Hanërot Halalu – הַנֵרוֹת הַלָּלוּ [these lights/candles]
WE KINDLE THESE LIGHTS because of the wondrous deliverance You performed for our ancestors. During the eight days of Chanukah, these lights are sacred; we are not to use them but only to behold them, so that their glow may rouse us to give thanks for Your wondrous acts of deliverance.
From ReformJudaism.org https://reformjudaism.org/torah/portion/mikeitz
Mikeitz (מִקֵּץ — Hebrew for “After [Two Years]”) – Gen. 41:1-44:17
Rosh Chodesh Hanukkah
At the end of two years’ time Pharaoh had a dream: there he was, standing by the Nile, when seven cows came up out of the Nile, handsome and fat. – Genesis 41:1-2
- Joseph interprets Pharaoh’s two dreams and predicts seven years of prosperity followed by seven years of famine. (41:1-32)
- Pharaoh places Joseph in charge of food collection and distribution. (41:37-49)
- Joseph marries Asenath, and they have two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. (41:50-52)
- When Joseph’s brothers come to Egypt to buy food during the famine, Joseph accuses them of spying. He holds Simeon hostage while the rest of the brothers return to Canaan to retrieve Benjamin for him. (42:3-42:38)
- The brothers return to Egypt with Benjamin and for more food. Joseph continues the test, this time falsely accusing Benjamin of stealing and declaring that Benjamin must remain his slave. (43:1-44:17)
Zechariah 4:1-7 [historic: Zechariah 2:14-4:7]
Rosh Chodesh Hanukkah
From Wikipedia.org https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miketz#Haftarah
When Parashat Miketz coincides with the first Sabbath of Chanukah [as it does this year], the haftarah is [from Zechariah, instead of I Kings 3:15-4:1.]
From ReformJudaism.org https://reformjudaism.org/torah/portion/mikeitz
By: Rabbi Stacy Rigler
STRUGGLING WITH TORAH and REFLECTION
Torah Study is cancelled this week and will resume, Friday, December 29, 2022, at 6 PM. The Haftarah for this week is Zechariah 4:1-7. You can read this week’s Torah Portion at https://www.sefaria.org/Genesis.41.1-44.17 and the Haftarah at https://www.sefaria.org/Zechariah.4.1-7
From “The Torah / A Women’s Commentary” edited by Dr. Tamara Cohn Eskenazi and Rabbi Andrea L. Weiss, Ph.D.
מקץ Mikeitz – Genesis 41:1-44:17
Another View – by Yairah Amit, p. 252
“PHARAOH’S DREAM WAS REPEATED–two times–because the matter has been fixed by God, and God is making haste to accomplish it” (41:32).
Why are there so many repetitions in the Hebrew Bible–and in the Torah especially? The Bible usually does not spell out its poetic principles, so that readers are obliged to deduce them from the text itself. Scholars since the 19th century have explained repetition in the Bible as due to its editors having drawn from different sources. But in this parashah, Genesis 41:32 uniquely offers what amounts to a poetic statement, explaining the need for narrative repetition.
The reader wonders why Pharaoh dreams twice–first of cows, then of ears of grain. Joseph explains that “Pharaoh’s dream is one: what God is doing, [God] has revealed to Pharaoh” (41:25). Thus the two dreams have a single solution: God is informing Pharaoh that seven years of abundance will be followed by seven years of famine. But if a single dream would have sufficed, why are there two, and why do they follow so closely? Verse 32 explains that repetition right away means that God had decided the matter and would shortly carry it out.
A close reading reveals that the repetition is not confined to Pharaoh’s dreams but recurs throughout the Joseph story. Joseph himself has two dreams (37:5–9), though not close together–meaning that they would not be realized immediately. Moreover, this story cycle’s use of repeated occurrences–not necessarily dreams–justifies characterizing its plot as advancing by paired structures. For example: Joseph escapes being killed by his brothers thanks to two rescue attempts (37:18–30); the brothers go to Egypt twice to procure rations (42:1–43:25); Joseph twice acts like a stranger to them and punishes them (42:7–28, 44), and more. We may conclude that repetition does not necessarily indicate a plurality of sources or traditions; it may also represent a poetical principle, a device that indicates a fixed divine intention–and sometimes its imminent actualization. In this manner, parashat Mikeitz offers an interpretation of more than Pharaoh’s dreams. It holds a key to the literary and theological use of repletion throughout the Hebrew Bible.
Post-biblical Interpretations – by Deborah Green, pp. 252-253
Pharaoh woke up (41:7). Many ancient Jews used to reflect on a passage from the Torah by juxtaposing it with a passage from the Prophets–called a haftarah–that contains similar themes, turns of phrase, or both. A widely attested haftarah with parashat Mikeitz is I Kings 3:15–4:1, which is the norm even today. Royal dreams form one connection between the two biblical passages. The haftarah echoes the parashah verbally by opening with the words “Solomon woke up,” and then it relates that Israel’s new king had been dreaming.
no one could interpret them (41:8). In B’reishit Rabbah 89.6, the Rabbis explain that Pharaoh’s magicians interpreted his dreams incorrectly. According to the sorcerers, the healthy cows foretold that Pharaoh would sire seven daughters; the starving cows signified that he would bury seven daughters.
“as he interpreted for us, so it came to be” (41:13). Rabbi Eliezer states that “all dreams follow the mouth”; that is, a dream comes true according to how it is interpreted (BT B’rachot 55b). As an example, B’reishit Rabbah 89.8 recounts that a woman came to him and told him of a recurring dream in which her house split open. The first two times she came to the sage, he told her she would give birth to a boy. The third time the rabbi was away; his students told the woman that her husband would die and this immediately came to pass. When the rabbi heard her laments, he accused his students of killing the husband, and cited this verse as his proof. As the anecdote indicates, power rests not in the dream itself, but in the skill, wisdom, and righteousness of the interpreter.
“Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one as discerning and wise as you!” (41:39). The haftarah cited above reiterates the parashah’s mention of wisdom when it recounts how two prostitutes come before King Solomon. Each had recently given birth, but one of the babies had died during the night. Now each woman insists that the living boy is hers. Solomon orders that the surviving baby be cut in two, to be divided between the claimants. When one woman pleads for the child’s life by agreeing to give the baby to the other woman, Solomon declares her to be the true mother. Thereupon, we read, the people “held the king in awe, seeing that he had within him divine wisdom (I King 3:15–4:1).
and gave him Asenath daughter of Potiphera priest of On as a wife (41:45). Uncomfortable with the Bible’s implication that Joseph married a non-Israelite, Jews of the Hellenistic period composed a romance (Joseph and Asenath) in which Asenath, the most beautiful young virgin in Egypt, converts to belief in the one true God before her marriage to Joseph. During the seven years of plenty, Joseph–as second-in-command to Pharaoh–would travel throughout Egypt to collect corn. He stopped at the home of Pentephres (Potiphera, Asenath’s father), where he met the bejeweled and richly attired Asenath. Upon her first sighting of Joseph, the haughty Asenath is smitten by the beauty of this man whom she first considered to be a common Israelite shepherd. Asenath’s parents suggest that the beautiful virgins kiss, but Joseph declines to kiss a woman who eats the sacrificial meat of idols. Asenath retires to her chambers (a high tower) to don sackcloth and ashes and repent before God for her sins of idol worship and selfishness. She throws away her idols, fasts, prays, and humbles herself. On the eighth day of her self-flagellation, an angel appears in Asenath’s room and converts her to Judaism in an otherwise unknown ceremony involving a honeycomb and bees. Joseph returns, sees that Asenath is even more beautiful than before, and–having been informed by the angel of Asenath’s conversion–agrees to marry her in a ceremony before Pharaoh.
Later midrashic traditions also demonstrate uneasiness with the implications of Joseph’s marrying the daughter of an Egyptian priest. The sages told that Asenath was actually Dinah’s daughter from her liaison with Shechem (Genesis 34). To prevent public disgrace to his family when the child was born out of wedlock, Jacob had placed an amulet engraved with the divine name around the baby’s neck, and the angel Gabriel had carried her to Potiphar’s house in Egypt–where Potiphar’s childless wife raised her as her own daughter. (The Rabbis also insisted that Potiphar, Joseph’s master, was identical to Potiphera, Joseph’s father-in-law….) Thus, according to this legend, Joseph ends up marrying his niece–a permitted marriage in Jewish law–and both are preserved from marrying outsiders.
ROSH CHODESH CHANUKAH (TEVET)
Begins at sundown on Friday, December 23, 2022 and ends at nightfall on Sunday, December 25, 2022. Tevet is the tenth month of the Hebrew calendar and the fourth of the civil calendar.
When a Hebrew calendar month is 30 days long, such as the current month of Kislev, day 30 is considered Rosh Chodesh of the next month. Then Rosh Chodesh is two days long: day 30 of the old month and day 1 of the new month.
From “Mishkan T’filah / A Reform Siddur”:
ROSH CHODESH – INSERT (on Shabbat) p.174
OUR GOD and God of our fathers and mothers, on this first day of the new month [of Tevet] be mindful of us and all Your people Israel, for good, for love, for compassion, life and peace.
Remember us for wellbeing. Amen.
Visit us with blessing. Amen.
Help us to a fuller life. Amen.
FOR OUR COUNTRY p.516
THUS SAYS ADONAI, This is what I desire: to unlock the fetters of wickedness, and untie the cords of lawlessness; to let the oppressed go free, to break off every yoke. Share your bread with the hungry, and take the wretched poor into your home. When you see the naked, give clothing, and do not ignore your own kin.
O GUARDIAN of life and liberty, may our nation always merit Your protection. Teach us to give thanks for what we have by sharing it with those who are in need. Keep our eyes open to the wonders of creation, and alert to the care of the earth. May we never be lazy in the work of peace; may we honor those who have [served, suffered or] died in defense of our ideals. Grant our leaders wisdom and forbearance. May they govern with justice and compassion. Help us all to appreciate one another, and to respect the many ways that we may serve You. May our homes be safe from affliction and strife, and our country be sound in body and spirit. Amen.
We recite MI SHEBËRACH for the victims of abuse, brutality, conflicts, fear, natural disasters, pandemics, tragedies, violence of all kinds especially directed at individuals and specific communities including us, and war; for all those at home alone or lonely; for all those in need of physical, emotional, and mental healing. “R’fuah sh’lëmah” – a complete recovery!
We say KADDISH YATOM for those of our friends and families who have died and been buried this last week; those in the period of Sh’loshim (30 days since burial); those who have died in the last year; and those whose Yahrzeits/Anyos occur at this time; as well as the victims of brutality, conflict, disease, natural disasters, pandemics, tragedies, violence of all kinds, and war.
This coming week, 30 Kislev through 6 Tevet, we lovingly remember:
Father of TKH member Mary Caron
TKH Memorial Board, founding member
Those victims of the Sho’ah (Holocaust) who died at this time of year.
“ZICHRONAM LIV’RACHAH” – MAY THEIR MEMORIES BE FOR BLESSING.
TORAH STUDY AND SHAZOOM
Torah Study is cancelled for this Friday, December 23, 2022. Instead, starting at 6 PM on Zoom, we will begin by lighting the Chanukiah then the Shabbat candles each with their specific blessings. We will then have a short service followed by a Chanukah sing-along and party.
Zoom regularly updates its security and performance features. Making sure you have the latest version of Zoom, please join us online this evening with wine/grape juice for Kiddush and Challah for Motzi, and your favorite Chanukah food and drink.
Topic: Chanukah Celebration
Time: Dec 23, 2022 06:00 PM Arizona
To join the Chanukah Celebration click on the following link [you may need to copy it into your browser]: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/72510500854?pwd=Z3VQZWF4U1BBZytNYmh3aHFTWkFDZz09
Meeting ID: 725 1050 0854
Hint: The last character of the password is the number zero. These are the same link/Meeting ID and Passcode we use for our regular Torah Study and Shazoom. We will return to our regular programming on Friday, December 30, 2022.
Chag HaUrim/Chag Chanukah Sameach and Shabbat Shalom – Buen Shabbat/Gut Shabbos!