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Parshas Mikeitz - It's Not How You Start; It's Where You Finish!               3 Teves 5784

12/22/2023 09:43:48 AM


This week’s Dvar Torah is sponsored by:

Bette Gould in memory of her father, Michoel ben Dov, Mr. Max Landau, on his Yahrzeit the 2nd of Teves                                     

Victor Wahba in memory of his father, Yaakov ben Avraham, Mr. Jacques Wahba on his Yahrzeit the 4th of Teves .

The Rabbis, of blessed memory, coined a phrase "הכל הולך אחר החתום"  - “everything follows the conclusion,”: the culmination of something is the crown for the entire event. The Gemara in Avoda Zorah tells us that even a person who sinned his entire life but did Teshuva/repented at the end of his life is considered as if his entire life had been lived in righteousness. L’Havdil - to make a separation between the holy and mundane - in sports, a team could be messing up the entire game, but if they manage to win the game, all the negative is forgotten. However, the reverse scenario is equally true, because the end reflects on everything that came before it.

Today, the eighth day of Chanukah, is referred to as “Zos Chanukah”, This Chanukah! The naming of the day is taken from the Torah reading of the last day of Chanukah. The Torah states in Bamidbar 7:84 "זאת חנוכת המזבח ביום המשח אתו..."  “That was the dedication offering for the altar given by the princes of Israel on the day that it was anointed”.  This dedication took place after all the princes had brought their dedicated sacrifices to inaugurate the Mishkan.  The last day of Chanukah is not ‘just’ the last day;  it is the day that encapsulates all eight days of Chanukah together. The eighth day of Chanukah seems to have the power and effect of all the eight days of Chanukah combined.

I heard Rav Boruch Rosenblum from Bnei Brak speak about today. He said in the sifrei Chassidus, a great deal of writing is devoted to the holiness of Zos Chanukah, the last day of Chanukah. The Rebbe of Ruzhin taught: The levels which even the greatest Tzadikim are unable to reach on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur are attainable for a simple, uneducated Jew to attain on Zos Chanukah. Alternatively, it was said that whatever great tzadikim can accomplish on the Days of Awe (Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur), every single Yid/Jew can achieve with his prayers on Zos Chanukah! It is further explained in the name of the Ariza”l, that the amazing thing we all say in the morning Birkas Krias Shema in the Bracha of Yotzair Hameoros, we mention eight praises of HaKadosh Boruch Hu, "פועל גבורות, עשה חדשות, בעל מלחמות, זורע צדקות, מצמיח ישועות, בורא רפואות, :נורא תהלות, אדון הנפלאות" For He alone is the 1. Performer of mighty deeds 2. Maker of new things 3. Master of battles 4. Sower of acts of righteousness 5. Causer of deliverance to sprout forth 6. Creator of cures 7. Awesome in praise 8. Master of wonders! Each one of these eight praises is compared and connected to the eight days of Chanukah. The praise of God being the performer of good deeds is connected to the first Ner/light of Chanukah, the maker of new things is connected to the second Ner of Chanukah and so on. The final praise of Adon HaNiflaos is contrasted to Zos, the eighth and last day of Chanukah - today - the day we lit the last light.

The Bovober Rebbe explained that this is what Dovid HaMelech had in mind when he composed Hallel 118 "מאת ה' היתה זאת, היא נפלאת בעינינו"  - “This is Adonoy’s doing, it is a marvel in our eyes.” God’s doing was that He gave us Zos Chanukah. The Bobover Rebbe asks, ”Why did Hashem give us this day? Because it is a marvel in our eyes!” The ‘marvel in our eyes’ is reflected in the eighth praise of Hashem being the Master of all wonders.

As we look around the world today, seeing Jews from all corners of the earth, do we not think for a moment that there aren’t Jews who don’t need Niflaos -  wondrous things - in their lives? Are there any Jews in the world who don’t need salvation from the One above? Are there Jews in the world who couldn’t use a miracle or two from God? Everybody needs something, whether it is a livelihood, health, a shidduch (a mate), shalom bayis (peace in the home), chinuch - to educate our children properly. Everything and anything that a person needs Hashem will give to the person who turns to Hashem for help and guidance.  This is the time, Zos Chanukah, the time and the day of wondrous things that Hashem will give. This idea of Chanukah is powerfully connected to this week’s Torah portion.

The Torah in this week’s Parshas Mikeitz in Berishis 41:14 states: "וישלח פרעה ויקרא את יוסף ויריצהו מן הבור..."  “Pharoah sent messengers and had Joseph summoned, and they rushed him from the pit or dungeon”. The Gemara Rosh Hashana tells us that Yosef was summoned on Rosh Hashana. Rabbeinu Ovadia, in his commentary Seforno, explains that they rushed Yosef out of jail. Why did they need to rush? What was the urgency? The Seforno explains that when the time of salvation arrives, it comes in a moment. Once that moment arrives, we must act swiftly, we run to do it. Yosef’s salvation came, and he was set free. Yosef needed to act quickly.

Sometimes a person complains that nothing is going well for him or her. He can’t make a living, can’t find his/her bashert. He or she is old and sick, our children aren’t following in the way we raised them, this is not going well, that is not happening, etc. This final, eighth day of Chanukah provides everyone the opportunity to get out of his or her pit. Everybody has their pit in which we find ourselves at one point or another in the course of our lives. Each and everyone one of us is in our private pit, struggling with our “peckle”. Some of us have multiple troubles in life and for some there are too many to list. Nevertheless, on this day of Zos Chanukah, we have the spiritual capacity to swiftly leave the pit because the 8th day is the day of Adon HaNiflaos.

May HaKadosh Baruch Hu, the Master of all wonders, bring wondrous happenings to every Jewish home, to each and every one of us, and may the light of the neiros Chanukah shine brightly in every home, bringing the ultimate Geulah Sheleima, the complete redemption, speedily in our days. Amen!

Ah Gutten Shabbos

Rabbi Avraham Bogopulsky

Mon, April 15 2024 7 Nisan 5784