Gates Parshas Vayeshev/ Chanukah December 11, 2009
Welcome to Beyond Twelve
Gates. With Chanukah almost upon us, here's an '8 Day Survival Kit' to
help you make it through the holiday with a smile on your face.
-- to remind you to pick out the good qualities in others. 2) Rubber Band
-- to remind you to be flexible, since things don't always go the
way you want. 3) Band-Aid - to remind you to heal hurt
feelings, yours or someone else's 4) Eraser -- to remind you that
everyone makes mistakes, and to forgive them. 5) Chewing gum
-- to remind you that if you stick with it, you can accomplish anything. 6) Hershey
Kisses -- when you need a hug. 7) Candle -- for when
you're up late with someone who needs you. 8) Lifesaver candy
(kosher, of course) -- to remind you that you're a lifesaver to so many
Enjoy a joyous Chanukah --
and remember not to eat too many latkes!
Vayeishev Genesis 37:1-- 40:23
Jacob's favoritism toward
Joseph incites the other brother's hatred. Their jealousy increases when
Joseph tells them about two dreams which indicate that they will one
day be subservient to him. Jacob sends Joseph to check up on his
brothers, and upon seeing him approaching they plot to kill him. Reuben
convinces the brothers not to kill Joseph, but is unable to totally save him
as the brothers sell Joseph into slavery in Egypt.
After dipping Joseph's coat in blood, they return to their father who assumes
that his beloved son was torn apart by a savage beast.
The Torah then digresses to
relate the story of Judah and his
daughter-in-law Tamar. The narrative then returns to Joseph in Egypt, where
he becomes an extremely successful slave and is placed in charge of his
master's household. His master's wife repeatedly tries to seduce Joseph, and
when he refuses he is thrown into prison. Ten years later, Pharoah's
chief butler and baker are placed into the same prison. One
night they each have a perplexing dream that Joseph accurately interprets,
setting the stage for his release from prison.
What is an essential lesson
we should take from Chanukah? Each Chanukah I contemplate the following
beautiful thought that I read many years ago from Rabbi Dr. Abraham Twerski:
Why not light all 8 candles
every night of the holiday, rather than one the first night, two the second,
and so on? The order of the lighting of the Chanukah candles teaches us
First, we should always
seek to increase our enlightenment and not be stagnant. We should never
be satisfied with whatever spiritual growth we have achieved, but should
constantly seek to further our growth.
Secondly, it's a mistake to
grasp too much too fast. Spiritual growth should be gradual, and we should
adapt ourselves to each new level and integrate what we've achieved before
going on to the next step.
Eight lights the first
night would be too much and too soon, and each night thereafter would show no
increase in light. (from Living Each Day, Rabbi Dr. A. Twerski)
Quote of the Week
Practice does not make
perfect; perfect practice makes perfect -- Vince
Joke of the Week
president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ,
not feeling well and concerned about
his mortality, goes to consult a psychic about the date of his death.
The psychic closed her
eyes, uttered some strange incantations, and then said: “You will die on
a Jewish holiday.”
Ahmadinejad asks nervously.
“It doesn't matter,”
replied the psychic. “Any day you die, will be a Jewish holiday.”