By Rabbi Shemuel Akhamzadeh
זְבוּלֻ֕ן לְח֥וֹף יַמִּ֖ים יִשְׁכֹּ֑ן וְהוּא֙ לְח֣וֹף אֳנִיּ֔וֹת וְיַרְכָת֖וֹ עַל־צִידֹֽן׃
Zebulun shall dwell by the seashore; He shall be a haven for ships, And his flank shall rest on Sidon.
And Rashi explains:
ימים. … שֶׁהָיָה זְבוּלֻן עוֹסֵק בִּפְרַקְמַטְיָא וּמַמְצִיא מָזוֹן
לְשֵׁבֶט יִשָּׂשכָר, וְהֵם עוֹסְקִים בַּתּוֹרָה. הוּא שֶׁאָמַר מֹשֶׁה
שְׂמַח זְבוּלֻן בְּצֵאתֶךָ וְיִשָּׂשכָר בְּאֹהָלֶיךָ (דברים ל”ג),
זְבוּלֻן יוֹצֵא בִּפְרַקְמַטְיָא, וְיִשָּׂשכָר עוֹסֵק בַּתּוֹרָה
Zebulun was engaged in business and provided food for the tribe of
Issachar whilst they engaged in the study of the Torah. It is to this
that Moses alludes, (Deuteronomy 33:18) “Rejoice Zebulun in thy going
out and Issachar in thy tents”, — Zebulun goes forth to trade and
Issachar studies the Torah in the tents (Midrash Tanchuma, Vayechi 11;
cf. Rashi on Genesis ישב אהלים 25:27).
Midrash states Zebulun is blessed for being the supporter of the Torah
of Issachar. Despite the fact that Issachar was older than Zebulun, in
Yaakov’s blessings Zebulun precedes Yissachar. Because Zebulun dealt
with trade and Issachar dealt with Torah, Zebulun would come and feed
Issachar and therefore he blessed Zebulun before his brother.
Pessachim 53a/b tells over a scenario that unfolded during the period
of the Roman Empire. Todos the Roman Jew had instituted a custom that
whole roasted goats were to be eaten by Jews on the eve of Pessach. The
sages who were not happy about his actions ( as this appears like eating
Korban Pessach outside of Jerusalem) sent him a letter of objection
stating, “If you were not Todos we would decree ostracism on you.”
Further the Gemara asks what caused the sages to hold back the decree.
Was Todos an important person, or was he a strong / violent man who they
were afraid? The Gemara provides the reason he was no ostracized.
רבי יוסי בר אבין אמר מטיל מלאי לכיס של תלמידי חכמים היה …
Rabbi Yosei bar Avin said: Todos was one who cast profits from
merchandise into the purse of the Torah scholars (so they could open
businesses). As Rabbi Yoḥanan said: Anyone who casts merchandise into
the purse of Torah scholars is rewarded and sits in the heavenly
Yeshiva, as it is stated, “For in the shadow of wisdom, is the shadow of
money” (Ecclesiastes 7:12). One who provides Torah scholars with
support will merit being with them in the shadow of wisdom.
Rabbi Yosef Shemtov
most fascinating subject in this week’s portion is the confrontation
between Yosef and his brothers. Now Yosef is the prime minister of a
world power, Egypt, and his brothers are strangers who don’t have bread
to eat. Yosef remembers his dreams and his brothers curtly as they had
caused him so much sorrow. He remembers that he stayed in jail for 12 of
the best of his years.
does Yosef respond to his brothers when he introduces himself? “Don’t
worry that you sold me into slavery because G-d has sent me here to
provide you and the family with food.”
did Yosef have such a power to forgive his brothers and comfort them?
This is something supernatural. We know from last week’s portion that
two years of jail time were added to Yosef’s punishment because he put
his trust in human being by asking and begging so much the butler.
these two years Yosef realized that God has a master plan and there
must be a reason for everything that happens to a person. If Yosef went
to jail, there must have been a reason for it. This way Yosef was able
to forgive and forget.
By Rabbi David Shasho
Gemara in Shabbat (21b) says the Mitzvah of Chanukah is to light a
candle for a person and his household and the “Mehadrin,” someone who is
more meticulous, lights a candle for each person in his family. One who
is at an even higher level is the “Mehadrin Min Hamihadrin,” who lights
adding a candle for each night. We see three levels of beautifying this
mitzvah. Why with this mitzvah specifically did the rabbis give more
options to be more meticulous and make the mitzvah more special,
something we don’t find by any other mitzvah?
Midrash says the Yom Tov of Chanukah is a reminder of the Menorah in
the Bet Hamikdosh and we light it to remind us of the miracle that
happened with it. It says three times in the Torah to be careful in the
mitzvah of lighting the menorah, how to light it, and what to light it
with. This is why we have three levels of beautifying the mitzvah, in
the same way it applied to the menorah in the Bet Hamikdosh. We also
find that when they rededicated the menorah, it took time to get money
for a new one. First they made it out of copper, then silver, and
finally gold – three levels of dedication.
Hashem appeased Aharon HaKohen at the time of the Chanukat Hamishkan
(Inauguration of the Tabernacle) with the lighting of the Menorah
because he didn’t get to bring a sacrifice to Hashem as the other
Shevatim had done, the Rambam explains that this alludes to the Chanukah
lighting which takes place even without the Bet Hamikdash.
Rabbis tell us that the Chanukah light emanates from the inner soul of a
Jew and therefore is not limited to a specific time and place. Perhaps
this is because the sefarim teach us that the Menorah and the Chanukah
candles emanate from the Torah Shebe’al Peh, the oral tradition, which
is within the Jewish soul. This is the light which is our source of life
in our bitter exile and will bring us to enjoy the light of Mashiach