do.
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