Parshas Mikeitz/Shabbos Chanukah/Rosh Chodesh Teves
December 12, 2015 – ל כסלו תשע”ו
At the beginning of the Parsha, Yosef is remembered by Pharaoh’s butler as an expert dream interpreter. Bereishis 41:14 then states, “So Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they rushed him from the dungeon, and he shaved and changed his clothes, and he came to Pharaoh.” On the word ויריצוהו (and they rushed him), Sforno comments that this was characteristic of all of G-d’s interventions when saving someone, that when G-d reverses a situation for the good, He does so in an instant. Sforno adds that it was the same in Egypt, the darkest moment of the Jewish people, when the Jews had sunk to the lowest level of impurity. There, just as with Yosef, G-d rushed the Jews out of slavery and to the highest pinnacle of being.
Hannukah also represents the possibility of G-d’s instant redemption and revelation of presence. When the Hasmoneans, war-weary but victorious, entered the desecrated temple and witnessed the desolation, they were struck with the hopelessness of the situation. Yes, they might have defeated the Syrian-Greeks, but was G-d with them? How could they start to rebuild? The restoration of hope came to them instantly, upon their finding of a single jug of pure oil. The light that came from that oil and miracle accompanying it instantaneously revealed to them the presence of G-d and its derivative hope, much as Yosef was taken from the darkness of the prison in a second.
We ought to bear this in mind for our own lives as well. Whenever everything appears dark and absent of G-d’s presence, and no hope seems left, we can think back to Hannukah, and to Yosef emerging from captivity. When light is created, the darkness immediately disappears, dispelled by the light. We can realize that G-d can change around a situation for the good instantly and reveal his presence and light. Just because we have been caught in a negative circumstance for a long time, it doesn’t mean that we cannot be rushed from it with G-d’s help.