Friday, December 16, 2011

Parsha Vayeitze 2, Vayishlach, Vayeshev, Chanucha Halacha and 3 Stories

The non-observant person and the Reform
Was as I wrote traveling and giving my wife a vacation for the past more than three weeks but still thousands of miles away from Moshav Nechelim where her parents live; she managed to continue manage the building of a new house by her aged father. Where I was with a non-religious non-observant retired friend from work we traveled together and I was invited by a number of people to conduct Friday Night Services being the first Rabbi that they saw in a long time in the area. I came to the place for an acceptance of an early Shabbos with my religious standards and the people came with their lack of religious standards. I noticed the men and women mixed as if I were giving a Torah lecture. I asked them to do me a favor and either the women move to the right or two the left or visa versa and I would lead the prayers. There was a tenacious refusal by all to pray according to the laws of Moshe and Yisrael. (I did not tell them that in such a Minyan the Shechina would be absent and the Accuser would be dancing with joy.) I wished them well and told them basically the equalivent of live and be well – just far from me.) I did not succeed like the Rabbi with the Reform Congregation in the Far East and most likely because the people that I dealt with were first or second generation breakaways from Torah Judaism.
My non-observant Israeli friends came to the Services and when they saw the prayer book turned inside out, upside down and sideways by the Reform they thought what a joke was being made of our religion. The friends did not have the same conviction as I to walk out but were disgusted and appauled by the prayers. Reform call themselves the name Progressive Judaism but the only Progess that they make in their observance is in one direction as the Satan rubs his hands with joy.
Last but not least, I was born 6th generation Reform on my mother’s side and third generation non-observant on my father’s side. There is always a possibility of return to true Torah Judaism but there are obstacles. Included below in my commentary on the Rape of Dina a true story of a bi-product of a retun because of a Reform Conversion a few generations back by a front line IDF soldier.
Chanucha – Purim – Gambling – and Purpose
From my porch in Hollywood, FL I can look and view the Hard Rock Casino. I have never been inside even though I have driven past it on 441 between Sterling and Griffin Road on my way to one of the various Kosher Super Markets. Purim is connected with a drawing of which month and which day to murder all of Am Yisrael. Chanucha has the Top or in Yiddish Dredel or in Hebrew Savivon. Now in places like Las Vegas if one gets a Royal Flush on their machine instead of the normal chance of 64,000 to one; one can only win $5,000 so the odds are 12 to 1 in favor of the house even if you win on top of the 64,000 to 1. So essentially before the house would ever pay approximately the $64,000 one would spend $768,000 or more into the house or $64,000 and pay out only $5,000. Not bad at all. The FL lottery is a little bit fairer and the prize is nice so once or two a year I might put in the money which if I lose will mostly go to education or in Israel at least half is used for various civilian projects. In contrast to this, the Jewish Game for children is not for losing. The odds are in favor of the child. 25% of the time, the child will win all; 25% of the time the child wins half; 25% of the time nothing happens and there is only a 25% chance of losing. A not bad odd for the object of the game on Chanucha is to make the child have some joy. After looking into this; I came to the conclusion that Chanucha is not actual teaching the child to gamble but it is a game like Monopoly, Parchisi, Big Business, Go-Fish, etc. and a fun way to give the child joy on Chanucha.
The Goal of Chanucha is to advertise the miracles publically! Even most amazing with the story of Chanucha is that there is no story in the Tanach at all. The story appears in chapter two of Shabbos regarding the miracle of the 8 days of light from a small cruise of oil enough for one day. There is elsewhere in Shabbos a story of Jews hiding out from the enemy in caves and because of a certain type of shoe entering the cave that people panicked in trying to escape and many were trampled to death. It was at this point that the ruling for war on Shabbos and Pekeuch Nefesh came. It was obvious that if the enemy is not observing Shabbos or Yom Tov and he knows that we are; he will take advantage of us. This is essentially what the Arabs did with the Yom Kippur War - attack while nobody will be listening to the radio to either get called up or take shelter. The story of Yehudis appears in the Kitzur Shuchan Aruch and not in the form of a story. The wars of Yehuda and Shimon HaMacabee do not appear elsewhere in official liturgy. In fact we only come across the mention of Modiin in Pessachim regarding the boundary for being too far or close enough in to perform a Pessach Korban or not. Thus Kiriat Sefer and Chashmonayim of today would be in and Mevo Modiin would be ever so slightly exempt or perhaps has the crow flies it is within the same radius from Yerushalayim. (More of this perhaps on Pessach) In fact the only places where we learn about the Macabees are from Josephus or non-Jewish writing as our historical sources. Although Macabees 1 and 2 were originally Jewish in nature we find them only in “Outside Books.”
So when you light the candles remember the miracles and establish our freedom by bolding proclaiming the miracle in public with the in the blessings.
Parsha Vayeitze Continued
On Shabbos, I heard two Drashos that if I don’t write them down will be lost from my memory and they are well worth writing about. So I will skip this year the part about the Shidduch switch and the genenic engineering feat of Yacov with the Sheep and go into sections which should be of interest to all without making the Drasha too long.
Rabbi Shabbasai Alpern Shlita (Chief Chabad Shaliach of Brazil for 53 years) opened up his Drasha as follows: And Yacov prayed the hint to prayer times is in the names of the the Patriachs. Avraham where the second letter is a Bet or Vet which hints at Boker or morning prayers and the name Yitzchak the second letter Tzade is for Tzorchorayim or afternoon and Yacov the second letter is Ayin for Erev or night prayers. Better still the prayers are hinted about in the word Shema as Shin stands for Shacharis, Mem stands for Mincha and Ayin for Arvit prayers. Rushing through the prayers can be like the following story.
The rich land owner came to the town and asked the people for a solution to a problem that he had only three men were able to solve it. He asked them for what reward they wanted. The first wanted the noble’s daughter’s hand in marriage. The second wanted to be in the noble’s treasury for five minutes and to take what he wanted. The third a simple man wanted only to have some land of his own. The noble told him – You may walk as far as you can walk and return to me by sundown but you must walk it and not run it starting form early morning. The next day the man showed up at the noble’s house and started walking he ignored the help of his wife and children and walked fast not stopping to eat or drink. On the way out people asked him for charity and he told them tomorrow, I will be able to help you but not today. On the way back the people in the Schul asked him to help be a 10th man for the Minyan but he was too engaged to stop. He arrived at the Noble’s house just as the sun was setting and dropped dead on the spot. The Noble then said give the man a plot of land six feet long by two feet wide and six feet deep as he will need no more now. The moral of the story is simple we have to give charity to save us from death, we have to put G-D before everything and take time to pray and lastly working for Panasa = income without any spiritual goal is empty from substance.
Rabbi Yossi Yankowitz Shlita on why all the mothers were childless instead of Leah. We see that Sarah was barren and Avraham prayed. We see that Rivka was barren and Yitzchak prayed and lastly we see that Rachel was barren and Yacov prayed. What happened was that Leah prayed that she would not marry Esav. Her prayers were heard and by her own merits she bore children.
Rabbi Yacov Lustig Shlita pointed out the following passage:
22 And it was told Laban on the third day that Jacob was fled. 23 And he took his brethren with him, and pursued after him seven days' journey; and he overtook him in the mountain of Gilead. 24 And God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream of the night, and said unto him: 'Take heed to thyself that thou speak not to Jacob either good or bad.' 25 And Laban came up with Jacob. Now Jacob had pitched his tent in the mountain; and Laban with his brethren pitched in the mountain of Gilead. … 29 It is in the power of my hand to do you hurt; but the God of your father spoke unto me yesternight, saying: Take heed to thyself that thou speak not to Jacob either good or bad. … 43 And Laban answered and said unto Jacob: 'The daughters are my daughters, and the children are my children, and the flocks are my flocks, and all that thou seest is mine; and what can I do this day for these my daughters, or for their children whom they have borne? 44 And now come, let us make a covenant, I and thou; and let it be for a witness between me and thee. ….
View this as a Goy Kadosh vs. a Goy without Kedusha
In the name of a Rosh Yeshiva, he said that Laban says see what a nice Goy I am. I can hurt you but I will not. Nobody asked this man for a favor and to play nice by not killing Yacov. We don’t need good or bad from this character. In fact sometimes when we get something from a non-Jew it distracts us from Torah and Mitzvos. When we are beaten and segregated from the Goy we are wary but love can in the course of time lead to intermarriage and removal of our Jewish Education System. I say - Then he says that everything you own is mine. One minute didn’t Yacov work for the daughters and the flocks? There is a problem. Israelis invent wireless technology, and various chips and then the terrorist use this technology against us.
32:1 And early in the morning Laban rose up, and kissed his sons and his daughters, and blessed them. And Laban departed, and returned unto his place. 2 And Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him. 3 And Jacob said when he saw them: 'This is God's camp.' And he called the name of that place Mahanaim.
This is the tie-in between the start of our Parsha with Yacov dreaming of the the Angels to the end where Yacov meets with the Angels and lastly with the start of the next Parsha where Yacov sends Angels (which are translated as messagers of G-D to regular messengers to Esav). Note also that the beginning of the Parsha Yacov sees the different Angels between the land of Israel and Chootz LaAretz (outside of Israel) changing places and now it is the Angels of Chootz LaAretz and Eretz Yisrael changing places.
Parsha Vaylishach
The Actions of the Fathers is a Sign for the Children
In this Parsha there is a story of Yacov wrestling with the Angel and that is the Angel of Esav who has come to attack him. As Yacov succeeds in contending with the Angel of Esav he essentially succeeds in overcoming the spiritual as well as the physical. However, whenever a Jew ends up in conflict with a Goy; he is injured somehow. It never mattered if the Jew had a debate during the Middle-Ages with an apostate Jew or a Christian Scholar there was always some injury to the Jew. When the Talmud was put on trial in Paris by King Edward in the 13th Christian Century and a debate occurred; the outcome was known from the start and the Talmud burned. In Spain the Ramban defended the Talmud but the Church managed eventually to put through the inquisition. When the Protestants fought the Catholics in countries during the religious wars, the Jews were caught in the middle. So Yacov won the battle with the Angel but he came out limping.

Unfortunately, our Israeli “Leaders” are not religious so they do not heed the lesson from the story with the deeds of Yacov. Lavan was an enemy Goy and so Yacov put on an exterior defense. Esav was a different story. 10. And Jacob said, "O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, the Lord, Who said to me, 'Return to your land and to your birthplace, and I will do good to you.' 11. I have become small from all the kindnesses and from all the truth that You have rendered Your servant, for with my staff I crossed this Jordan, and now I have become two camps. 12. Now deliver me from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau, for I am afraid of him, lest he come and strike me, [and strike] a mother with children. Esav is a brother and an internal threat. External threats such as Iran, Israel has problems dealing with them but the threat is real and strong out there. Internal threats such as non-Jews coming from Russia and Reform Conversions become an internal threat. {Murders, alcohol, prostitution, Russian Mafia, etc. have come in with people allowed The Law of Return to come from Russia, Ethiopia and various Western Countries.}

The internal problem is harder to deal with than the external threat for let us say a soldier boy meets a beautiful soldier girl by the name of Aviva. They fall madly in love and truly are an ideal couple. However, Aviva’s materal grandmother was converted by a Reform “Rabbi”. The solution to Aviva’s case is for her to convert which often happens unless the soldier is a Cohain which would make her forbidden in any event. The brother who loves you or the Mormon in Utah who wants to save your soul and give you heaven by making you his good brother - would help you in his opinion; but is more of a threat to Judaism than 100 Cossacks with swords or the 10,000 rockets we were pelted with from Gaza because the ‘brother’ takes us in like our own evil inclination. Yacov saw this brotherly threat as an internal conflict and more for undermining Judaism by assimilation that the murders of the Romans, Inquisition and Nazis.
Yacov prepared for meeting with Esav by three things. 1) Placation in words – my lord Esav. 2) The various gifts to bribe him. 3) And if necessary war with a tiered defense strategy.
If I was an Israeli Leader going to meet with President Obama I would flatter him as leader of the free world, give his narcissis self a portrait of him done by an Israeli artists of being carried on the shoulders of various blue collar workers as their hero for freeing them of their chains. Lastly I would be prepared to fight him with Israeli Friends in the House and Senate and through our G-D given right to our land.

4. Jacob sent angels ahead of him to his brother Esau, to the land of Seir, the field of Edom.

Jacob sent angels: Heb. מַלְאָכִים, literally angels (Gen. Rabbah 75:4).

to the land of Seir: Heb. אַרְצָה שֵׂעִיר [like] לְאֶרֶץ שֵׂעִיר, to the land of Seir. [In] every word that requires the prefix “lammed” [to] at the beginning, Scripture placed a“heh” at the end. — [from Yev. 13b]

5. And he commanded them, saying, "So shall you say to my master to Esau, 'Thus said your servant Jacob, "I have sojourned with Laban, and I have tarried until now.

I have sojourned: Heb. גַּרְתִּי. I did not become an officer or a dignitary, but a stranger (גֵּר) . It is not worthwhile for you to hate me on account of your father’s blessing, [with] which he blessed me (27:29):“You shall be a master over your brothers,” for it was not fulfilled in me (Tanchuma Buber Vayishlach 5). Another explanation: גַּרְתִּי has the numerical value of 613. That is to say: I lived with the wicked Laban, but I kept the 613 commandments, and I did not learn from his evil deeds.

Two questions arise upon the Rashi. 1) It is before Matan Torah at Sinai which will be over 200 years into the future so Yacov is only required to observe 7 Mitzvos even though Avraham and Yitzchak suspossedly observed most of the Mitzvos. I believe this concept since the Brahmans observe Tumay and Tahor and Taharos Mishpacha to a certain extent. 2) The second question is stronger since one of the Mitzvos is not to marry two sisters in the life-time of the first sister wife. This is one of the 613 Mitzvos. The only possible explanation is that Yacov told Esav in the hint that he behaved and was likened to observe all the Mitzvos. Essentially at this point it was Yacov who produced Yisrael and Levi and from Levi the Cohanim. But Yacov is the progenerator of all and therefore all the Mitzvos that below to the Cohain and Levi or Yisrael are within the genetic structure of Yacov.

6. And I have acquired oxen and donkeys, flocks, manservants, and maidservants, and I have sent to tell [this] to my master, to find favor in your eyes.' "

And I have acquired oxen and donkeys: My father said to me, (27:28):“of the dew of the heavens and [of] the fatness of the earth,” but this is neither from the heavens nor from the earth. — [from Tanchuma Buber Vayishlach 5]

oxen and donkeys: Heb. שׁוֹר וַחִמוֹר, lit., an ox and a donkey. It is customary to call many oxen “ox.” A person says to his companion at night, “The rooster has crowed,” but does not say, “The roosters have crowed.” - [from Tanchuma Buber Vayishlach 5]

and I have sent to tell [this] to my master: to let [you] know that I am coming to you. —

to find favor in your eyes: That I am at peace with you and seek your love. —

Esav is not interested in the gifts or the love. He is wealthy enough and hates Yacov more than either of this.

7. The angels returned to Jacob, saying, "We came to your brother, to Esau, and he is also coming toward you, and four hundred men are with him."

We came to your brother, to Esau: Concerning whom you said,“He is my brother,” but he still behaves toward you like the wicked Esau. He still has hatred (Genesis Rabbah 75:7).

After 14 years in the Beis Medrash of Shem and another 20 years with Lavan; the hatred is still festering and burning with Esav.

8. Jacob became very frightened and was distressed; so he divided the people who were with him and the flocks and the cattle and the camels into two camps.

Jacob became…frightened, and…distressed: He was frightened lest he be killed (Gen. Rabbah 75:2, Tanchuma, Vayishlach 4), and he was distressed that he might kill others.

G-D in HIS great mercy dispersed the Jews all over the world so if it was bad for the Jews in one country another would accept them. Berlin at one time was called the Jerusalem of the West but when the Reform Jews started in Germany and assimilation occurred we produced the Christian Karl Marx and Adolph Hitler (may his name be erased). So Yacov split up the camp in order to save some of the children and women from Esav.

9. And he said, "If Esau comes to one camp and strikes it down, the remaining camp will escape."

one camp and strikes it down: Heb. וְהִכָּהוּ הַמַחִנֶה הָאַחַת. [The word] מַחִנֶה is used both in the masculine and feminine genders. [Other examples are:] (Ps. 27:3):“If a camp encamps (תַּחִנֶה) against me.” This is feminine. (Below, 33: 8)“this (הַזֶה) camp.” That is masculine. Likewise, there are other things (nouns) that are used both in the masculine and feminine genders, e.g. (above 19:23):“The sun (הַשֶׁמֶשׁ) came out (יָצָא) upon the earth” ; (Ps. 19:7):“From the end of the heavens is its source (מוֹצָאוֹ) .” These are masculine. (II Kings 3:22):“the sun shone (זָרְחָה) on the water.” This is feminine. And likewise, רוּחַ, wind (Job 1:19):“when, behold, a great (גְדוֹלָה) wind came (בָּאָה) .” This is feminine;“and struck (וַיִגַע) the four corners of the house.” This is masculine. [Another instance is] (I Kings 19:11):“and a great (גְדוֹלָה) and strong (וְחָזָק) wind, splitting (מְפָרֵק) mountains.” This is both masculine and feminine. Likewise, אֵשׁ, fire, as (Num. 16:35):“And fire went forth (יָצְאָה) from before the Lord,” feminine gender; (Ps. 104:4):"burning (לֹהֵט) fire, masculine gender.

the remaining camp will escape: Against his will, for I will wage war with him. He (Jacob) prepared himself for three things: for a gift, for war, and for prayer. For a gift, [as Scripture says] (verse 22): “So the gift passed on before him.” For prayer, [as Scripture says] (verse 10): “God of my father Abraham…” For war, [as Scripture says]: “the remaining camp will escape.” - [from Tanchuma Buber, Vayishlach 6]

When the Chofetz Chaim saw this passage he cried and predicted that Esav would fall upon one came (Europe) but one will remain as a refuge. He was asked where will the refuge be and he quoted this week’s Haphtorah the Novi Ovadiah “On Har Tzion b’ Yerushalayim”. “And the house of Jacob shall be fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau shall become stubble” (Obadiah 1:18). One spark will emerge from Joseph, which will destroy and consume them all. From an old Rashi.) [From Tanchuma Vayeshev 1]

10. And Jacob said, "O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, the Lord, Who said to me, 'Return to your land and to your birthplace, and I will do good to you.'

and God of my father Isaac: But elsewhere (31:42), it says: and the Fear of Isaac. Moreover, why did he repeat the Tetragrammaton? Scripture should have written: “Who said to me, ‘Return to your land, etc.’ ” Rather, so did Jacob say before the Holy One, blessed be He: You gave me two promises: one when I left my father’s house from Beer-sheba, when You said to me (28: 13): “I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father, and the God of Isaac,” and there You said to me, (ibid., verse 15): “and I will guard you wherever you go.” And in Laban’s house You said to me (31:3), “Return to the land of your forefathers and to your birthplace, and I will be with you.” There You revealed Yourself to me with the Tetragrammaton alone, for it is said:“And the Lord (יהוה) said to Jacob, ‘Return to the land of your forefathers, etc.’” With these two promises I am coming before You.

It is standard in our prayers to mention the merits of our fathers and promises that HASHEM has given to us.

11. I have become small from all the kindnesses and from all the truth that You have rendered Your servant, for with my staff I crossed this Jordan, and now I have become two camps.

I have become small: My merits have diminished because of the kindnesses and the truth that You have rendered me. Therefore, I fear lest I have became sullied with sin since [the time that] You promised me, and it will cause me to be delivered into Esau’s hand[s]. — [from Shab. 32a, Ta’anith 20b, Ber. 41]

and from all the truth: The realization of Your words, that You kept for me all the promises that You made to me.

for with my staff: I had with me neither silver nor gold nor livestock, but only my staff. The Midrash Aggadah states: He placed his staff into the Jordan, and the Jordan split. — [from Tanchuma Buber, Vayetze 3; Aggadath Bereishith 45:2]]

Our Sages say that if a miracle occurs for us, we should be wary lest our merits decrease. Yacov was worried as all the miracles that occurred for him during his 20 years with Lavan and the conflict with Lavan which ended in direct intervention of HASHEM through a dream to protect Yacov.

12. Now deliver me from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau, for I am afraid of him, lest he come and strike me, [and strike] a mother with children.

from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau: From the hand of my brother, who does not behave toward me like a brother, but like the wicked Esau. — [apparently from Gen. Rabbah 75:7]

13. And You said, 'I will surely do good with you, and I will make your seed [as numerous] as the sand of the sea, which cannot be counted because of multitude.'"

I will surely do good: Heb. הֵיטֵב אֵיטִיב. [The double expression denotes:] הֵיטֵב, [I will do good] in your merit; אֵיטִיב, [I will do good] in the merit of your forefathers (Gen. Rabbah 76:7).

and I will make your seed [as numerous] as the sand of the sea: Now where did He tell him this? Is it not so that He said to him only (28:14): “And your seed shall be like the dust of the earth”? But He said to him (ibid. 15): “for I will not forsake you until I have done for you what I have spoken concerning you,” and to Abraham He said (22:17): “I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand that is on the seashore.”

Up until now, the inheritance of Avraham has been through one person. Yitzchak then passed it on to Yacov but they are single people and not many. Only Yacov’s children are a true population incream and now Esav threatens everything.

25. And Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until the break of dawn.

Our Rabbis explained (Gen. Rabbah 77:3, 78:3) that this was the prince (guardian angel) of Esau.

(I have left out a lot of the Rashi here)

26. When he saw that he could not prevail against him, he touched the socket of his hip, and the socket of Jacob's hip became dislocated as he wrestled with him.

he touched the socket of his hip: The upper thigh bone that is thrust into the hip bone is called the כַּף, lit., ladle, because the flesh on it is like a sort of pot ladle.

became dislocated: Heb. וַתִּקַע. It became dislocated from its joint, and similar to this (Jer. 6:8):“lest My soul be alienated (תֵּקַע) from you,” and in the Mishnah: לְקַעִקֵע ַבִּיצָתָן, to tear out their roots. — [from Gen. Rabbah 77:3]

As I wrote that even a victory for Yacov leaves him injured. In the end nobody ever really wins if there is a war. War is a lose – lose situation it is just a matter of who loses less.

27. And he (the angel) said, "Let me go, for dawn is breaking," but he (Jacob) said, "I will not let you go unless you have blessed me."

for dawn is breaking: And I must recite a song [of praise] (Gen. Rabbah 78:1, Chullin 91a).

unless you have blessed me: Acknowledge for me the blessings [with] which my father blessed me, which Esau is contesting.

28. So he said to him, "What is your name?" and he said, "Jacob."

29. And he said, "Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, because you have commanding power with [an angel of] God and with men, and you have prevailed."

no… Jacob: It shall no longer be said that the blessings came to you through trickery (עָקְבָה) and deceit, but with nobility and openness, and ultimately, the Holy One, blessed be He, will reveal Himself to you in Beth-el and change your name, and there He will bless you, and I will be there.“ He then acknowledged them (the blessings) as being his (Jacob’s). This is [the meaning of] what is written (Hos. 12:5): ”He strove with an angel and prevailed over him; he wept and supplicated him,“ [meaning that] the angel wept and supplicated him. With what did he supplicate him? ”In Beth-el he will find Him, and there He will speak with us“ (ibid). Wait for me until He speaks with us there. Jacob, however, did not consent, [to release the angel] and, against his (the angel’s) will, he (the angel) acknowledged them (the blessings) as being his (Jacob’s). This is [the meaning of] ”And he blessed him there," that he entreated him to wait, but he did not wish [to do so]. — [from Zohar, vol. 3, 45a]

and with men: Esau and Laban.

and you have prevailed: over them. — [from Targum Jonathan]

30. And Jacob asked and said, "Now tell me your name," and he said, "Why is it that you ask for my name?" And he blessed him there.

Why is it that you ask: (Gen. Rabbah 78:4) We have no permanent name. Our names change, (all) according to the service we are commanded [to do] in the mission upon which we are sent.

Sometimes the Angel will be Satan the tempter or accuser and other times Samael the Angel of Death if I understand Rashi correctly.

31. And Jacob named the place Peniel, for [he said,] "I saw an angel face to face, and my soul was saved."

32. And the sun rose for him when he passed Penuel, and he was limping on his thigh.

32:1. Jacob lifted his eyes and saw, and behold, Esau was coming, and with him were four hundred men; so he divided the children with Leah and with Rachel and with the two maidservants.

2. And he placed the maidservants and their children first and Leah and her children after, and Rachel and her Joseph last.

and Leah and her children after: The further back the more beloved. — [from Gen. Rabbah 78:8]

3. And he went ahead of them and prostrated himself to the ground seven times, until he came close to his brother.

went ahead of them: He said, “If that scoundrel comes to fight, let him fight with me first.” - [from Gen. Rabbah 78:8]

Perhaps Esav will be happy with killing only me and leaving the others (Bnei Yisrael) alone.

4. And Esau ran toward him and embraced him, and he fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept.

and embraced him: His compassion was moved when he saw him prostrate himself all those times. — [from Gen. Rabbah 78:8]

and kissed him: Heb. וֹיֹשֹקֹהֹוּ. There are dots over the word. There is controversy concerning this matter in a Baraitha of Sifrei (Beha’alothecha 69). Some interpret the dots to mean that he did not kiss him wholeheartedly. Rabbi Simeon ben Yochai said: It is a well known tradition that Esau hated Jacob, but his compassion was moved at that time, and he kissed him wholeheartedly.

Our Rabbis could not decide if this was real but temporary repentance of Esav as he saw his brother had aged 34 years and looked like his father and his compassion was real or if he “kiss” was really a bite at first (Hebrew word for both has the same root) and that Esav broke his teething trying to bite Yacov and that is why he cried.

The first recorded rape on record even though this behavior probably existed before the flood and in Sodom no report was made. Here we have a young maiden going out to try to find friends her age and she is taken by force. Yacov and Schem try to make a peace contract but Dina’s brothers want revenge for this act and supposedly Osnat was born and given up do adoption to Poti-Pera of Eygpt. At least that is the tradition so that the Moshiach Ben Yosef would come from good stock or Poti-Pera was a Eunuch.

34:1. Dinah, the daughter of Leah, whom she had borne to Jacob, went out to look about among the daughters of the land.

the daughter of Leah: And not the daughter of Jacob? However, because of her going out she was called the daughter of Leah, since she (Leah) too was in the habit of going out, as it is said: “and Leah came forth toward him” (above 30:16). [from Tanchuma Vayishlach 7] (And concerning her, they devise the proverb: Like mother like daughter.) - [Gen. Rabbah 80:1]

2. And Shechem the son of Hamor, the Hivvite, the prince of the land, saw her, and he took her, lay with her, and violated her.

lay with her: in a natural way. — [from Gen. Rabbah 80:5]

and violated her: Heb. וַיְעַנֶהָ, lit., and afflicted her. [I.e. he was intimate with her] in an unnatural way. — [from Gen. Rabbah 80: 5]

3. And his soul cleaved to Dinah the daughter of Jacob; he loved the girl and spoke to the girl's heart.

and spoke to the girl’s heart: [I.e. he spoke] seductive words,“Look how much money your father squandered for a small parcel of land. I will marry you, and you will acquire the city and all its fields.” - [from Gen. Rabbah 80:7]

She was in shock and now he was willing to give her the honor to be his wife and queen of the city and a chance to be back on the right side of the tracks where she came from.

4. And Shechem spoke to his father Hamor saying, "Take this girl for me as a wife."

5. Jacob had heard that he had defiled his daughter Dinah, but his sons were with his livestock in the field, and Jacob kept silent until they came [home].

Yacov is uncertain how to proceed from the spiritual standpoint as Avraham and Yitzchak had to be Tzaddikim. Yitzchak was still the Gadol HaDor and only a Beis Din with two other Tzaddikim could Poskim what to do in Eretz Yisrael. Physically, Yacov was past 97 years old still strong but not moving the rock over the well strength that he once had.

6. And Hamor, the father of Shechem, went out to Jacob to speak with him.

7. And Jacob's sons had come from the field when they heard, and the men were grieved, and they burned fiercely, because he had committed a scandalous act in Israel, to lie with a daughter of Jacob, and such ought not to be done.

and such ought not to be done-: to violate virgins, for the nations (the general population) had refrained from illicit relationships because of the Flood. — [from Gen. Rabbah 80:7]

Some action had to be taken by these hot blooded brothers but they had not figured out what.

8. And Hamor spoke with them, saying, "My son Shechem his soul has a liking for your daughter. Please give her to him for a wife.

has a liking: He desires.

9. And intermarry with us; you shall give us your daughters, and you shall take our daughters for yourselves.

10. And you shall dwell with us, and the land shall be before you; remain, do business there and settle there."

11. And Shechem said to her father and to her brothers, "May I find favor in your eyes. Whatever you tell me I will give.

12. Impose upon me a large marriage settlement and gifts, and I will give as [much as] you ask of me, but give me the girl for a wife."

marriage settlement: Kethubah- [from Mechilta Mishpatim, Nezikin 17]

The danger of intermarriage was always looked on by the Sages as being more dangerous than external threats. Changes in Education, a Jewess marrying a Gentile produces according to the Halacha a Jew but one with a poorer foundation. A Jew marrying a non-Jew or a Reform Convert produces a Gentile who may even believe that he or she is Jewish. (Such is a case with somebody that I am helping guide to the right path – the ex-front line IDF soldier found out prior to a marriage a number of years ago that the status was one of a non-Jew. Here we have a person coming from abroad to risk life and limb for Am Yisrael and suddenly finding out the Gentile Status. Believe me the individual was devastated to say the least.) Fortunately, HASHEM does not let the sins of an individual continue for more than three or a maximum of four generations unless the children pledge renewal to the sin.

13. Thereupon, Jacob's sons answered Shechem and his father Hamor with cunning, and they spoke, because [after all] he had defiled their sister Dinah.

with cunning: Heb. בְּמִרְמָה, with cunning. — [from Targum Onkelos]

because [after all] he had defiled: Scripture states that this was not trickery because [after all] he had defiled their sister Dinah. — [from Gen. Rabbah 80:8]

We see that Yacov is the Patriah of Emmes or truth and their cunning act has violated his verbal agreement which we see upsets him even more than the rape because he has failed to teach fully the tribes the Mida of Emmes.

14. And they said to them, "We cannot do this thing, to give our sister to a man who has a foreskin, for that is a disgrace to us.

for that is a disgrace to us: To us, it is a defect. If someone wishes to insult another person, he says, “You are uncircumcised,” or“[You are] the son of an uncircumcised person.” Wherever חֶרְפָּה is mentioned, it is an [expression of] insult.

In the non-Jewish Armies; a person was considered 3% defective if he was circumcised. That is why in the IDF 99.9% of the soldiers have a profile no higher than 97%. To the children of Avraham; non-circumcision is spiritually defective.

15. But with this, however, we will consent to you, if you will be like us, that every male will be circumcised.

we will consent to you: Heb. נֵאוֹת. We will consent to you, an expression like (וַיֵאֹתוּ הַכֹּהִנִים) ,“And (the priests) consented,” (in connection with Jehoiada) (II Kings 12:9).

will be circumcised: Heb. לְהִמֹל, lit., to be circumcised. This is not in the active voice but in the passive.

Now their circumcision is not a covenant with HASHEM but a business proposition as stated above. Some Basketball Players also agreed to circumcision and a Reform or Conservative Conversion in order to play for Israeli teams not because they intended to become truly Jewish. We do have problems with certain individuals like the actor Sammy Davis Jr. who honestly thought that he was Jewish and his level of Observance was all right due to the observance of the Rabbi and Congregation that converted him. Such a conversion is a headache to all and might even grant the non-Jew a portion with Jews in the next world as HASHEM does check every kidney and heart of individuals but what it does for the Rabbi and other members of the Congregation is not the biggest Kiddush HASHEM to put it simple.

16. Then we will give you our daughters, and we will take your daughters for ourselves, and we will dwell with you and become one people.

Then we will give: Heb. וְנָתַנוּ. The second “nun” is punctuated with a “dagesh,” because it serves instead of two“nuns,” [like] וְנָתַנְנוּ.

and we will take your daughters for ourselves: You find in the stipulation that Hamor suggested to Jacob, and in the reply of Jacob’s sons to Hamor, that they [Hamor and Shechem] attached importance to Jacob’s sons, [allowing them] to take whomever of the daughters of Shechem they would choose for themselves, and their daughters they would give to them [the people of Shechem], as they (the sons of Jacob) wished, for it is written: “Then we will give you our daughters,” as we wish, “and we will take your daughters for ourselves,” however we wish. But, when Hamor and his son Shechem spoke to their townsmen, they reversed the matter, [and said (verse 21),]“We will take their daughters for ourselves as wives, and our daughters we will give them,” in order to appease them (the townsmen), that they would consent to be circumcised.

This reminds me of the young non-Jewish Girl who fell in love with me when we were in the sixth grade and tried to sell me Catholicism out of physical love. Shimon and Levi wanted to prevent this type of infiltration and degregation of Judaism.

17. But if you do not listen to us to be circumcised, we will take our daughter and go."

18. Their words pleased Hamor and Shechem, the son of Hamor.

19. And the young man did not delay to do the thing because he desired Jacob's daughter, and he was the most honored in his entire father's household.

20. And Hamor and his son Shechem came to the gate of their city, and they spoke to the people of their city, saying,

21. "These men are peaceful with us, and they will dwell in the land and do business there, and the land behold it is spacious enough for them. We will take their daughters for ourselves as wives, and we will give them our daughters.

These men are peaceful with us: Heb. שְׁלֵמִים. With peace and sincerity.

and the land-behold it is spacious enough: [The metaphor is that of] a person whose hand is wide and generous. That is to say: You will not lose anything [if they trade here]. Plenty of merchandise comes here, and there is no one to purchase it.

A Ger from business reasons not from the love of HASHEM or the desire to follow the ways of Avraham, Yitzchak and Yacov.

22. However, [only] with this [condition] will the men consent to dwell with us, to become one people, by every male among us being circumcised, just as they are circumcised.

Heb. בְּהִמוֹל, by being circumcised.

Rashi only explains the translation and often we have a modern transation but in his day the explanation was necessary.

23. Then shall not their cattle, their property, and all their beasts be ours? But let us consent to them, and they will dwell with us."

But let us consent to them: regarding this matter, and thereby, they will dwell with us.

Despite the muli-gifts to Esav, Yacov was very-very wealthy and this shows further than the whole conversion is one of a monetary value and not spiritual at all.

24. And all those coming out of the gate of his city listened to Hamor and his son Shechem, and every male, all who went out of the gate of his city, became circumcised.

25. Now it came to pass on the third day, when they were in pain, that Jacob's two sons, Simeon and Levi, Dinah's brothers, each took his sword, and they came upon the city with confidence, and they slew every male.

Jacob’s two sons: They were his sons, but nevertheless, Simeon and Levi conducted themselves like other people, who were not his sons, for they did not take counsel with him. — [from Gen. Rabbah 80:10]

Dinah’s brothers: Since they risked their lives for her, they were called her brothers. — [from Gen. Rabbah 80:10]

with confidence: Because they (the townsmen) were in pain. The Aggadah (Gen. Rabbah 80:10) says: They were confident in the strength of the elder (Jacob).

If the person was to scream help, the others in the area even if they heard it would think that he was in pain from the circumcision.

26. And Hamor and his son Shechem they slew with the edge of the sword, and they took Dinah out of Shechem's house and left.

27. Jacob's sons came upon the slain and plundered the city that had defiled their sister.

upon the slain: to strip the slain. [from Targum Onkelos]

Did some of the tribes take the female children as was the custom with conquerers for centuries in the past and to come?

28. Their flocks and their cattle and their donkeys, and whatever was in the city and whatever was in the field they took.

29. And all their wealth and all their infants and their wives they captured and plundered, and all that was in the house.

And all their wealth: Heb. חֵילָם, their money, and similarly;“amassed this wealth (הַחַיִל) for me” (Deut. 8:17);“and Israel amasses wealth (חָיִל)” (Num. 24: 18);“and leave over their possessions (חֵילָם) to others” (Ps. 49:11).

they captured: Heb. שָׁבוּ, a term denoting captivity. Therefore, the accent is on the latter syllable. — [from Targum Onkelos]

30. Thereupon, Jacob said to Simeon and to Levi, "You have troubled me, to discredit me among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and among the Perizzites, and I am few in number, and they will gather against me, and I and my household will be destroyed."

You have troubled me: Heb. עִכַרְתֶּם, an expression denoting murky water [meaning that] now my mind is not clear [without worry]. The Aggadah (Gen. Rabbah 80: 12) [explains]: The barrel was clear, but you have made it murky. (I.e., I saw our way clear to co-exist with the Canaanites, but now you have spoiled the possibility to do so.) The Canaanites had a tradition that they would fall into the hands of Jacob’s sons, but they said [that this would only happen],“Until you are fruitful and inherit the land” (Exod. 23:30). Therefore, they have been silent.

few in number: few men.

The attack on Schem did produce a war which was only won by a series of miracles due to Yacov’s Prayers but we could have been physically wiped out by sheer numbers.

31. And they said, "Shall he make our sister like a harlot?"

like a harlot: Abandoned- [from Gen. Rabbah 80:12]

our sister: [Onkelos renders] יָת לַאֲחָתָנָא, our sister.

Parsha Vayeshev

Yacov after growing up with Esav, learning Maaser Beresheis through the days of Yitzchak and dealing with Lavan now wants to relax sit in his own Beis Medrash learn all day and teach at night. Like most of us who work hard all our lives Yacov dreamed of relaxing and just dedicating himself to HASHEM without earthly issues and problems. He had returned to his father’s house in peace and most likely got to see also his mother alive. It is now time to pass the torch to the next generation. HASHEM is not mentioned as in previous Sedras but is working behind the scenes on making Moshiach Ben Yosef and Moshiach ben David.

37:1. Jacob dwelt in the land of his father's sojournings, in the land of Canaan.

Jacob dwelt: Scripture described Esau’s settlements and his generations, [but only] briefly, because they were neither distinguished nor important enough to elaborate on [in detail] how they settled and the order of their wars, [or] how they drove out the Horites. [In contrast] it (Scripture) elaborates at length on the settlements of Jacob and his generations, and all the events that brought these about, since they were [considered] important [enough] to the Omnipresent to dwell upon at length. Similarly, you find regarding the ten generations from Adam to Noah: So-and-so begot so-and-so, but when it (Scripture) reached Noah, it dwelt upon him at length. Likewise, with the ten generations from Noah to Abraham, it dealt [only] briefly with them, but when it reached Abraham, it dwelt upon him at length. This can be compared to a pearl that falls into the sand: A person searches in the sand and sifts it with a sieve until he finds the pearl, and when he finds it, he casts the pebbles from his hand and keeps the pearl. (Another interpretation of “Jacob dwelt” -The camels of a flax dealer [once] entered [a town], laden with flax. The blacksmith wondered, “Where will all this flax go?” One clever fellow answered him, “One spark will come out of your bellows, which will burn it all.” So did Jacob see all the chieftains [of Esau] mentioned above (36:15-19, 40-43). He wondered and said, “Who can conquer them all?” What is written below? “These are the generations of Jacob: Joseph” (verse 2), only, and it is written: “And the house of Jacob shall be fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau shall become stubble” (Obadiah 1:18). One spark will emerge from Joseph, which will destroy and consume them all. From an old Rashi.) [From Tanchuma Vayeshev 1]

It is all recorded regarding the wars in Sefer HaYashar.

2. These are the generations of Jacob: when Joseph was seventeen years old, being a shepherd, he was with his brothers with the flocks, and he was a lad, [and was] with the

sons of Bilhah and with the sons of Zilpah, his father's wives; and Joseph brought evil tales about them to their father.

These are the generations of Jacob: And these are those of the generations of Jacob. These are their settlements and their wanderings until they came to settle. The first cause [of their wanderings]: when Joseph was seventeen years old, etc. Through this [the events that unfolded], they wandered and descended to Egypt. This is according to the plain explanation of the verse, putting everything in its proper perspective. The Midrash Aggadah, however, interprets [the passage as follows]: Scripture bases the generations of Jacob on Joseph because of many things: one is that, with his entire being, Jacob served Laban only for Rachel [and Rachel bore Joseph]. In addition, Joseph’s features resembled his (Jacob’s), and whatever happened to Jacob happened to Joseph. This one (Jacob) was hated, and that one (Joseph) was hated. This one-his brother (Esau) sought to kill him, and that one his brothers sought to kill him, and likewise many [other similarities related] in Genesis Rabbah (84:6). It is further expounded upon [as follows]: “dwelt” (verse 1) When Jacob sought to dwell in tranquility, the troubles of Joseph sprang upon him. The righteous seek to dwell in tranquility. Said the Holy One, blessed be He, “What is prepared for the righteous in the world to come is not sufficient for them, but they seek [also] to dwell in tranquility in this world!”

and he was a lad: He behaved childishly, fixing his hair and touching up his eyes so that he would appear handsome. [From Gen. Rabbah 84:7]

with the sons of Bilhah: That is to say, he was frequently with the sons of Bilhah, because his [other] brothers would demean them, while he acted friendly toward them. [From Tanchuma Vayeshev 7]

evil tales about them: Any evil he saw in his brothers, the sons of Leah, he would tell his father: 1) that they ate limbs from living animals, 2) that they demeaned the sons of the handmaids by calling them slaves, and 3) that they were suspected of illicit sexual relationships. For these three [tales] he was punished: For [the report that his brothers ate] limbs from living animals, “they slaughtered a kid” (Gen. 37:31) when they sold him, and did not eat it alive. For the report that he told about them that they called their brothers slaves, “Joseph was sold as a slave” (Ps. 105:17), and concerning the illicit sexual relationships that he told about them, “his master’s wife lifted her eyes, etc.” (Gen. 39:7).

tales about them: Heb. דִּבָּתָם Every expression of דִּבָּה denotes parlediz in Old French, gossip, slander. Whatever evil he could tell about them he told. דִּבָּה is an expression of making the lips of the sleeping speak (דוֹבֵב).

The older brothers were just past their teen years and did not view him as a snotty wise-guy teenager which he probably was but rather as a fully grown adult like themselves. They blinded themselves to the real cituation as they too were involved in it.

3. And Israel loved Joseph more than all his sons, because he was a son of his old age; and he made him a fine woolen coat.

Let this be a lesson to us all never to favor one child over another. Sometimes nothing we do helps no matter how fair we try to be. My youngest and oldest have no problems and the middle one aka sandwich feels left out even if he literally got more attention and time than the others combined. From this I learned to buy the boys basically matching coats, shoes and other things. Still the middle child always needed more attention as he felt that the oldest was closest to me and his sister closer to her mother so none of us can be perfect parents.

a son of his old age: Heb. - בֶן זְקֻנִים, for he was born to him in his old age (Pirkei d’Rabbi Eliezer, ch. 38). Onkelos rendered: for he was a wise son to him. Whatever he had learned from Shem and Eber he gave over to him. Another explanation: for his (Joseph’s) features (זִיו אִיקוֹנִין) resembled his own (those of Jacob). [From Gen. Rabbah 84:8]

fine woolen: Heb. פַּסִים, a term meaning fine woolen garments, like“green wool (כַּרְפַּס) and blue wool” (Esther 1:6), and like the fine woolen coat (כְתֹנֶת פַּסִים) of Tamar and Amnon (II Sam. 13:18). The Midrash Aggadah, however, explains that it was called פַּסִים because of his (Joseph’s) troubles, namely, that he was sold to Potiphar (פּוֹטִפַר), to the merchants (סוֹחֲרִים), to the Ishmaelites (יִשְׁמְעִאלִים), and to the Midianites (מִדְיָנִים). [From Gen. Rabbah 84:8]

4. And his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, so they hated him, and they could not speak with him peacefully.

and they could not speak with him peacefully: From what is stated to their discredit, we may learn something to their credit, that they did not say one thing with their mouth and think differently in their heart. [From Gen. Rabbah 84:9]

speak with him: Heb. דַבְּרוֹ, [the equivalent of] לְדַבֵּר עִמוֹ, to speak with him. [From Targum Onkelos]

Sibling hatred of one brother either because of the success of the other brother or the fact that Yacov spoiled him. Yacov essentially did not want 4 wives. Yacov essentially only wanted Rachel and therefore her son especially since she passed away would be more precious to him. A previous incident with the Mandrakes indicates that Yacov always favored Rachel and even though he eternally rests next to Leah; she was not his first choice. Thus her boys and the boys of the servants would naturally be less attractive to Yacov than Yosef. Benyamin is not mentioned as he looked up to Yosef and was treated as an Orphan from birth.

5. And Joseph dreamed a dream and told his brothers, and they continued to hate him.

6. And he said to them, "Listen now to this dream, which I have dreamed:

7. Behold, we were binding sheaves in the midst of the field, and behold, my sheaf arose and also stood upright, and behold, your sheaves encircled [it] and prostrated themselves to my sheaf."

Our Sages have said twice in Perkei Avos. “A fence for Chachmah (wisdom) is silence.” Rabbi Shimon ben Gamliel said later on: “I have lived among the Sages and have found no better tool than silence.” Yosef was generations before this and he had to tell his dreams to all. For had he only told his father the dream, nothing would have happened.

binding sheaves: Heb. מְאַלְּמִים אִלֻמִים, as the Targum renders: מְאַסְרִין אֱסָרִין, sheaves, and likewise, carrying his sheaves (אִלֻמוֹתָיו) (Ps. 126:6). The same is found in the Mishnah: But [if one finds] large sheaves (וְהָאִלֻמוֹת) , one must take [them] and announce [them] (Baba Mezia 22b).

my sheaf arose: It stood erect.

and also stood upright: It remained standing erect in its place.

8. So his brothers said to him, "Will you reign over us, or will you govern us?" And they continued further to hate him on account of his dreams and on account of his words.

and on account of his words: Because of the evil tales that he would bring to their father.

9. And he again dreamed another dream, and he related it to his brothers, and he said, "Behold, I have dreamed another dream, and behold, the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were prostrating themselves to me."

10. And he told [it] to his father and to his brothers, and his father rebuked him and said to him, "What is this dream that you have dreamed? Will we come I, your mother, and your brothers to prostrate ourselves to you to the ground?"

And he told [it] to his father and to his brothers: After he told it to his brothers, he told it again to his father in their presence.

his father rebuked him: because he was bringing hatred upon himself.

Will we come: Isn’t your mother (Rachel) already dead? But he (Jacob) did not know that the matters referred to Bilhah, who had raised him (Joseph) as [if she were] his mother (Gen. Rabbah 84:11). Our Rabbis, however, derived from here that there is no dream without meaningless components (Ber. 55a/b). Jacob, however, intended to make his sons forget the whole matter, so that they would not envy him (Joseph). Therefore, he said,“Will we come, etc.” Just as it is impossible for your mother, so is the rest meaningless.

Being a self-centered teenager, he could not see the consequences of his actions and words and this time Yacov shut him up. Did Yacov see the dreams as prophecy as they repeated themselves? Because immediately afterwards the Torah uses the word to guard over the matter see Rashi below.

11. So his brothers envied him, but his father awaited the matter.

awaited the matter: Heb. שָׁמַר. He was waiting and looking forward in expectation of when it (the fulfillment) would come. Similarly,“awaiting (שׁוֹמֵר) the realization [of God’s promise]” (Isa. 26:2), [and]“You do not wait (תִשְׁמוֹר) for my sin” (Job 14:16). You do not wait. [From Gen. Rabbah 84:12]

The next time we see Yacov waiting for something is the blessing for Yehuda until “Shiloh comes” and then he says “For YOUR salvation I wait”.

I am reading Sefer Daniel and a lot of comparison is made between Daniel interpreting dreams, Yosef’s dreams and the dreams of the wine steward and the cook. In Daniel the Ish that he meets is the angel Gavriel and so too according to Rashi below that Yosef meets him. All this in both cases to prepare for Moshiach. The Angel also appears in Sefer Yechezkel before the destruction to put on the forehead either a Tav in ink to be existing or a Tav in blood to die.

15. Then a man found him, and behold, he was straying in the field, and the man asked him, saying, "What are you looking for?"

Then a man found him: This is [the angel] Gabriel, as it is said:“And the man Gabriel” (Dan. 9:21). [From Tanchuma Vayeshev 2]

… 31. And they took Joseph's coat, and they slaughtered a kid, and they dipped the coat in the blood.

and they slaughtered a kid: Its blood resembles that of a human. [From Gen. Rabbah 84:19, Targum Jonathan]

the coat: Heb. הַכֻּתֹּנֶת. This is its name. [I.e. this is the absolute state.] But when it is connected to another word [i.e. in the construct state], as in“Joseph’s coat” (כְּתֹנֶת יוֹסֵף) ,“a fine woolen coat” (כְּתֹנֶת פַּסִים) (above, verse 3), [and]“a linen shirt” (כְּתֹנֶת בַּד) (Lev. 16:4), it is vowelized כְּתֹנֶת.

32. And they sent the fine woolen coat, and they brought [it] to their father, and they said, "We have found this; now recognize whether it is your son's coat or not."

Punishment measure for measure. Yacov deceived Yitzchak with goat skins and Esav’s fine coat now instead of getting his punishment in the next world, he is given his punishment measure for measure in this world. He should have returned home after marrying the sisters but instead stayed away for 22 years so Yosef disappears for 22 years. One only has to open his eyes to see the hand of HASHEM.

… 35. And all his sons and all his daughters arose to console him, but he refused to be consoled, for he said, "Because I will descend on account of my son as a mourner to the grave"; and his father wept for him.

He had a tradition that if one of his children died, he would not have Olam HaBa. The simple meaning is that a parent losing a child will never truly be comforted for their loss. My son’s best friend who liked my daughter passed away at 20. Since he was a Ben Beis by us we feel a bit of a loss but not like his parents. Every year on his Yahrzeit my son calls the parents and every year I tear up. HASHEM of course had other plans and another very close buddy of the boy years later via a Shidduch would become my son-in-law.

and all his daughters: Rabbi Judah says: Twin sisters were born with every tribe, and they married them. Rabbi Nehemiah says: They were Canaanite women. But what is the meaning of “and all his daughters”? A person does not hesitate to call his son-in-law his son and his daughter-in-law his daughter. [From Gen. Rabbah 84:21]

but he refused to be consoled: No one accepts consolation for a person who is really alive but believed to be dead, for it is decreed that a dead person should be forgotten from the heart, but not a living person. [From Gen. Rabbah 84:21, Pes. 54b]

I will descend on account of my son: Heb. אֶל-בְּנִי. There are many instances of אֶל that serve as an expression of עַל, “on account of,” e.g.“ on account of (אֶל) Saul and on account of (וְאֶל) the bloody house” (II Sam. 21:1);“because (אֶל) the Ark of God had been taken and because of (וְאֶל) (the death of) (sic) her father-in-law and her husband” (I Sam. 4:21).

as a mourner to the grave: Heb. שְׁאֹלָה. According to its simple meaning, it is a term denoting the grave. In my mourning I will be buried, and I will not be consoled all my days (Targum Jonathan ben Uzziel). [According to] its midrashic interpretation, however, [שְׁאוֹל means] Gehinom. This sign was given into my hand from God, that if none of my sons dies within my lifetime, I am assured that I will not see the face of Gehinnom. [From Tanchuma Vayigash 9, Midrash Yelammedenu]

and his father wept for him: This refers to Isaac. He was weeping over Jacob’s distress, but he did not mourn [for Joseph], for he knew that he was alive. [From Gen. Rabbah 84:21]

I am not on the level to argue with either Rashi or the Medrash but I read this more as daughters-in-law.

36. And the Midianites sold him to Egypt, to Potiphar, Pharaoh's chamberlain, chief of the slaughterers.

chief of the slaughterers: Those who slaughter the king’s animals.

The Hebrew word used in modern times is Minister aka Cabinet Minister. In ancient Egypt since he was always by Pharaoh to be made into a Eunuch. On one side he was rich and honored but on the otherhand his was not much of a husband for his wife. Through him, Yosef will be able to eventually fulfill his dreams and produce the Moshiach ben Yosef.

1. Now it came about at that time that Judah was demoted by his brothers, and he turned away until [he came] to an Adullamite man, named Hirah.

Now it came about at that time: Why was this section placed here, where it interrupts the section dealing with Joseph? To teach us that his (Judah’s) brothers demoted him from his high position when they saw their father’s distress. They said, “You told [us] to sell him. Had you told [us] to return him, we would have obeyed you.” [from Tanchuma Buber, Vayeshev 8]

and he turned away: from his brothers.

to an Adullamite man: He entered into a partnership with him.

Reuven had lost his leadership due to the rearranging of his father’s bed and Shimon and Levi from their behavior in the case of Dina. Yehuda was then next in line to be the ruler and he had leadership characteristics but because of their father’s reaction, they deposed Yehuda. So now starts the change of events that will be the forerunner to the Moshiach and Yisrael’s final salvation.

2. And there Judah saw the daughter of a merchant named Shua, and he took her and came to her.

merchant: Heb. כְּנַעִנִי [Onkelos renders] תַּגְרָא, a merchant.

However without Rashi, I would have translated him as Shua the Canaanite.

… 11. Then Judah said to his daughter in law Tamar, "Remain as a widow in your father's house until my son Shelah grows up," for he said, "Lest he too die, like his brothers." So Tamar went, and she remained in her father's house.

for he said, etc.: Meaning that he dismissed her with a straw (with a lame excuse), for he did not intend to marry her to him (Shelah).

for he said, “Lest he too die…”: This is a woman whose husbands presumably die young. [From Yev. 64b]

12. Many days passed, and Shua's daughter, Judah's wife, died; and Judah was consoled, and he went up [to watch] over his sheepshearers he and Hirah, his Adullamite friend to Timnah.

and he went up [to watch] over his sheepshearers: He went up to Timnah to stand over his sheepshearers [i.e. to oversee them].

Yehuda had no comforting wife and partner not to mention a wife to keep him from going astray.

13. And it was told to Tamar, saying, "Behold, your father in law is going up to Timnah to shear his sheep."

14. So she took off her widow's garb, covered [her head] with a veil and covered her face, and she sat down at the crossroads that were on the way to Timnah, for she saw that Shelah had grown up, but as for her she was not given to him for a wife.

HASHEM works in strange ways so if Yehuda did not produce Moshiach one way, he would produce Moshiach another way.

and covered her face: Heb. וַתִּתְעַלָף. She covered her face so that he would not recognize her.

at the crossroads: Heb. בְּפֶתַח עֵינַיִם, lit., at the opening of the eyes. At the crossroads, on the road to Timnah. Our Sages, however, explained it midrashically to mean, at the entrance (פֶתַח) [to the residence] of our father Abraham, which all eyes (עֵינַיִם) looked forward to see. [From Sotah 10a]

for she saw that Shelah had grown up, etc.: Therefore, she made herself available to Judah, for she longed to bear sons from him.

15. When Judah saw her, he thought she was a harlot, because she covered her face.

he thought she was a harlot: because she was sitting at the crossroads.

because she covered her face: and he could not see her and recognize her. Our Sages midrashic interpretation is: because she had covered her face when she had stayed in her father-in-law’s house and she was modest. Therefore, he did not suspect her. [From Sotah 10b]

Now the word Kedasha or holy fertility cult woman is used.

16. So he turned aside toward her to the road, and he said, "Get ready now, I will come to you," for he did not know that she was his daughter in law, and she said, "What will you give me that you should come to me?"

So he turned aside toward her to the road: From the road he was following, he turned aside to the road where she was. In Old French, destorner, to turn aside.

“Get ready now…”: Prepare yourself and your mind for this. Every expression of הָבָה signifies preparation, except where it can be translated as an expression of giving, and even those instances [of הָבָה] meaning preparation are close to an expression of giving.

He was so over come suddenly with the urge of passion that despite being a Talmud Chacham could not control himself as it was an urge directed from above.

17. And he said, "I will send a kid from the herd," and she said, "[Only] if you give me a pledge until you send [it]."

a pledge: Heb. עֵרָבוֹן, security. [From Targum Onkelos]

18. So he said, "What is the pledge that I should give you?" And she said, "Your signet, your cloak, and the staff that is in your hand." So he gave them to her, and he came to her, and she conceived his likeness.

Your signet, your cloak: Heb. וּפְתִיל-‏חֹתָמ‏ [Onkelos renders:] עִזְקָת-‏וְשׁוֹשִׁיפ Your ring, with which you seal, and your cloak, with which you cover yourself.

and she conceived his likeness: lit.,“and she conceived to him.” Mighty men like him, righteous men like him. [From Gen. Rabbah 85:9]

19. Then she arose and went away, and she took off her veil, and she donned her widow's garb.

20. And Judah sent the kid by the hand of his Adullamite friend to take the pledge from the woman's hand, but he did not find her.

21. So he asked the people of the place, saying, "Where is the harlot who was at the crossroads on the way?" and they said, "No harlot was here."

22. So he returned to Judah, and he said, "I have not found her, and the people of the place also said, 'No harlot was here.' "

23. So Judah said, "Let her take [them] for herself, lest we become a laughingstock. Behold, I sent this kid, but you did not find her."

Let her take [them] for herself: Let her keep what she has.

lest we become a laughingstock: If you seek her further, the matter will become known, and it will be a disgrace, for what more am I required to do to keep my word?

Behold, I sent this kid: Since Judah had deceived his father with the kid in whose blood he immersed Joseph’s coat, he too was deceived with a kid. [From Gen. Rabbah 85:9]

24. Now it came about after nearly three months, that it was told to Judah, saying, "Your daughter in law Tamar has played the harlot, and behold, she is pregnant from harlotry." So Judah said, "Bring her out, and let her be burned."

Now it came about after nearly three months: Heb. כְּמִשְׁלשׁ חֳדָשִׁים. The greater part of the first, the greater part of the third, and the complete middle one. The expression כְּמִשְׁלשׁ חֳדָשִׁים means, “upon the tripling of the months,” like“sending portions (מִשְׁלוֹח ַמָנוֹת)” (Esther 9:19)"[and] shall they stretch forth their hand (מִשְׁלוֹח ַיָדָם) (Isa. 11: 14) (lit., the stretching forth of their hand). And so did Onkelos render: כְּתַלְתוּת יַרְחַיָא, at the tripling of the months. [From Gen. Rabbah 85:10]

she is pregnant from harlotry: Heb. הָרָה. This is an adjective, “pregnant,” like“a pregnant (הָרָה) woman” (Exod. 21:22), and like“clear (בָּרָה) as the sun” (Song 6:10).

and let her be burned: Ephraim Miksha’ah said in the name of Rabbi Meir: She was the daughter of Shem, who was a priest. Therefore, they sentenced her to be burned. [From Gen. Rabbah 85:10]

25. She was taken out, and she sent to her father in law, saying, "From the man to whom these belong I am pregnant," and she said, "Please recognize whose signet ring, cloak, and staff are these?"

She was taken out: to be burned [from targumim]

and she sent to her father-in-law: She did not want to embarrass him and say, “From you I am pregnant,” but, “From the man to whom these belong.” She said, “If he confesses by himself, let him confess, and if not, let them burn me, but I will not embarrass him.” From this they (our Rabbis) said,“It is better for a person to be cast into a fiery furnace than to embarrass his fellow in public.” [from Sotah 10b]

Please recognize: Heb. הַכֶּר-נָא. נָא is only an expression of supplication. “Please recognize your Creator and do not destroy three souls.” [from Sotah 10b, Gen. Rabbah 85:11]

26. Then Judah recognized [them], and he said, "She is more righteous from me, because I did not give her to my son Shelah." But he no longer continued to be intimate with her.

She is right: in what she said.

from me: she is pregnant (Targum Onkelos). Our Sages, however, explained this midrashically to mean that a “bath-kol” came forth and declared,“From Me and from within Me these matters have emerged. Since she was modest in her father-in-law’s house, I decreed that kings should be descended from her, and from the tribe of Judah I [already] decreed to raise up kings in Israel.” [from Sotah 10b]

because I did not give her to my son Shelah: For she did this justifiably, because I did not give her to my son Shelah. [From Bereishith Rabbathi]

But he no longer continued: Heb. וְלֹא-יָסַף. Some say: he did not continue [to know her] (Targum Onkelos), and others say: he did not cease (Sotah 10b). (A similar instance is found in connection with Eldad and Medad (Num. 11:25), [where the verse reads:] וְלֹא יָסָפוּ, they did not continue, which the Targum renders: וְלֹא פָסְקוּ, they did not cease).

27. And it came about at the time she was giving birth, that behold, there were twins in her womb.

at the time she was giving birth: But concerning Rebecca, Scripture states:“And her days to give birth were completed” (Gen. 25:24). In the latter instance, the months were complete, but here they were short of full term. [From Gen. Rabbah 85:13]

behold, there were twins: This is written with the full spelling (תאוֹמִים); in the other instance, [with Rebecca,] it is written defectively (תוֹמִם), because one [child, Esau,] was wicked, but these [twins] were both righteous. [From Gen. Rabbah 85:13]

28. And it came about when she gave birth, that he (the infant) stretched out his hand. So the midwife took and bound a crimson thread on his hand, saying, "This one came out first."

that he (the infant) stretched out his hand: One of them stretched his hand to the outside, and after she (the midwife) bound the crimson thread on it, he drew it back.

29. And it came about, as he was drawing back his hand, behold, his brother emerged, and she said, "With what strength you have strengthened yourself!" And he (Judah) named him Perez.

you have strengthened yourself: Heb. פָּרַצְתָּ with what strength you have strengthened yourself! [from Targum Onkelos]

30. Afterwards, his brother emerged, the one upon whose hand was the crimson thread, and he named him Zerah.

the one upon whose hand was the crimson thread: Four hands are written here, corresponding to the four devoted things (charamim) by which Achan, who was descended from him (Zerah), committed a trespass. Some say [that they] correspond to the four things that he took: a Babylonish garment, two pieces of silver weighing two hundred shekels, and a wedge of gold (Jos. 7:21) (Gen. Rabbah 85:14).

and he named him Zerah: because of the shining appearance (זְרִיחַת) of the crimson.

Rashi did a good job of describing the Medrash on the subject of making the Moshiach and progenerator of David so I have left out commenting.

… 2. And Pharaoh became incensed at his two chamberlains, at the chief cupbearer and at the chief baker.

… 5. Now both of them dreamed a dream, each one his dream on the same night, each man according to the interpretation of his dream, the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were confined in the prison.

Now both of them dreamed a dream: Heb. וַיַחַלְמוּ חִלוֹם שְׁנֵיהֶם, and both of them dreamed a dream. This is its simple meaning, but its midrashic meaning is that each dreamed both dreams, meaning that each dreamed his own dream and the interpretation of his companion’s dream. That is the meaning of what is stated:“Now the chief baker saw that he had interpreted well” (verse 16). [From Gen. Rabbah 88:4, Ber. 55b]

each man according to the interpretation of his dream: Each one dreamed a dream similar to the interpretation destined to befall them.

… 20. Now it came about on the third day, Pharaoh's birthday that Pharaoh made a feast for all his servants, and he counted the chief cupbearer and chief baker among his servants.

Pharaoh’s birthday: Heb. יוֹם הֻלֶדֶת, the day of his birth, and it is called“ginusia” day [in Greek]. The expression הֻלֶדֶת [the “hoph’al” which is the passive of the“hiph’il” the causative] is used because the fetus is born only through [the assistance of] others, for the midwife assists the woman in giving birth. It is for this reason that the midwife is called מְיַלֶדֶת, [one who causes to deliver], and likewise,“And as for your birth (מוֹלְדוֹתַי‏ִ), on the day you were born (הוּלֶדֶת אוֹת‏ָ)” (Ezek. 16:4), and similarly,“after the mark was washed (הֻכַּבֵּס)” (Lev. 13:55), for the washing is done by others. [From Gen. Rabbah 88:6]

he counted, etc.: Heb. וַיִשָׂא אֶת רֹאשׁ. He counted them with the rest of his servants, for he was counting the servants who would serve him in his feast, and he remembered these among them. [וַיִשָׂא אֶת-רֹאשׁ is] similar to“Take the count (שְׂאוּ אֶת-רֹאשׁ)” (Num. 1:2), an expression of counting.

21. And he restored the chief cupbearer to his [position as] cupbearer, and he placed the cup on Pharaoh's palm.

22. And the chief baker he hanged, as Joseph had interpreted to them.

23. But the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph, and he forgot him.

But the chief cupbearer did not remember: on that day.

and he forgot him: afterwards. Because Joseph relied on him to remember him, he was compelled to be confined for two years, as it is said:“Praiseworthy is the man who made the Lord his trust and did not turn to the haughty (רְהָבִים)” (Ps. 40:5). He did not turn to the Egyptians, who are called רַהַב, haughty. [From Gen. Rabbah 89:3]

The story of the dreams and interpretation will also be in Mekeitz next week and I may comment on this and Daniel’s dreams. I have at this point no plans on what I shall write.
Halacha by Danny Schoemann
A boy becomes Bar Mitzva at age 13 and is then considered a full adult. It is customary to call him up to the Torah as soon as possible after his 13th birthday. After he had been called up to the Torah and said the final Bracha, his father then makes a Bracha:
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֱלקֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם
אֲשֶׁר פְּטָרַנִי מֵעָנְשׁוֹ שֶׁל זֶה
Blessed are You, Hashem, our Gcd, King of the universe, Who has freed me from the punishement due this boy. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 61:8
In Israel, we started adding "וְתֵן טַל וּמָטָר לִבְרָכָה" - "and bless us with dew and rain" in the 9th Bracha of the weekday Amida - Barech-Aleinu - בָּרֵךְ עָלֵינוּ on the 7th Marcheshvan.
In the Diaspora we will start tonight - Monday night, 10 Kislev, the eve of Tuesday 6 December. If you forgot to add "וְתֵן טַל וּמָטָר לִבְרָכָה" - "and bless us with dew and rain", then:
- If you remember before you finish the 9th Bracha - מְבָרֵךְ הַשָּׁנִים -, then you insert it and continue from there.
- If you already said "Baruch Ata HaShem" of the 9th Bracha, then you insert it into שְׁמַע קוֹלֵנוּ - the 16th Bracha - before "כִּי אַתָּה
שׁוֹמֵעַ ".
- If you forget to say it in שְׁמַע קוֹלֵנוּ then you need to go back to the 9th Bracha - בָּרֵךְ עָלֵינוּ.
- If you didn't remember until you finished the Amida (defined as saying "יִהְיוּ לְרָצוֹן אִמְרֵי פִי ") then you have to restart the entire Amida.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 19:5
If I were on the Beis Din he would get Makkos until he either gave her a Get or she became a widow. Using a woman as a punching bag to either revenge himself on her or take money that he does not deserve is unacceptable according to the Sages and I will fight this. Get-Refusal Prevention An article entitled "Standing Idly By", by Dr. Rachel Levmore, was published in Friday's (Dec 2, 2011) The Jewish Press--calling on all Torah-abiding Jews to help Tamar Epstein get her get from Aharon Friedman. Passing this on will also help.
These Halachos were written last year. I have updated the dates to this year. These Halachos were written last year. I have updated the dates to this year.The 8 days of Chanukah always start on the 25th of Kislev; the first candle being lit his year Chanukah starts on Tuesday December 20th at dusk. We will light the first flame on Tuesday afternoon, a week later – (afternoon of Dec. 27th) we will light all 8 flames for the 8th day of Chanucha.
On weekdays the Chanukah lights should be lit at nightfall and should be able to burn for at least 30 minutes. Chanukah lights can already be lit from Plag HaMincha (75 Halachic minutes before nightfall). Even when lighting earlier, the Menorah has to burn until 30 minutes after nightfall. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 139:1, 10
There are 2 opinions regarding nightfall: Some say it refers to dusk, other say it refers to 3 stars appearing (like Motzei Shabbat). Everybody should follow their family custom.
The Chanukah Menorah has to be lit in the correct place. If the need arises, one can then move it. If the Menorah was lit too high, too low or in a location where the wind will extinguish it, and was subsequently moved, one has not fulfilled one's obligation. One needs to extinguish it and light it again, but without the Berachos. The lights on the Chanukah Menorah must be at least 3 Tefachim (24 cm. - 10") above the floor. The Chanukah Menorah must be no higher than 20 Amos (10 m. - 33 ft. ) from the floor.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 139:8, 13
If one is in one's hometown, one needs to go home to light the Chanukah Menorah. If one is traveling, and one's wife is lighting the Chanukah Menorah at home, then one should light without the Berachos. If possible, one should try hear the Berachos from somebody else. If one comes home past the time for lighting candles, one should light as soon as possible. As long as some other member of the household is still awake, one lights with a Bracha. If nobody else is awake anymore, one lights without a Bracha.
Bachelors and those living away from home, who don't have a spouse lighting for them at home, preferably should light for themselves with the Bracha. Alternately they can chip in with somebody else's Menorah lighting, by giving them a Peruta (a few pennies). Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 139:19
Originally the Chanukah Menorah was lit at the entrance closest to the street, in order to publicize the miracle. When put in a doorway with a Mezuzah, the Menorah should be placed opposite the Mezuzah so that one is surrounded by Mitzvos.If the doorway doesn't have a Mezuzah, then the Menorah goes on the right, when walking in.
Nowadays most people light indoors, preferably at a window. If this is not practical, the Menorah should be placed in a doorway.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 139:6-7
A Chanukah Menorah must be lit such that it could burn for the required half hour. If it didn't have enough oil, or the location was windy, then one has not fulfilled the Mitzva, and one must fix the problem and light them again. No Bracha is said the second time. If it was not a windy place, and it unexpectedly blew out, the Mitzva has been fulfilled, though the Minchag is to light it again. One cannot light one candle from another; one needs to use the Shamash or another source of fire.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 139:1
If one uses clay lamps for the Menorah then one has to replace them every night. When using glass holders one must make sure they are clean; not oily or smoky from the previous night. Best is to use a nice metal Menorah. If one can afford it, one should buy a silver Menorah to beautify the Mitzva. The wicks on a Menorah must all be at the same level; you cannot have some higher and some lower. The Shamash should be higher. Its purpose is to provide light so that you don't use the Chanukah lights which are for "display and not for use". The wicks should be far enough away from each other that they don't join and become a torch. If using candles they mustn't be close enough to melt each other. The wicks do not have to be in a straight line; a Menorah can be shaped as a semi-circular or even a full circle.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 139:5, 9
For lighting Shabbat candles one may only use a combination of fuel and wicks that together produce a steady non-flickering light. For Chanukah one may use any fuel and wick combination that will burn for the required time. Preferably one should use something that provides a steady light, like our candles. Best is to use olive oil, since the Chanukah miracle happened with olive oil. Wicks should be made of cotton wool. There is no need to use new wicks every night.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 139:4

For lighting Shabbat candles one may only use a combination of fuel and wicks that together produce a steady non-flickering light. For Chanukah one may use any fuel and wick combination that will burn for the required time. Preferably one should use something that provides a steady light, like our candles. Best is to use olive oil, since the Chanukah miracle happened with olive oil. Wicks should be made of cotton wool. There is no need to use new wicks every night. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 139:4

During all 8 days (and nights) of Chanukah one adds עַל הַנִּסִּים to the Birkat Hamazon during the 2nd Bracha. If you forgot to add עַל הַנִּסִּים and you've already said 'ברוך אתה ה then you don't have to make amends. However, if possible you should say the following during the HaRachaman's after the 4th Bracha:
הָרַחֲמָן הוּא יַעֲשֶׂה לָנוּ נִסִּים וְנִפְלָאוֹת

כְּמוֹ שֶׁעָשָׂה לַאֲבוֹתֵינוּ
בַּיָּמִים הַהֵם בַּזְּמַן הַזֶּה בִּימֵי מַתִּתְיָהוּ
...and then continue with the rest of the
עַל הַנִּסִּים. During every Amida of Chanukah (including Mussaf) one adds עַל הַנִּסִּים during Modim. If you forgot to add עַל הַנִּסִּים and you've already said 'ברוך אתה ה then you don't have to make amends. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 44:16, 139: 21

This year Chanukah starts on Thursday, 2nd December 2010. We will light the first flame on Wednesday afternoon, 1st Dec. Since both men and women were included in the miracle of Chanukah, they both need to light the Chanukah Menorah. At least one person per household must light. The custom is for everybody to light, including children under Bar Mitzva. However, married couples share one Chanukah Menorah that either the husband or wife lights. Even blind people should light, if they live by themselves.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 139:16

Since one cannot light fire on Shabbat, on Friday the Menorah is lit before Shabbat. The correct order for Friday is:
- Daven "early" Mincha
- Light the Chanukah Menorah. One can light as early as 75 Halachic minutes before sunset.
- Light Shabbat candles at the regular time.
The Chanukah Menorah needs be stay lit until 30 minutes after dark.
On Friday one needs longer candles or more oil than during the week, since it needs to burn for 70 minutes or longer.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 139:17

Some have the custom of lighting the Menorah before making Havdalah, since one already heard Havdalah in Schul. (Source: רמ"א 581:2) The Haphtarah this week is the Chanucha one (רני ושמחי from Zechariah 2:14). Each night of Chanukah one adds an extra light, starting at 1 and ending at 8. Besides for the nightly number, the custom is to add an extra candle each night - known as the Shamash. This is ensure that one doesn't accidentally use the light from the actual Chanukah lights, which is forbidden.
After the Chanukah Menorah has been burning for half an hour after nightfall, one may derive benefit from the lights of the Chanukah Menorah.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 139:14

Monday Dec. 26 and Tuesday the 27th are Rosh Chodesh Tevet. Rosh Chodesh Tevet is the only time the full-Hallel is said on Rosh Chodesh. (Usually on Rosh Chodesh we leave out 2 half-paragraphs.) Between Shacharis and Mussaf we will take out 2 Sifrei Torah. First we call up 3 people to the Torah for Rosh Chodesh and then - in the second Sefer Torah - a fourth person for Chanukah. We then Daven Mussaf for Rosh Chodesh, with Al HaNisim! Sunday evening Dec. 25th do not forget Yaaleh VeYavo and Al HaNisim in the Amida and Birkas Hamazon. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 139:24 As usual for Rosh Chodesh at night; if we forget in the Amida prayer we do not have to go back and pray again like forgetting certain other things.

Inyanay Diyoma

Regarding the Euro and investment in Europe: Lloyd’s of London ABANDONS European banks!

“Banks could be taken down,” says Lloyd’s finance director.

Dear Investor,

Without warning, Lloyd’s — the world’s oldest insurance market —announced that it has withdrawn its money from European banks. The reason? According to Lloyd’s, the banks are in danger of failing as Europe’s debt crisis continues to intensify. The company’s Finance Director, Luke Savage, put it simply:

“If you’re worried the government itself might be at risk, then you’re certainly worried the banks could be taken down with them.”

Which European governments are Lloyd’s talking about? They’re not saying. But it IS interesting to note that Lloyd’s didn’t just withdraw its money from Greek banks; it ithdrew its money from banks all over Europe!One thing you can be sure of, though:

When the world’s oldest insurance company ... A firm that for 323 years has made its living by accurately calculating the odds of future disasters ...

When that company suddenly takes its money and runs, it’s a MASSIVE red flag for investors — a clear sign that the beginning of the end is near! Lloyd’s has every reason to worry. In addition to the government debt crisis that’s threatening to destroy European banks, a huge credit crisis is spreading across the Continent as well. Spanish and Italian banks are rejecting massive numbers of loans and charging customers more as the sovereign debt crisis continues to drive their own borrowing cost higher.

Any way you look at it, this shrinking of European credit markets is the worst kind of downward spiral:

  • The government debt crisis is making it harder and more expensive for banks to borrow money; the banks are passing those higher costs along to borrowers.
  • Corporations have to pay more to borrow; their cost of doing business is rising.
  • Consumers can’t or won’t borrow at higher rates, so corporate earnings plunge.
Good ole Harry Reid legalizes Bestiality
You come and call Israel a ripe banana republic - day light come and I want to go home.
Check out number 3 here that is a big surprise and something is afloat.
I showed my Israeli Friends this store last week for the Chanucha Menorahs and now this act of hatred:,0,6813475.story
Don't say that I did not warn of an EMP attack as for a Solar Flare I am uncertain that too much would be knocked out.
In Israel, six people who are accused of burning Mosques have been detained. I condemn attacking religious institutions of any religion and some of the cults. There was a shocking piece of news statistics that upset me to no end. One in five women has been raped and one in six women has been stalked in the States. I am sure that in the rest of the world the statistics are no different. It is scary to think that 20% of women have been abuse and if we sort of combine with the stalked women we can get about 25% of the women have had some sort of an incident. This is just as bad as burning a religious institution.
Syria moves Scuds to Turkish Border:
US worries about Syria attacking Yarden:
Light plane crashes on Rehov Menachem Begin in Modiin two killed.
Now for the Good Shabbos Stories – Pennies from Heaven, Indian Chief and Match
Good Shabbos Everyone. On the way to Haran, Yakov the patriarch stopped to rest for the night on Mount Moriah, the future site of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.
As he slept, Yakov dreamt that he saw a ladder. The famous dream of the ladder contains some of the most inspirational lessons of the entire Torah. The verse tells us that Yakov "dreamt, and behold! A ladder was set on the earth and its top reached towards the heavens..."(Bereshis 28:12)
The Rabbis teach us that the ladder symbolizes the position of a Jew in this world. Although we stand on the ground like the base of the ladder, we strive to reach up to the heavens, like the top of the ladder in the dream. As the verse states, "A ladder was set on the earth and its top reached towards the heavens..." It is important to review the fact that a Jew is made up of body and soul.
As the verse tells us "And Hashem G-d formed the man of dust from the ground, and He blew into his nostrils the soul of life; and man became a living being."(Bereshis 2:7) Hashem implanted the holy soul into the earthy body. The body craves earthy pleasures such as eating, sleeping, etc. While the soul, craves spiritual pleasures such as Torah study, prayer and other mitzvahs.
This idea is hinted to in the dream of Yakov. As the verse tells us "A ladder was set on the earth and its top reached towards the heavens..." The challenge of a Jew is therefore to elevate his earthy being to become more like Hashem in heaven. The ladder must stay on the ground in order to climb on it, yet the purpose of the ladder is to climb higher. So too, although we although we must take care of our earthy needs such as eating, and sleeping, etc., our primary goal is to reach the heavens.
Jews in Karlsruhe, Germany, were given the rights to live as equals and in relatively peaceful conditions from the late 17th century. The Jewish community thus flourished in this city, located on the Rhine River and a short distance from France. Shmuel Straus, a banker in this city, enjoyed a happy life, free to spend his extra time raising his children, doing good deeds and studying Torah from his vast library of Jewish books. .
Shmuel earned just enough to support his family without any worries. He was known to be G-d-fearing and thus did all of his business dealings honestly. Shmuel's first business venture was to run a small bank, given to him by his father-in-law following his marriage. With a permit from the government, Shmuel would mainly exchange currencies and invest money for people. He owned a special coat with two large pockets, one where he would place account receivables and one for currency exchange.
One Friday morning, before going to the bris of his friend's son, he put on the special coat he would wear on Shabbos, holidays and special occasions, and transferred the wads of cash he'd ordinarily keep in his other coat. Following the celebration, he continued on his way to work as usual, changing money and accepting payments. At midday, he stopped his work to assist in the preparations at home for the holy Shabbos. .
After his wife lit the Shabbos candles, he put on his Shabbos coat, and bid farewell to his wife and small children and then headed to the synagogue for the Friday night prayers. He suddenly realized that his pockets were still filled with wads of money from that day's dealings. Shabbos was a special day for Shmuel, and he'd spend it in prayer, learning and precious time with his family. For the Shabbos meal, they would always have many guests. That Shabbos was no different. As he walked the quiet route back from the synagogue, he'd take the time to gather the words of Torah he would say at the Shabbos table. His guests would soon arrive with their families at his home. .
Shmuel sat on the bench on the side of the road as he gathered his thoughts, when he suddenly realized that his pockets were still filled with wads of money from that day's dealings. Shmuel learned from an early age that it is forbidden to transfer anything from the private domain (his home) to the public domain (the city streets), or vise versa, or to even pick up something and carry it in the street. .
Thus, Shmuel remained rooted in his place was sweating from the thought of having to carry the money. He could not bear the idea of using money that he brought home on Shabbos..
Sitting in the deserted street, he suddenly thought about the joy he'd have knowing that he did the right thing, and quickly unbuttoned his coat, dropping the wallets on the ground. A blanket of relief swept over him. He knew that he would have to repay many debts, and that his future was in doubt. .
However, his trust in G‑d empowered him to make a decision that he knew was right. That Shabbos was extra joyous for him. He felt that he passed the great test G‑d placed in his way, and had prevailed triumphantly. His extra joy was a mystery to his family and the many guests who had been to his table before. As the sun faded and the stars came out, Shmuel said the special prayer recited over wine at the conclusion of Shabbos. His wife held the special candle and the family passed around the special fragrance to soothe the soul upon the departure of the beautiful Shabbos. His extra joy was a mystery to his family and the many guests who had been to his table before After saying the after-blessing on the wine, Shmuel relayed to his family what had transpired on Friday night, thus revealing the reason for the joyous Shabbos. He also told them that it may be the beginning of a more difficult life. .
His wife accepted the will of Hashem and assured the family that everything will turn out for the best. The same night, Shmuel decided to check the route he'd used, hoping to find the wallets he'd dropped. He did! And as Shmuel opened the door to his home, the family breathed a sigh of relief, for the wallets were intact with the full sum of money inside them. .
A few days later, the Minister of Finances of the Baden region heard about the trustworthy Straus bank, and entrusted Shmuel with a huge sum of money. The investment in the bank spread and many well-to-do people invested their money with Shmuel. Today, Shmuel's legacy lives on in Jerusalem, where the Straus Courtyard, a place of Torah learning, stands in his name. His children sold Straus & Company in 1938 when they fled from Germany and relocated to California. Good Shabbos Everyone.
Good Shabbos Everyone. In this week's portion Vayishlach, we read some of the most amazing verses in the entire Torah. The Torah tells us how Yakov fought with a malach - an angel until the break of dawn. On the simplest level, the verses are describing how Yakov had a knock down, drag out fight with an angel. After fighting, the angel gave Yakov a new name, Yisroel. The verse states: "And he [the malach - angel] said, Your name shall be called no more Yakov, but Yisrael; for as a prince you have power with G-d and with men, and have prevailed." (Bereishis 32:29)
We can also understand these verses on a deeper spiritually rewarding level. Namely, all of our struggles in life are tests from Hashem. Hashem gives us challenges so that we can grow from them. This is similar to a teacher who gives assignments to his students so that they can learn. Just as Hashem sent the malach - the angel to fight with Yakov, so too does Hashem send us challenges every day. If we fight hard and rise to the challenges as Yakov did, then we will merit to be called Yisroel, meaning, as the verse says: "a prince [who has] power with G-d and with men."
The following inspirational story illustrates one Jew's successful overcoming of struggles in life. In the 1960's Ben Richards (not his real name) grew up hating city live in the Canarsie section of Brooklyn. Ben was a voracious reader of nature books and he dreamed of living on a farm.
Ben's parents were Orthodox Jews, but Judaism had little meaning for Ben. He was a free spirit, with no desire to be encumbered by rules and regulations that controlled every aspect of his live. Still though, he sought the meaning of life.
So, at age 17 he left home and traveled 2,000 miles westward to live on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in the northwestern mountains of America in the area bordering Glacier National Park. While on the reservation, he enrolled in the local university and majored in wildlife biology.
However, Ben's primary studies were on the reservation. His primary teacher on the reservation was an old Indian man named Whitecalf. Ben stayed for a little while on that reservation, before leaving to join a different reservation in South Dakota. Ben spent several years on the reservation in South Dakota learning the ways of the Indians. Eventually, Ben was fluent in their language and customs. He even dressed in the traditional Indian garb.
Ben always strived to understand the deeper meaning of life. He looked for answers among the Indians. One day, Ben heard about a woman who was said to possess higher spiritual powers. The woman was the matriarch of the Sioux Indian Society. Ben was convinced that this woman knew the meaning of life.
Eventually, after traveling several days over hills and across prairies, Ben reached the camp where the famous woman lived. Elva Onefeather, as she was known, lived in wretched conditions.
Ben approached her and began to ask about her Indian Heritage. She refused to answer him. "You are not one of us," she said. "You can never be like us, you don't belong here." "But I have lived on reservations for years. I know your culture, I know your language, I practice your customs and I feel part of…" She interrupted him, "If you were a X-tian, I could understand. But you are a student of the Holy White Rock Man." Ben assumed she was referring to Moshe Rabbeinu (Years later he thought that the 'holy rock" was perhaps a reference to Shemos 32:22 - "When My glory passes by, I shall place you in the cleft of the rock.")
"You are not one of us," she admonished him. "Go back to your roots. That is where you belong." Ben was shocked. He was being rejected. After all the time and effort he had invested in this lifestyle. A revered member of the Indian community had labeled him an outsider. Was he now to go back to city life? To Jewish life?
The refection made him rethink his whole life. Within days, Ben packed his Chevy pick-up truck and together with his dog, began the long journey eastward.
He made his way to Brooklyn and began asking old acquaintances for names of people or organizations who might give him guidance. He was given a list of names and he consulted each of the them. Ben was disappointed once a again. He went through name after name on the list, and he still did not feel that he could relate to anyone. He had one more name left on his list. If it did not work, he could go back west. The name was Rabbi Shlomo Friefeld (1926-1990), Rosh Yeshiva of the Yeshiva "Shor Yoshuv" in Far Rockaway, New York.
Ben with his long ponytail and his dog, drove out to Far Rockaway in his old pick-up truck. He parked his truck on Central Avenue in front of the Yeshiva and headed inside where he soon met Rabbi Freifeld. Ben was immediately touched by the Rosh Yeshiva's kindness.
Rabbi Freifeld warmly welcomed Ben into his office. Ben told Rabbi Freifeld about his experiences on the Indian reservation. Ben was then taken aback by Rabbi Freifeld's queries. The Rabbi wanted to know how to hunt deer, how to determine the freshness of elk tracks. These were the last topics Ben ever thought he would be discussing with a Rabbi.
Their first conversation lasted for about 20 minutes, and it covered a wide range of subjects. As Ben left, Rabbi Freifeld noticed Ben's ponytail and said, "Why are you hiding your hair in your shirt? Your hair is so beautiful!" Ben left the office mesmerized. He wanted to come back. He needed to get to know this man.
Ben returned the next morning where he found the members of the yeshiva busy with a bris. Rabbi Freifeld managed to pick Ben out of the large crowd and motioned for him to come to the front. Ben was once again touched by the Rabbi's warmth.
Over the following few weeks, Ben and Rabbi Freifeld spoke for hours on end. They would usually speak in his office, which was bejeweled with thousands of sefarim (Jewish books) on all aspects of Torah. Each of the bookshelves was filled to capacity. It was said that Rabbi Freifeld had 15,000 sefarim.
One afternoon as they spoke in the office, someone came in and told Rabbi Freifeld that he was need in the Beis Medrash (the study hall). Rabbi Freifeld excused himself and told Ben that he would be back in a few moments.
Being alone in the office, Ben got up from his chair and began walking around gazing at the overflowing bookcases of seforim that Rabbi Freifeld had. He walked near where Rabbi Freifeld had been sitting and noticed something unusual in the kneehole of the desk. There were a number of books lying on the floor! It did not make sense. These were all holy books - how could they possibly be on the floor? He bent down and picked them up.
It was then, when he picked up those books, did Ben's life change forever. Because, the books on the floor were about American Indian culture and life on reservations!
"It was then," says Ben, "that I realized how much [Rabbi Freifeld] really loved me." Rabbi Freifeld was studying those books so that he could understand where Ben was coming from. By taking time to understand and not merely to be understood, Rabbi Freifeld validated Ben's concerns and quest for meaning in life.
Ben went on to study at the Yeshiva Shor Yoshuv for several years, where he developed into a remarkable talmid chacham (Torah scholar), a incredible mentsch, and (in his mind) Rabbi Freifeld's most beloved talmid. (From "Reflections of the Maggid" Rabbi Paysach J. Krohn, p.215)
Just as Hashem sent the malach - the angel to fight with Yakov, so too does Hashem send us challenges, every day. If we prevail as Yakov did, then we will merit to be called Yisroel, meaning, as the verse says: "a prince [who has] power with G-d and with men." Good Shabbos Everyone.
Good Shabbos Everyone Rashi at the end of the parsha states: "And he [the butler] forgot about him [Yosef]..." Yosef had been imprisioned in Pharoh's house and he had asked the butler, who would soon be released, to intercede on Yosef's behalf. Since Yosef had made himself dependent on the butler, he was punished by being imprisoned for another two years, as the verse states (Tehillim 40:5), "Happy is the man who puts his trust in God, who does not turn to rehavim, the arrogant," meaning that he does not trust in Egypt, which is called rahav [the singular of rehavim].The following story as told by Yossy Gordon about his uncle Rabbi Sholom Gordon of blessed memory, illustrates the importance in putting one's trust in Hashem.
"Reb Sholom Gordon was a Lubavitch emissary in New Jersey, starting in the early forties. Over the years, he touched thousands of lives. Sometime around 1960, the mother of a former student of Uncle Sholom approached him with a problem. Her daughter, who had reached marriageable age several years before, was having a hard time finding a shidduch (match).
Aware of the Rebbe's reputation for being insightful and for giving blessings, the desperate mother asked Sholom to arrange a meeting for her with the Rebbe. Sholom complied, and even drove the mother, along with her son who was accompanying her, to meet the Rebbe, of righteous memory. "When Hashem sends her bashert... then I will close the store"
My uncle waited outside. When the mother emerged from the Rebbe's office, she looked upset. "What happened?" Sholom inquired. "Well," answered the mother, "I went in to the Rebbe and asked him for a blessing for my daughter's shidduch. I was surprised when the Rebbe began to ask me questions about my life. He asked me what our source of livelihood is. I told him that we have a very successful store in Newark. The Rebbe asked me if the store is open on Shabbos. I told him that it is.
"Then, and this is what I really do not understand, the Rebbe suggested that since we are financially secure, we should close our store on Shabbos and that G‑d will then send our daughter her bashert (intended one). I countered that we need the store to provide for our daughter in case something happens to us and she does not get married.
When G‑d sends her bashert... then I will close the store. The Rebbe disagreed. "Rabbi Gordon," continued the woman, "I am from Europe. I know chassidic rebbes. I thought they just gave blessings and wanted a donation. I didn't come here for business advice..."
Years went by. 1967 arrived and with it came the Newark Riots and violence and vandalism. The store owned by Sholom's former student's parents was among those destroyed in the melee. Already nearing retirement age, and with her husband having passed away shortly beforehand, the mother decided not to rebuild the store. The store was finally closed on Shabbos. Within a few months, the daughter met her bashert. Today, thank Hashem, she is the mother of a well-respected family, thankfully, before it was too late. Good Shabbos Everyone
. M. Wolfberg is sponsored by In memory of Tziporah Yitta (Wienshienk) bas Menachem Mendel obm and for a refuah shelaima for Ruchama Chaya Sora bas Chava Breindal. Refuah Shleima to Reb Mordechai Menachem Mendel ben Tziporah Yitta Refuah Shleima to Tsviah bas Bracha Leah
The above Drasha was put together in the middle of my vacation. A healthy, happy and wonderful Shabbos to all and a peaceful rest,
Rachamim Pauli