It is awesome to be back in Jerusalem again. When we exited from the bus and train station onto Jaffa Street, we were greeted with amplified Hanukah music, a large Hanukah menorah and folks dancing. It was a sight.
This coming Shabbat is Shabbat Hanukah. The parsha, Miketz, continues the Joseph saga and his rise to power as a deeply trusted head of state, known for his wisdom. We note how he responds to the environmental crisis of his day, saving countless people from famine, not only in Egypt, but in the entire region. Joseph, also, does not forget his roots and orchestrates a plan to be reunited with his father and family.
His dedication to resolving these social and familial problems is certainly in sync with the meaning of Hanukah, also reminding us to dedicate or rededicate ourselves to these goals.
Recently, I’ve been reacquainted with the apocryphal story of Judith. You know how the story of Hanukah only mentions the men, Mattathias, Judah, his brothers, and the other Greek Syrian leaders? Where are the women? Well check out the story of Judith.
In ancient times many of our sages and large numbers of Jews made a big deal about this granddaughter of the Yochanan, the high priest and father of Mattathias. Judah and his brothers had a sister! She was remembered. Read up on Judith and think about lighting a candle for her heroism and the heroism of all women who stand up to tyranny.
Bring on the Light! Ohr Chadash Al Tziyon Tair! – Reb David