Torah Tidbits

29 August 2014 / 3 Elul 5774

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Issue 982
Issue 982- Shabbat Parshat Mikeitz - m’vorchim
December 22, 2011
Lead Tidbits
Aliya-by-Aliya Sedra Summary

Aliya by Aliya Sedra Summary

Kohen - First Aliya 14 p’sukim - 41:1-14
[P> 41:1 (146)] Two years have passed since the wine steward had promised to tell Par’o about Yosef. Extra years of languishing in prison, for putting too much faith in a human at the expense of complete faith in G-d (and possibly creating a Chilul Ha- Shem in Yosef’s case, because of who he was and the specific circumstances being what they were).
Let’s clarify… In “normal” circumstances, a person in Yosef’s situation should take steps to get himself out of prison by asking the wine steward (or whomever) to help. But in this case, we can see that the Sar HaMashkim spoke condescendingly about Yosef, calling him a NAAR IVRI. This probably means that he relished the idea that the “Jew boy” relied on him to get out of jail. This, after Yosef’s giving G-d credit for the dream interpretation. We can imagine that in Yosef’s particular situation, his asking the Sar HaMashkim for help would not be the right way to go.
Par’o has two dreams - 7 emaciated cows consuming 7 fat cows without showing the effect of their “meal”, and 7 scorched ears of grain consuming 7 fat, good ears. These dreams upset him very much. He summons his counselors who fail to ease his mood with their unsatisfactory interpretations.
The wine steward finally remembers Yosef and approaches Par’o with his story. “With us there was this Jewish kid…” Par’o orders Yosef’s removal from prison and Yosef is prepared to meet Par’o.
SDT: Rashi points out (actually, he curses) that wicked people, even when they are acknowledging good that was done for them, will belittle those to whom they owe a debt of gratitude. The Wine Steward refers to Yosef as a NA’AR (connotation of a fool), IVRI (a foreigner who doesn’t belong amongst us), EVED (a slave unworthy of leadership).
SDT: There is a Tradition that Yosef was “remembered” on Rosh HaShana and removed from prison to the palace of the king. What happened to Yosef was part of the Divine Plan for enslavement and subsequent redemption of Bnei Yisrael. Perhaps, this gives Rosh HaShana one of its claims to be called ZEICHER LITZI’AT MITZRAYIM, commemorative of the Exodus, as we say in Kiddush. (Also, the Plagues began on Rosh HaShana, and actual slavery ended then).
SDT: When Yosef was brought before Par’o, the Torah tells us that he shaved. Rashi says that it was a sign of respect to royalty. Some say that Yosef was a NAZIR, and he did not drink wine or cut his hair. Nonetheless, he shaved for Par’o.

Levi - Second Aliya 24 p’sukim - 41:15-38
Par’o tells Yosef about his dreams (making some significant changes which Yosef corrects, thus signaling to Par’o the Divine origin of Yosef’s dream interpretations). Yosef tells Par’o that his two dreams are in fact a single message from G-d of His intention to bring seven years of plenty which will be followed by seven years of devastating famine. The years of plenty will not even be remembered (unless measures are taken to properly prepare for them). The doubling of the dream indicates that the events are soon to occur. Yosef suggests what to do during the years of plenty to prepare for the famine. Par’o is highly impressed by the godly person, Yosef.

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Sedra Stats

Mikeitz Stats

Mikeitz Stats
10th of 54 sedras;
10th of 12 in B’reishit
Written on 254.6 lines in a Torah, rank: 6th
The sedra is a single Parsha P’tucha (open) (the LONGEST parsha in the whole Torah)
146 p’sukim - ranks 8th (5th in B’reishit)  tied with B’reishit (the sedra)

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Lead Tidbit

Unifying the Obvious and the Subtle

In analyzing the Chanuka story, we usually point to two different occurrences: The victory of the Chashmona’im over the Greeks and the miracle of the oil. The latter is considered an open, obvious miracle - a one day supply of oil lasting for eight days. The former is viewed as a successful military campaign by a small band of guerrillas over a large organized army - which some short-sighted people see as a natural occurrences without divine assistance and others - Traditional Judaism - as a hidden, subtle miracle made of a combination of human effort and G-d’s helping hand. According to Jewish Tradition and Practice, Chanuka celebrates both the victory and the oil with an 8-day festival, the saying of Hallel on each day and the lighting of the Chanuka lights on each night. The additional prayer in the Amida and in Birkat HaMazon - AL HANISIM - seems to highlight the victory and the mitzva of NER CHANUKA seems to highlight the miracle of the oil.

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Guest Article

Word of the Month

A weekly feature of Torah Tidbits to help clarify practical and conceptual aspects of the Jewish Calendar, thereby better fulfilling the mitzva of haChodesh HaZeh Lachem…

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Other Tidbits
TTriddles "Report"

TTriddles

This week’s TTriddles:
[1] I hate prime numbers - never use them. Still lighting in increasing numbers each night, how many do I light altogether?
[2] I love prime numbers - use only them. Lighting in increasing numbers each night, how many do I light altogether?
[3] The letters of Adam, Par’o, & Eliyahu
[4] More Chanuka math: As a hidur mitzva, I light only with abundant numbers of candles, increasing each night. How many do I light altogether?
[5] He’s bad in here
[6] The Chanuka bird - The penguin
[7] You, madam, have an Elcarim
[8] One Unexplained from the ParshaPix
[9] The two MazalPics (or at least the newer one)

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Divrei Menachem

Divrei Menachem

O to dream! Yes, long before Freud raised our consciousness as to the relevance of dreams in our lives, the Torah described several dreams, some of which illustrated one of Hashem’s ways of communicating with us, and some that served to exalt His name among the nations.
We first encountered Ya’akov’s dream of a ladder extending to heaven (and who hasn’t dreamed of climbing up its steps?). We also read of Yosef’s dreams, and how they impinged, variously, on his father Yaakov, his brothers, and Yosef himself. For Yosef, these dreams propelled him into the future, deter- mining his every move in Egypt.

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ParshaPix Explanations

Parsha Pix

Top-left is the Davka Judaica graphic of Paro and his dream(s)
Mickey Mouse, as the sorcerer’s apprentice, represents the wizards of Egypt who were unable to satisfactorily interpret Par’o's dreams. (Just as Mickey was unable to stop the mops from drawing more and more water)
When the Wine Steward finally told Par’o about Yosef, he (Yosef) was brought up from the dungeon and cleaned up. Tradition tells us that it was Rosh HaShana when Yosef was brought before Par’o - hence, the Shofar…

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"From Machon Puah"

Supervision - The Halachic Sources

This week we continue our discussion of halachic supervision for fertility treatments and sources for the need for supervision.
The Mishna (Yevamot 4:10) discusses a woman who was previously married and her husband died or the couple got divorced, she has to wait for a mini- mum of three months before getting remarried. The Gemara (Yevamot 42b) explains the reason: “Rabbi Nachman and Shmuel said, Since the verse states “to be your God and for your children after you”, we need to distinguish between the offspring of the first [husband] and the offspring of the second [husband].”
Since the woman in question may become pregnant and give birth within seven months of marriage a question would be raised as to whether the child born was the offspring of the second husband and the child was born prematurely, or whether he was the child of the first husband and was born after nine months of pregnancy.
To ensure that such a situation would not arise, the halacha in all cases is to demand a “grace period” of three months during which the woman is not permitted to remarry.

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Portion of the Portion

Fanatic? Who Me?

This past Shabbat we had a guest who inspired us with his personal story. He grew up in America as a normal assimilated (wild) Jewish kid. When he was in his 20s he decided he wanted to join the Israeli army for a bit of structure to his life - for some rules. He ended up in the tank battalion. One day while sitting in his tank on the Syrian border he became anxious as he realized that if there was to be a war he might actually die in this tank and he began to ask himself why in the world was he doing this? Why had he given up his comfortable life in the US to sit in a cramped tank which could turn into his coffin? He wondered if he were to die just then what he would be dying for and was it really worth it to him? Maybe he should just quit the army then and there. While all these thoughts came rushing at him he finally gained clarity and realized that he actually was willing to die for the Jewish people. This realization caused him to delve deeper into what it means to be Jewish. He became religious and is not only willing to die for Judaism but to live it as well.

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Parsha Points to Ponder

Parsha Points to Ponder

1) Why does the Torah say that Pa’ro woke up AND BEHOLD IT WAS A DREAM (41:7)? Would anyone have thought that Pa’ro thought that what he experienced in the dream was true?
2) Why did Yosef OPEN ALL the warehouses of food during the famine (41:56)? Wouldn’t it have been wise to open what they needed and to open others as they needed more?
3) Why does the Torah repeat that Yosef recognized his brothers (see 42:7 and :8)?

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Chizuk and Idud

CHIZUK and IDUD for Olim not yet Olim respectively

An allusion to Chanuka in Parshat Miketz may be found in Par’o’s dreams, where “The poor-looking, thin cows ate the seven fine-looking, healthy cows” and “The thin ears of corn swallowed the seven healthy, wholesome ears.” This parallels “You delivered the mighty into the hands of the weak and the many into the hands of the few,” which we recite in Al HaNisim.
It is obvious from these weeks’ Torah readings that Yosef, and later his brothers and father, Yaakov, had no desire to “go down” to Egypt. Hashem, however, decreed otherwise, and for reasons beyond their control, they remained in Mitzrayim until their passing. Yet their love and reverence for the Holy Land is reflected in their desire even just to be buried there. Indeed, all of them were eventually laid to rest in Eretz Yisrael. How fortunate are we, their descendants, who are able to live where they, during Yisrael’s first exile, could not!

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Wisdom & Wit

Wisdom and Wit

R’ Yosef Zundel of Salant was once seen with a hammer in his hand, fixing the gate to his home. Some passers-by felt that it was inappropriate for the Rav to be doing such work on his own, and they believed that he should have sent his shamash out to do the work.

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Jewish Law

Lesson # 576 Pit Damage

As was stated in the previous lesson, Reuven is liable whether he deliberately or inadvertently dug or uncovered the pit. Reuven is liable whether he himself dug the pit or uncovered the pit. He is liable whether he dug the pit, purchased it, inherited it or received it as a gift. Reuven is liable even if the pit was full of wool shearings or the like that may soften the fall for the animal, person or vessel. Reuven is liable for digging or uncovering a pit in a public street or that opens into a public street. If Reuven’s animal digs a pit, Reuven is not liable - if Shimon or Shimon’s animal and/or Shimon’s vessels are killed, injured or damaged by falling into such a pit. This despite of the fact that the pit was dug in such a place and in such manner that Reuven would have been liable had he dug it himself.             

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In This Issue of Torah Tidbits

Candle Lighting and Havdala

Candle Lighting Sponsored By:

Sedra Stats

Mikeitz Stats
10th of 54 sedras;
10th of 12 in B’reishit
Written on 254.6 lines in a Torah, rank: 6th
The sedra is a single Parsha P’tucha (open) (the LONGEST parsha in the whole Torah)
146 p’sukim - ranks 8th (5th in B’reishit)  tied with B’reishit (the sedra)

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Word of the Month