Divrei HaRav
 

Vayeshev / וישב

Vayeshev / וישב
Yosef refused the advances of the wife of Potifera. The possuk reads “he refused and said 'my master has totally entrusted me with the house-how could I do such a thing and sin to G-d?'” How could he give the impression that if not for the fact that it wasn’t ethical he would transgress the word of HaShem? The answer could be found in a different interpretation of the possuk. Yosef was saying that, on the contrary, the master was totally oblivious to the doings within the house and it would be quite easy for Yosef to transgress but – “I can’t transgress the word of HaShem”. This is related to the Chazal that one should always say the sin is possible but I can’t go against the word of HaShem. This way he will never have an excuse not to listen to HaShem. (Mishulchan Gevoah).

A rav told R’ Chaim Ozer z’l the following story. Through false accusations this rav was placed in jail without any justice or judgement. The rav received a chance to plead his case in front of the minister of justice but only for ten minutes. This is what he said. The original Jewish inmate was Yosef. The possuk says “he was placed in jail with the other captives and he was there in jail”. Why does it say again he was in jail? Also, why does it state the jail “where the captives were?” Also why did Yosef ask to “taken out of this place”. Why not ask for full freedom? The rav continued and said there are two types of people placed in jail, one who had a case or suspicion against him, but has hope to be vindicated. On the other hand, one who is just thrown into jail to remain there forever has no hope to ever be released. This explains the psukim. “He was in jail” for good with no reprieve, therefore he only asked “take me from this place” and at least, place me with people who have a chance. The minister nodded his head in agreement. (Har Tzvi)

Chanucah
We recite full Hallel all eight days of Chanucah. Although women are obligated in lighting the menorah, they seem to be exempt from Hallel. Others feel they are obligated. Likewise the question arises if a mourner would say Hallel on Chanucah. Although the Mishna Brura states emphatically the mourner does not say it, the Kaf HaChaim says he does. Perhaps it depends on the difference between the phrase used by the Gemora in Shabbos 21B and the Rambam. The Gemora tells that the Chachamim established Chanucah for “Yom Tov to praise and thank and say Hallel.” The Rambam quotes it as days of “simcha, joy, and Hallel.” If so, then the Rambam feels that Hallel is a demonstration of one’s joy, just like on the other holidays. If so, they instituted Hallel along the lines of a whole year, and women are exempt. The other opinion disagrees. They attributed a different significance to the Hallel. It is similar to a brocha such as “gomel” or “al hanisim” which, since the women were in danger they certainly should say. Also if it is an expression of joy, a mourner would be exempt, but if it is an expression of thanks, even a mourner should say it.

The Rambam in Hilchos Chanucah describes the story of Chanucah. They were victorious on the 25th day of Kislev. Then they found oil to light the menorah. The בנין שלמה points out that it is implied that it happened on that very day. If so then the first lighting of the menorah would be on the 26th at night. This then is further proof that we celebrate one day for the victory and seven days for the miracle of the lights. He adds that on Purim we celebrate the day we rested because it wasn’t a complete victory because even afterwards we still were servants of Achashverosh.

The Rambam emphasizes that HaShem saved us from the Yevanim but the very next line writes that the Chashmanoyim saved us. Obviously outwardly it appeared as an act of these people but in reality it was the hand of HaShem. How do we know of HaShem’s involvement? The answer is the flask of oil which burnt 8 days. If so, then HaShem caused the miracle to advertise the fact that the victory was from HaShem. We were not the first ones to light the oil to לגלות ולהראות הנס. We are just following the performance of HaKadosh Boruch Hu.

 

 

Previous Parshos

Tazria Metzora Achrei Mos Kedoshim Emor Behar Bechukosai Bamidbar Shavuos Naso Behalosicha Shilach Korach Chukas-Balak Pinchos Matos-Masei Devorim Voeschonon Ekev Reah Shoftim Ki Seitzei Ki Savo Nitzovim - Vayelech Rosh HaShana Haazinu-Yom Kippur Sukkos V'zos HaBrocha Breishis