Friday, November 29, 2013

Parsha Mikeitz, Keitz and 9/11, stories Chanucha


Murphy’s Law and Rabbi Pauli or the Yetzer is working overtime to stop me. I don’t usually have the internet which is telephone cable based collapse on me but the router appears to have gone with the wind so in the worst case scenario, I will have to beg to use somebody’s else’s line or my cellphone again like the time I put out the blogspot during a power failure in FL. When three weeks in a row there are such problems getting out the blogspot this indicates that the Satan is purposely working overtime to prevent the production. So on the surface it looks like anything that is bound to go wrong will go wrong but this time it is a bit more. Finally after 24 hours off line, I am back and most of the commentary was written without the help or guidelines of Rashi.


Parsha Mekeitz


On the way back to normalcy is the theme in Yosef’s life. He was bound to be the prince of Yisrael and to rule after Yacov but his brothers got jealous and Reuven failed to provide the leadership. As with our redemption in the future there will be a meteoric rise of Moshiach. One minute Yosef is a jailed foreigner youth and slave and the next minute the Prime Minister and father like advisor of Pharaoh. No one dared do a thing in Mitzrayim without the say of Yosef. He is an extremely busy man and manages every detail of the grain harvest and famine supply. Suddenly, he has time to deal with 10 brothers who came to purchase food for their families. This year, I want to look into the second half of the Parsha and run through the first half as the story is well known and I have covered.


41:1 And it came to pass at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh dreamed: and, behold, he stood by the river.


It came to pass at the end: Heb. מִקֵץ. The Targum renders: מִסוֹף, at the end, and every expression of קֵץ means end. by the Nile: Heb. עַל-הַיְאֹר, lit., by the canal. No other rivers are called יְאוֹרִים except the Nile, because the entire land is covered with many man-made canals (יְאוֹרִים), and the Nile rises in their midst and waters them, for it does not usually rain in Egypt as it does in other countries.



When the god-king of Mitzrayim dreams it is important and on his birthday it takes a special purpose for all the kingdom.


2 And, behold, there came up out of the river seven kine, well-favored and fat-fleshed; and they fed in the reed-grass. 3 And, behold, seven other kine came up after them out of the river, ill-favored and lean-fleshed; and stood by the other kine upon the brink of the river. 4 And the ill-favored and lean-fleshed kine did eat up the seven well-favored and fat kine. So Pharaoh awoke.


Cattle, sheep, goats, etc. are herbivorous animals and the fact that they are cannibalistic is especially upsetting as these are clean animals. 


5 And he slept and dreamed a second time: and, behold, seven ears of corn came up upon one stalk, rank and good. 6 And, behold, seven ears, thin and blasted with the east wind, sprung up after them. 7 And the thin ears swallowed up the seven rank and full ears. And Pharaoh awoke, and, behold, it was a dream.


This is the same dream in another variation. The fact that the dream did not come from a normal daily routine shows that it is from HASHEM. As much as Pharaoh held himself to be a god, he was scared for this not reality.


8 And it came to pass in the morning that his spirit was troubled; and he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt, and all the wise men thereof; and Pharaoh told them his dream; but there was none that could interpret them unto Pharaoh.


Pharaoh needed the dream specialists and priests to find him a solution to lack of knowledge of the meaning.


9 Then spoke the chief butler unto Pharaoh, saying: 'I make mention of my faults this day: 10 Pharaoh was wroth with his servants, and put me in the ward of the house of the captain of the guard, me and the chief baker. 11 And we dreamed a dream in one night, I and he; we dreamed each man according to the interpretation of his dream. 12 And there was with us there a young man, a Hebrew, servant to the captain of the guard; and we told him, and he interpreted to us our dreams; to each man according to his dream he did interpret.


A Hebrew lad, a slave: Cursed are the wicked, for their favors are incomplete. He mentions him with expressions of contempt. A lad: a fool, unfit for a high position; A Hebrew: he does not even understand our language; A slave: and in the statutes of Egypt it is written that a slave may neither reign nor wear princely raiment. — [from Gen. Rabbah 89:7] [for] each [of us]…according to his dream: According to the dream and close to its contents. — [from Ber. 55b]



Why the belittling here? Under the laws of Egypt a lad, a foreigner and slave could not be an advisor to Pharaoh. But when you are a god like Pharaoh you can revise the constitution of the land and that is what Pharaoh did.


13 And it came to pass, as he interpreted to us, so it was: I was restored unto mine office, and he was hanged.' 14 Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon. And he shaved himself, and changed his raiment, and came in unto Pharaoh.


A Nazir could shave himself, but I have seen hieroglyphics where the Pharaoh and others had a beard so I assume it is shaving his head and perhaps other parts of the body certainly he could not present himself as the hairy prisoner bound for well over two years.


15 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph: 'I have dreamed a dream, and there is none that can interpret it; and I have heard say of thee, that when thou hear a dream thou can interpret it.' 16 And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying: 'It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh an answer of peace.'


Yosef makes a Kiddush HASHEM here. Giving credit where it is due brings redemption into the world – Perkei Avos.


17 And Pharaoh spoke unto Joseph: 'In my dream, behold, I stood upon the brink of the river.


Not I: Heb. בִּלְעָדָי. The wisdom is not mine, but God will answer. He will put an answer into my mouth that will bring peace to Pharaoh. — [from Targum Onkelos]


The Nile was the source of Panosa (income) for all of Mitzrayim and its water the source of life for the population. The capitol was built on the Nile.


25 And Joseph said unto Pharaoh: 'The dream of Pharaoh is one; what God is about to do He hath declared unto Pharaoh.


Again a Kiddush HASHEM.


26 The seven good kine are seven years; and the seven good ears are seven years: the dream is one.


seven years and…seven years: All of them are only [a single period of] seven. The reason the dream was repeated twice is that the matter [the good years] is ready, as he explained to him at the end. “And concerning the repetition of the dream to Pharaoh twice-that is because the matter is ready…” (verse 32). In connection with the seven good years it says, “He has told Pharaoh” (verse 25), because it was near, but in connection with the seven years of famine, it says, “He has shown Pharaoh” (verse 28). Since the matter was distant and far off, an expression of “showing a vision” is appropriate.



27 And the seven lean and ill-favoured kine that came up after them are seven years, and also the seven empty ears blasted with the east wind; they shall be seven years of famine. 28 That is the thing which I spoke unto Pharaoh: what God is about to do He hath shown unto Pharaoh. 29 Behold, there come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt. 30 And there shall arise after them seven years of famine; and all the plenty shall be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine shall consume the land;


And all the plenty will be forgotten: This is the interpretation of the swallowing.



One could manage this plenty or squander it. I read about a relative of a black woman who earns money and then drives to certain clubs that I would never go to and splurge his money on the female dancers and when he gets low, he goes to cheaper clubs and bars until he runs out of money so it is important to manage one’s plenty. I remember the money that Mike Tyson earned and splurged vs. Arnold Schwarzenegger who had less money but invested and saved and is worth close to a billion today.   


31 and the plenty shall not be known in the land by reason of that famine which follows; for it shall be very grievous.


7 years of famine can destroy the country, starving people may riot and tremendous deaths among the population the whole economy of Mitzrayim will collapse.


32 And for that the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh twice, it is because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass.


Double dreams on the same subject are sure to come true.


33 Now therefore let Pharaoh look out a man discreet and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt. 34 Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint overseers over the land, and take up the fifth part of the land of Egypt in the seven years of plenty.


Yosef up until this point shows that he knows how to interpret the dream. At this point, Yosef shows that he knows how to manage the crises too as he comes up with a solution either via prophecy or from his own wisdom on how to deal with the impending disaster.


35 And let them gather all the food of these good years that come, and lay up corn under the hand of Pharaoh for food in the cities, and let them keep it. 36 And the food shall be for a store to the land against the seven years of famine, which shall be in the land of Egypt; that the land not perish through the famine.' 37 And the thing was good in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of all his servants.


Yosef knows not only the interpretation but also the solution of the problem he interpreted in all aspects and details.


38 And Pharaoh said unto his servants: 'Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom the spirit of God is?'


Even though Pharaoh is leader and god of Egypt still he is wise enough to consult with his advisors who will of course yes man his advise here.


39 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph: 'Forasmuch as God hath shown thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou. 40 Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled; only in the throne will I be greater than thou.'


Yosef is now assistant Pharaoh or vice-Pharaoh.


41 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph: 'See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt.'


Pharaoh will now give him the second chariot horse and make him the boss. I might be so bold as to assume that Pharaoh had more gold on his chariot and Yosef perhaps gold and silver.


42 And Pharaoh took off his signet ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph's hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck. 43 And he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him: 'Abrech'; and he set him over all the land of Egypt.


Abrech = On your knees for Yosef was THE representative of Pharaoh in everything being prime minister and head of all things related to finance and agriculture in Egypt.


44 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph: 'I am Pharaoh, and without thee shall no man lift up his hand or his foot in all the land of Egypt.'


You have my backing to give orders and administrate the land.


45 And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphenath-paneah; and he gave him to wife Asenath the daughter of Poti-phera priest of On. And Joseph went out over the land of Egypt.—


Pharaoh was wise enough to know that the prime minister might want to meet him at any time. Perhaps Pharaoh had a harem as under Yosef the ministers were Eunuchs or at least those who dealt with the food handling. So Yosef is given a wife like Pharaoh has a wife so he will be able to handle his Yetzer. In the Medrash, Asenath is identified with the daughter of Dina and Schem.


46 And Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt.--And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Egypt.


It is now 13 years since Yosef was a shepherd in another time and place where there is enough hatred to murder him. He is not interested in contacting them. Perhaps he even heard of the plans to slaughter a goat and use the blood to imply that he was dead.


47 And in the seven years of plenty the earth brought forth in heaps. 48 And he gathered up all the food of the seven years which were in the land of Egypt, and laid up the food in the cities; the food of the field, which was round about every city, laid he up in the same. 49 And Joseph laid up corn as the sand of the sea, very much, until they left off numbering; for it was without number.


Without computers how can Yosef measure the grain? The numbering system did not perhaps go higher than 100,000 or 1,000 of 1,000’s aka a million. Billions, trillions, sextillions and other numbers were not dreamed up until relatively modern times and in my early days in science the numbers existed in astronomy only not in budgets that would become public knowledge.


50 And unto Joseph were born two sons before the year of famine came, whom Asenath the daughter of Poti-phera priest of On bore unto him.


The question arises has Yosef forgotten his heritage if he has not contacted his family and where is his fear of heaven?


51 And Joseph called the name of the first-born Manasseh: 'for God hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father's house.' 52 And the name of the second called he Ephraim: 'for God hath made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.'\


This is the first indication that he still has fear of heaven and remembers his roots despite the fact that he is deep in the land of idolatry and the sheep god.


 53 And the seven years of plenty, that was in the land of Egypt, came to an end. 54 And the seven years of famine began to come, according as Joseph had said; and there was famine in all lands; but in all the land of Egypt there was bread. 55 And when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread; and Pharaoh said unto all the Egyptians: 'Go unto Joseph; what he says to you, do.'


Don’t complain to me as he has the solution let the buck stop with him and not me.


56 And the famine was over all the face of the earth; and Joseph opened all the storehouses, and sold unto the Egyptians; and the famine was sore in the land of Egypt. 57 And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph to buy corn; because the famine was sore in all the earth.


42:1 Now Jacob saw that there was corn in Egypt, and Jacob said unto his sons: 'Why do ye look one upon another?' 2 And he said: 'Behold, I have heard that there is corn in Egypt. Get you down thither, and buy for us from thence; that we may live, and not die.' 3 And Joseph's ten brethren went down to buy corn from Egypt. 4 But Benjamin, Joseph's brother, Jacob sent not with his brethren; for he said: 'Lest peradventure harm befall him.' 5 And the sons of Israel came to buy among those that came; for the famine was in the land of Canaan. 6 And Joseph was the governor over the land; he it was that sold to all the people of the land. And Joseph's brethren came, and bowed down to him with their faces to the earth. 7 And Joseph saw his brethren, and he knew them, but made himself strange unto them, and spoke roughly with them; and he said unto them: 'Whence come ye?' And they said: 'From the land of Canaan to buy food.' 8 And Joseph knew his brethren, but they knew him not.


Now how in the world could the brothers know Zaphenath-paneah? He is dressed and talks like all the Egyptians through an interpreter perhaps has eye make-up on and completely Egyptian in dress and manners not like Yosef of the people of Canaan. As Yosef was a thin youth with perhaps a scrawny beard and here is a man with a full beard and after 20 to 22 years a middle-aged man. Reuven, Shimon and Levy were adults and now their hair was most likely graying but not too much different from the earlier days.


 9 And Joseph remembered the dreams which he dreamed of them, and said unto them: 'Ye are spies; to see the nakedness of the land ye are come.'


Suddenly, Yosef remembered the dreams when it came to his brothers as they were physically bowing before him. The dreams always have some nonsense and since his mother had passed on the Sun and the Moon could not bow down to him.


10 And they said unto him: 'Nay, my lord, but to buy food are thy servants come. 11 We are all one man's sons; we are upright men, thy servants are no spies.' 12 And he said unto them: 'Nay, but to see the nakedness of the land ye are come.' 13 And they said: 'We thy servants are twelve brethren, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan; and, behold, the youngest is this day with our father, and one is not.'


They had been searching the capitol for a slave named Yosef but no such person existed there so they were accused of spying seeing that they had split up and were searching the areas even the bad neighborhoods.


14 And Joseph said unto them: 'That is it that I spoke unto you, saying: Ye are spies. 15 Hereby ye shall be proved, as Pharaoh lives, ye shall not go forth hence, except your youngest brother come hither. 16 Send one of you, and let him fetch your brother, and ye shall be bound, that your words may be proved, whether there be truth in you; or else, as Pharaoh lives, surely ye are spies.' 17 And he put them all together into ward three days. 18 And Joseph said unto them the third day. 'This do, and live; for I fear God:


He pretended that HASHEM came to him in a dream that is the sudden fear of G-D. However, the 3 days were measure for measure for the time they kept him in the pit.


19 if ye be upright men, let one of your brethren be bound in your prison-house; but go ye, carry corn for the famine of your houses; 20 and bring your youngest brother unto me; so shall your words be verified, and ye shall not die.' And they did so. 21 And they said one to another: 'We are verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the distress of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear; therefore is this distress come upon us.' 22 And Reuben answered them, saying: 'Spoke I not unto you, saying: Do not sin against the child; and ye would not hear? therefore also, behold, his blood is required.' 23 And they knew not that Joseph understood them; for the interpreter was between them. 24 And he turned himself about from them, and wept; and he returned to them, and spoke to them, and took Simeon from among them, and bound him before their eyes.


Why Shimon? Levi although a bit temperamental was a Tzaddik; however, Shimon was more or less a plain hot head and an average Ben Yisrael but not a Tzaddik.


25 Then Joseph commanded to fill their vessels with corn, (meaning grain as in old English corn = grain) and to restore every man's money into his sack, and to give them provision for the way; and thus was it done unto them. 26 And they laded their asses with their corn, and departed thence. 27 And as one of them opened his sack to give his ass provender in the lodging-place, he espied his money; and, behold, it was in the mouth of his sack. 28 And he said unto his brethren: 'My money is restored; and, lo, it is even in my sack.' And their heart failed them, and they turned trembling one to another, saying: 'What is this that God hath done unto us?'


A ben Yisrael (in our days we would say a Jew) must review daily his deeds and the happenings to him for nothing happens without a purpose and they did what we call a real Cheshbon Nefesh similar to before Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.


29 And they came unto Jacob their father unto the land of Canaan, and told him all that had befallen them, saying: 30 'The man, the lord of the land, spoke roughly with us, and took us for spies of the country. 31 And we said unto him: We are upright men; we are no spies. 32 We are twelve brethren, sons of our father; one is not, and the youngest is this day with our father in the land of Canaan. 33 And the man, the lord of the land, said unto us: Hereby shall I know that ye are upright men: leave one of your brethren with me, and take corn for the famine of your houses, and go your way. 34 And bring your youngest brother unto me; then shall I know that ye are no spies, but that ye are upright men; so will I deliver you your brother, and ye shall traffic in the land.' 35 And it came to pass as they emptied their sacks that, behold, every man's bundle of money was in his sack; and when they and their father saw their bundles of money, they were afraid. 36 And Jacob their father said unto them: 'Me have ye bereaved of my children: Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away; upon me are all these things come.' 37 And Reuben spoke unto his father, saying: 'Thou shalt slay my two sons, if I bring him not to thee; deliver him into my hand, and I will bring him back to thee.'


Reuven really said a stupid thing and proves that he is no leader. He is not only saying about his two sons but Yacov’s grandsons. Now what pleasure or reward will a Tzaddik like Yacov get if he slays Reuven’s sons this is not the type of guarantee that Yacov can rely on.


38 And he said: 'My son shall not go down with you; for his brother is dead, and he only is left; if harm befall him by the way in which ye go, then will ye bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to the grave.


I will die from grief. He is all that remains of my beloved Rachel all the other children are derivatives of my love for Rachel and you want to take that away from me?


43:1 And the famine was sore in the land. 2 And it came to pass, when they had eaten up the corn which they had brought out of Egypt, that their father said unto them: 'Go again, buy us a little food.' 3 And Judah spoke unto him, saying: 'The man did earnestly forewarn us, saying: Ye shall not see my face, except your brother be with you. 4 If you wilt send our brother with us, we will go down and buy thee food; 5 but if thou wilt not send him, we will not go down, for the man said unto us: Ye shall not see my face, except your brother be with you.' 6 And Israel said: 'Wherefore dealt ye so ill with me, as to tell the man whether ye had yet a brother?'


You country bumpkins! Did you not learn a least a little cunning from your grandfather Lavan must you be like women washing clothes together in the stream telling all sorts of gossip? Did you put your brains in order before speaking so rashly?


7 And they said: 'The man asked straightly concerning ourselves, and concerning our kindred, saying: Is your father yet alive? Have you another brother? and we told him according to the tenor of these words; could we in any wise know that he would say: Bring your brother down?' 8 And Judah said unto Israel his father: 'Send the lad with me, and we will arise and go, that we may live, and not die, both we, and thou, and also our little ones. 9 I will be surety for him; of my hand shalt thou require him; if I bring him not unto thee, and set him before thee, then let me bear the blame for ever.


Recall – it was Yehuda who suggested the sale of Yosef as he feared for the youth’s life. He had 3 older brothers of which the main conspirators were Shimon and Levi so he had to respect them but also save a life. Now Yehuda was willing to be surety not only in this world but also assuring Yacov with his place in the next. Now Olam HaBa is Yacov’s reign and he was moved by this over en the strength, bravery and fighting ability of Yehuda.


10 For except we had lingered, surely we had now returned a second time.'


For the man is no dummy, he knows how much food we need for our families.


11 And their father Israel said unto them: 'If it be so now, do this: take of the choice fruits of the land in your vessels, and carry down the man a present, a little balm, and a little honey, spicery and ladanum, nuts, and almonds; 12 and take double money in your hand; and the money that was returned in the mouth of your sacks carry back in your hand; peradventure it was an oversight; 13 take also your brother, and arise, go again unto the man; 14 and God Almighty give you mercy before the man, that he may release unto you your other brother and Benjamin. And as for me, if I be bereaved of my children, I am bereaved.'


He is no ordinary man. He is the Gadol HaDor and a Bracha from him is most powerful as with Avraham’s blessing to Eliezer.


15 And the men took that present, and they took double money in their hand, and Benjamin; and rose up, and went down to Egypt, and stood before Joseph. 16 And when Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the steward of his house: 'Bring the men into the house, and kill the beasts, and prepare the meat; for the men shall dine with me at noon.' 17 And the man did as Joseph bade; and the man brought the men into Joseph's house. 18 And the men were afraid, because they were brought into Joseph's house; and they said: 'Because of the money that was returned in our sacks at the first time are we brought in; that he may seek occasion against us, and fall upon us, and take us for bondmen, and our asses.' 19 And they came near to the steward of Joseph's house, and they spoke unto him at the door of the house, 20 and said: 'Oh my lord, we came indeed down at the first time to buy food. 21 And it came to pass, when we came to the lodging-place, that we opened our sacks, and, behold, every man's money was in the mouth of his sack, our money in full weight; and we have brought it back in our hand. 22 And other money have we brought down in our hand to buy food. We know not who put our money in our sacks.' 23 And he said: 'Peace be to you, fear not; your God, and the God of your father, hath given you treasure in your sacks; I had your money.' And he brought Simeon out unto them. 24 And the man brought the men into Joseph's house, and gave them water, and they washed their feet; and he gave their asses provender. 25 And they made ready the present against Joseph's coming at noon; for they heard that they should eat bread there. 26 And when Joseph came home, they brought him the present which was in their hand into the house, and bowed down to him to the earth. 27 And he asked them of their welfare, and said: 'Is your father well, the old man of whom ye spoke? Is he yet alive?' 28 And they said: 'Thy servant our father is well, he is yet alive.' And they bowed the head, and made obeisance.


Yosef died 10 years earlier for letting them call his father a servant and this also had an effect of Yehoshua Bin Nun’s age.


29 And he lifted up his eyes, and saw Benjamin his brother, his mother's son, and said: 'Is this your youngest brother of whom ye spoke unto me?' And he said: 'God be gracious unto thee, my son.' 30 And Joseph made haste; for his heart yearned toward his brother; and he sought where to weep; and he entered into his chamber, and wept there. 31 And he washed his face, and came out; and he refrained himself, and said: 'Set on bread.' 32 And they set on for him by himself, and for them by themselves, and for the Egyptians, that did eat with him, by themselves; because the Egyptians might not eat bread with the Hebrews; for that is an abomination unto the Egyptians. 33 And they sat before him, the firstborn according to his birthright, and the youngest according to his youth; and the men marveled one with another. 34 And portions were taken unto them from before him; but Benjamin's portion was five times so much as any of theirs. And they drank, and were merry with him.


This was before Matan Torah and they did not have the laws of Kashrus but that of a Ben Noach for elsewise how could they eat the food of this non-Jew on his plates. Now he gave them presents of garments but to Benyamin he gave 5 and he wanted to see if they would be jealous. But they did not show it. Remember that Benyamin is the baby of the family and not a Bechor like Yosef for Yosef might become the king if Yacov had his way.


44:1 And he commanded the steward of his house, saying: 'Fill the men's sacks with food, as much as they can carry, and put every man's money in his sack's mouth. 2 And put my goblet, the silver goblet, in the sack's mouth of the youngest, and his corn money.' And he did according to the word that Joseph had spoken.


Sefer HaYashar states that when Yosef placed them in birth order, he pretended to do it by divination through his silver cup. It was not a surprise then that the steward would then run and search for the cup (Terrapin like Rachel stole).  


3 As soon as the morning was light, the men were sent away, they and their asses. 4 And when they were gone out of the city, and were not yet far off, Joseph said unto his steward: 'Up, follow after the men; and when thou dost overtake them, say unto them: Wherefore have ye rewarded evil for good? 5 Is not this it in which my lord drinks, and whereby he indeed divines? ye have done evil in so doing.' 6 And he overtook them, and he spoke unto them these words. 7 And they said unto him: 'Wherefore speak my lord such words as these? Far be it from thy servants that they should do such a thing. 8 Behold, the money, which we found in our sacks' mouths, we brought back unto thee out of the land of Canaan; how then should we steal out of thy lord's house silver or gold?


Yosef was a big city man now not a local hick. He had learned some tricks from Lavan being pampered by Rachel and Yacov in his early youth. In the meantime, after about 31 years after Lavan, the brothers had forgotten that lesson and had become stuck with a simple shepherd mentality in fact after over 22 years they had forgotten their own ruse.


9 With whomsoever of thy servants it be found, let him die, and we also will be my lord's bondmen.'


They learned nothing from the talk of Yacov regarding the idols that Rachel stole and her subsequent death. They did not guard their tongues. In short Benyamin was to be accused of being a thief the son a thief (Rachel).


10 And he said: 'Now also let it be according unto your words: he with whom it is found shall be my bondman; and ye shall be blameless.' 11 Then they hastened, and took down every man his sack to the ground, and opened every man his sack. 12 And he searched, beginning at the eldest, and leaving off at the youngest; and the goblet was found in Benjamin's sack. 13 And they rent their clothes, and laded every man his ass, and returned to the city. 14 And Judah and his brethren came to Joseph's house, and he was yet there; and they fell before him on the ground. 15 And Joseph said unto them: 'What deed is this that ye have done? know ye not that such a man as I will indeed divine?' 16 And Judah said: 'What shall we say unto my lord? what shall we speak? or how shall we clear ourselves? God hath found out the iniquity of thy servants; behold, we are my lord's bondmen, both we, and he also in whose hand the cup is found.' 17 And he said: 'Far be it from me that I should do so; the man in whose hand the goblet is found, he shall be my bondman; but as for you, get you up in peace unto your father.'


The brothers did not know this was the test from Yosef but recognized that HASHEM was testing their brotherly loyalty to the end. Have they repented for what they did to Yosef or not? We shall find out next week.


Perceptions Parshas Miketz - Preparing for the End


At the end of two full years, Pharaoh had a dream . . . (Bereishis 41:1)

One of things that always amazes me about Torah is how small things can mean so much. For example, the Hebrew word mikeitz is but three letters—Mem-Kuf-Tzaddi—and yet it teaches us one of the most important lessons of life, if we give the word its due attention.

In the summer of 2001 while teaching at a girl’s seminary in Jerusalem, I concluded the term with a series of classes about the current status of Jewish history, as I had in previous years. I told the girls, all of whom were set to return to the States and enter some college program, that as peaceful as life was in the States for them now, they could expect some major cataclysmic event to occur in the near future (though at the time I had no idea what it would be), that would change the course of history.

Had I made such a remark at the beginning of the term they would have balked and written me off as an extremist, as some kind of End-of-Days nut, and probably would have reported me to management. That’s one of the reasons why I always waited until the end of the term to make my case, after proving myself as a reasonable individual, and after having logically made my point.

Thus it was hard, by that time, for any of my students to argue otherwise. Over the course of three days we had assembled a 6000-year timeline, plotted all kinds of relevant information on it, added some lesser known by equally important Kabbalistic details, and made the case for an End-of-Days scenario. I told that it would seem, based upon what we had carefully drawn on the large white board, that a keitz was coming up, and that something would have to happen to change the situation as it presently stood.

As usual they left somewhat unnerved. But also as usual they mostly forgot about what we had spoken about and returned back to life as normal, and headed for college and the future they had planned for themselves. That is, until a few months later, when 9/11 occurred.

“How did you know?” people asked me after the shock of what occurred began to lessen somewhat.

There answer is because I had learned, including from this week’s parshah, that there are basically two levels of Divine Providence as history goes. One is what many today call “History on Auto-Pilot,” but which others call the “Hidden Hand of God.” The other is called Keitzin, or End-Times, either THE End-Time, as in the End-of-Days, or an End-Time, as in the end of the last two years of Yosef’s incarceration. Either way, it is a pre-designated time by which either redemption or an aspect of redemption must occur.

The difference between the two levels is quite distinct. It’s like the difference between cooking for Shabbos on Wednesday, and cooking for Shabbos two hours before sunset on Friday afternoon. In the case of the former, since so much time remains before Shabbos begins, a chef can afford to be laid back, relaxed, and do everything by the book. You can probably even talk to him or her while he or she does the cooking and baking, since there is less possibility of error, and time to correct what goes wrong.

Cooing on Erev Shabbos, however, is a different story. It is a much more hectic process requiring greater focus since there is more possibility of error, and little or no time to fix it. Sometimes shortcuts even have to be taken, and cooking rules have to be bent to finish the work on time, and well enough for a Shabbos meal.

In-between keitzin, we seem to have significant control over our lives and their directions. We can make plans and carry them out. What we expect to occur naturally seems to occur, or to not occur, again, for natural reasons. In-between keitzin, there are few surprises in life.

But should a keitz come around, it is a very different story. Man may drift through time, but Heaven is single-minded about its goal for history. Heaven is always building towards redemption, even when we do not, and ultimately, the final one. And every once in a while history hits a deadline, a moment in time by which certain aspects of redemption to have been completed.

If history and mankind are on schedule, then life continues as normal. If history and mankind are behind the Divine schedule, then Divinely-ordained corrective measures have to be taken to bring Creation and history up to speed.

That’s what made me think, back in early 2001, that something major was in the works that would alter the course of history. Based upon what I had learned and surmised, it seemed as if a keitz was fast approaching, perhaps even the final one, and that the world, and in particular the Jewish people, just did not seem ready for it.

Even many religious Jews over the last 100 years have become overly rooted in the Diaspora, and lack redemption consciousness. This has to change, it seemed to me, and to others who were on the same historical and philosophical page. It would have to change either through education, which did not seem forthcoming, or through historical incidents that would wake people up and make them focus on the larger goals of the Jewish people, such as the Final Redemption.

The point is this. In-between keitzin, we write the music, so-to-speak, to which history seems to dance. However, when a keitz approaches, then it, again so-to-speak, writes the music to which we must dance, meaning that our lives seem to now be at the mercy of its will, that is, the will of Heaven for that keitz.

Depending on the size of the keitz and its needs, we lose control of our lives. Plans often go astray, and whatever peace we may have enjoyed until then is usually interrupted, if not shattered altogether. In the Holocaust, Jews went from being lovers of life to desirers of death, when the keitz became too intense for many to handle.

Back to our parshah. Based upon the idea of a keitz, it’s not that Pharaoh never dreamed until this week’s parshah. Obviously he dreamed all the time, except that in the past, either his dreams never bothered him, or if they did, he found satisfactory interpretations for them amongst his myriad of priests and magicians.

But a keitz had arrived at the doorstep of Pharaoh’s palace. This meant that Yosef, a young Jewish slave boy accused of adultery with his master’s wife, had to be released from prison, proven innocent, and unprecedentedly and instantly catapulted from the depths of Egyptian society to its heights.

Therefore, Pharaoh was made to dream, and not just any dreams, but dreams that would force him to go in search of an accurate interpretation, one that could not be rendered by his palace staff. This way, the wine steward would be compelled to reveal the talents of Yosef HaTzaddik, against his better judgment, and put him on track for the greatness Yosef himself had dreamed about 12 years earlier.

Such is the power of a keitz. Even greater will be the power of the final one.

That’s why things can change so fast in history, and often do. Overnight, and for reasons not foreseen by experts, the stock market can crash. Within a week, in ways that no one anticipated, countries can make decisions that affect the fate of millions, if not hundreds of millions of people, for either good or bad. Within a short month, the entire world can change in ways that most would have thought only occur in disaster movies. It already has many times before.

What can a person do to avoid being run over by a keitz, especially the final one? A great rabbi had this to say about the matter:

I heard in London from the holy Rabbi Elchanan Wasserman, quoting the Chofetz Chaim, that our Rabbis say that the war of Gog and Magog will be threefold. After the First World War, the Chofetz Chaim said that it was the first battle of Gog and Magog, and that in about 25 years time, a second world war would occur that would make the first one seem insignificant. And then, there will be a third battle . . . Rav Elchanan concluded that one must suffer the pangs of Moshiach. However, the wise man will quietly prepare himself during that time, and perhaps he will merit to see the comforting of Zion and Jerusalem. (Leiv Eliyahu, Shemos, p.172)

Thus, though there may be nothing one can do to stop a keitz from occurring, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared for it. Indeed, it only seems to really hurt, as the story of Chanukah reveals, when we are not. For to be prepared for a keitz, as we learn from Mattisyahu and his small army of Maccabees, is to be able to take advantage of an opportunity for victory, on our terms. Chanukah Samayach. Copyright © 2013 by Rabbi Pinchas Winston and


This Tale of another Yosef HaTzaddik occurred about 200 years ago as told me about 44 plus years ago by Michael Gurwitz a great-great grandson


Yosef Gurwitz (Horowitz) was traveling through the woods in Russia during a terrible icy winter storm and was exhausted from trekking in his heavy winter coat through the snow to the next town. He was exhausted so when he saw a house in the forest with a light on, he knocked on the door to see if he could warm up by the fire. The lady of the house let him in. She had not seen her husband for days. As he removed his coat and warmed up by the fire she made advances to towards him. 


He was in such a state of shock that he fled the house leaving his coat into the cold and ran and ran towards the town. The Chassidic Rebbe there I believe Avraham Ha Malach (angel) and the people came towards him as the enraged husband caught up with him, he was greeting in Russian as Yosef HaTzaddik. The husband understood the reason and if he returned the coat to a third party it is not known but he understood what type of a woman he was married to.


The light in the window


During World War II there was a group of fighting partisans who had broken out of the Nazi camps in Poland. The group comprised a few Jews and some former Polish army officers. They organized a resistance force that used to harass the Germans.

On one of their missions, they found an old, starving rabbi who had been left for dead by the Nazi murderers. One of the Catholic partisans took mercy on the man and nursed him back to health. The rabbi was of no real use to the partisans, so he was given the job of cooking and praying for the safety of the fighting men. Remarkably, this group of partisans suffered no casualties for the rest of the war.

When the war was over the group broke up. Some went back to Poland; others traveled to Latvia. Others became wandering people with no homeland. As the Russian government clamped down on the people, depriving them of their freedom, those of the group that were still in Russia decided to flee together.

A plan was made to leave the Russian territories by night. An informant helping these escaping partisans told them, "You must cross the river in the winter when it is frozen. When you reach the other side of the river you'll be entering no-man's land. There you will find a hut. This hut is used by a Russian soldier who is in charge of preventing border crossings by all unauthorized people. His job is to shoot anything that moves. However, at one o'clock in the morning he leaves his hut and walks a few miles to the next hut, where he meets another soldier. There the soldiers exchange reports and supplies. Then he returns to his watch. The complete trip takes him approximately two hours. During that time, you can warm yourselves in his hut but you must be out of there by the time he returns."

This group of brave men consisted only of the younger people. Most of the older people had given up hope, deciding to remain behind in the Russian territories. The only old man willing to travel with them was the rabbi. A heated argument broke out: "Let's leave him," said one. "After all, he can find food in one of the towns. We really do not need to be slowed down by a frail, old man. We have done our share."

But then, a religious Christian partisan exclaimed, "If we leave him, we are all doomed. I will not leave without him." So, reluctantly, they included the rabbi.

It was a cold and miserable night. A blizzard broke out. Sure enough, the leader was correct: the old man could not keep up with the rigorous climbing and running. The blizzard increased and more than once they had to stop to carry the old rabbi. As light as he was, he was now a big burden, slowing down the entire group. More than once, they argued if they should just leave him.

It was one o'clock in the morning when they arrived at the hut which, by now, was half buried in the snow. They could smell the fire and warmth coming from the hut. They waited and waited for the soldier to leave. It seemed like forever. It wasn't a moment too soon that the soldier left. Almost frozen to death, the fleeing group fell into the hut, each one trying to get his icy hands and frostbitten feet closer and closer to the fire.

The old rabbi moved away from the group. He opened a small bag and took out an old and rusty menorah. Then he took a small piece of string, rolled it into a wick and proceeded to fill the menorah with some oil from a small tin bottle that he somehow had managed to bring with him. The act taking place put everyone into a trance. Not a word was uttered nor a sound heard. Spellbound, everyone watched the rabbi.

In a barely audible voice, the rabbi recited the blessings for the lighting of the menorah, picked up the menorah, and placed it by the window of the hut. Then he lit the menorah and began to sing an old Jewish song traditionally sung after lighting the Chanuka candles: "Maoz Tzur" - "Rock of Ages," which speaks of G-d's miracles for his people through the generations.

Like an erupting volcano, the leader was jolted out of his stupor and yelled, "Put out that light!" You will bring the Russian soldier back here. We will all be caught and shot."

The rabbi tried to explain that it was the first night of Chanuka and that he had kindled the light in order to keep the commandment of remembering the miracle of Chanuka. "No," said the rabbi. He would not extinguish the flame. "It must burn for half an hour. This is according to the ancient Hebrew law."

Suddenly the door of the hut flew open. A tall soldier holding a machine gun yelled at the startled group to put their hands up into the air. The Russian soldier approached the old rabbi, looked at the menorah, and said to him in Russian, "I, too, am a Jew. I have not seen a menorah in six years." He kissed the rabbi's beard and broke into tears.

The soldier proceeded to tell the group, "After I left the hut I suddenly remembered that I had left some reports in a drawer. As I was returning I saw a light coming from the hut. I couldn't believe my eyes-a menorah in no-man's land, in the middle of a blizzard, right in my hut."

The soldier told the group that they were safe and proceeded to take out a large bottle of vodka, giving each one a drink. He said, "It's good that I was on guard. Another guard would have killed all of you! Come, I will show you how to cross the border. Remember me, Rabbi. Pray that I have a Chanuka miracle and will be able to leave the army safely and be with my family."

The very shaken but relieved little group followed the soldier out across the border. Somehow they made their way to freedom and then they all went their separate ways. The old rabbi went to Israel. He told his story to fellow survivors. One of them, in turn, told it to me as a small boy.

[Source: Adapted by Yerachmiel Tilles from an article by Rabbi Eli Hecht written for //, and then reprinted by "Living Jewish" (a Jerusalem weekly).]


The Good Shabbos Story this week brought me to write this. Shabbos and Chanucha in the army


One is not master of his own destiny in the army and I want to share two little incidents that occurred with me. I was once patrolling the border with Syria in the area that had held up during the Yom Kippur War from Quneitra to the middle of the way up Mt. Hermon. There was an area up the mountain that was not worth based on the terrain to put in a border fence on the border but a bit inwards. Every morning we would patrol from approximately 6 AM to 6 PM and it was late Nov. or early Dec. and it was cold and just before Chanucha. I would bring my Tallis and Tephillin and pray in the patrol vehicle on 5 minute breaks. On Friday night I went to our intelligence outpost over the border into the bunker where the fellow watched the Syrian’s below from the Hermon-it above. A short time before sundown, I lit the Shabbos candle and as the fellow gathered his stuff and we closed up the gate to his post going down the eastern side of Mt. Hermon I sang for the fellows Lecha Dodi as I accepted the Shabbos. It was strange to me lighting a candle on the other side of the border fence.


One time, I was ordered to deploy to somewhere in the Negev. I was in a tent where they had sent me with my supplies on the cot and had just lit the Menorah a few minutes earlier when I was ordered to immediately move out to a tent elsewhere and as a paramedic one does not question immediate orders which turned out for a pilots training course. I had no choice of waiting a few minutes more and I had to blow out the candles. I re-lit them in my new tent and asked the soldiers if they cared to bless upon seeing the light. I was lucky in that in the new tent, I had enough candle to burn 30 minutes in one place.


Reminder Erev Shabbos we light the Chanucha candles before the Shabbos Candles and they must be able to burn a half an hour after dark. Motzei Shabbos we make Havdallah and then light the candles.


Maybe it JFK and his emphasis on physical fitness that ingrained it in me.


From Ruth: Violence in Jerusalem again against a child and his mother 

Oh just a  ten year old boy getting choked and his mother being beaten, go  back to sleep  folks it is all well. go to sleep religious jews its only your woman and children being beaten in the streets of Jerusalem, don’t worry. its business as usual.


Except that this time Ruth got involved and went to grasp the youngest doing the beating. Swearing and cursing and with all the power i have, could not hold him because he was wild, out of control and drugged out of his head. maybe 15 years old, skinny and so strong and wild i could not control him. and that has never happened to  me before. so he swung around and hit me in the face as well.


He threatened the mother to kill her, he was screaming. the mother was screaming for someone to call the police, of course no one did and people were passing who were not religious. a religious man walked by i called him, he ignored me and i cursed him.


I called every man walking past to help the control the young man who was so wild. no one came. a fat Chabad guy walked up and refused to help. i pushed his hand and he started screaming "DONT TOUCH ME" in such fear. COWARDS YOU ARE COWARDS AND ENEMIES OF GOD AND LIARS AND HYPOCRITES.


Allah’s follower proves his manliness by hitting a soldier girl in the face:,7340,L-4456766,00.html


The history of the Israeli National Anthem from Sheldon




Bar tender explains to Obama supporter facts on Iran and Neville Chamberlain:


An actor/singer in Israel passed away this week. He is famous for his steadfast refusal to become religious despite his best friend, ex-wife and children becoming religious so the leftist press did for him what they did not do for Naomi Shemer (Yerushalayim of Gold), Shoshana Damari, Shakey Ophir,  and dozens of others. They wanted to invent a Rabbi Ovadia Yosef for non-religious and they ignored the other Iranian Reactor that is being built.




Latkes aka Potato Pancakes:




Victims of terror and a wounded soldier honored on Chanucha:


Inyanay Diyoma


This jalopy stalls all the time can't get ahead:,7340,L-4456909,00.html


This is our reward for helping Haniya’s granddaughter in our hospitals:


What looked good in paper with N. Korea did not prevent them from going nuclear who guarantees Iran?


Arab activity not reported in the mainstream press.


Somebody else besides Israel is worried about Iran


In the meantime Iran is building 2 more nuclear facilities:,7340,L-4456951,00.html


Gadhafi’s mother was a captured Jewish Woman in Africa it continues with all non-Muslims:


RJC: Congress Must Speak Out Against Obama's Iran Deal Washington, D.C. (November 23, 2013) - Responding to President Obama's announcement of a flawed deal with Iran, RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks said: "Tonight, Americans saw how much damage a President with naive, misguided ideas can do to our nation's security and reputation. No matter which of the conflicting reports are correct as to the deal's specific provisions, the whole world can see the very alarming bottom line: President Obama's diplomacy is giving cheer to Tehran's rogue regime and causing alarm among our friends in the region - including Israel, Saudi Arabia and most the other Gulf states. Congress and the American people need to speak out against this flawed deal."

The RJC is the national grassroots organization of Jewish Republicans. Learn more at our web site,



Appeasement thanks to Chaim B.



G-D’s law every reaction has an equal and opposite reaction:


The second video is history that is almost verbatim said today and note the cheers for N. Chamberlain.


I guess if Chicago, San Fran and DC are attacked with dirty bombs and Kerry's boat becomes radioactive somebody might wake up.


1979 Tehran embassy hostages react to West's deal with Iran:,7340,L-4458160,00.html


The USA is giving too much away:


Film shows second gunman in the Kennedy Assassination.




From Barry Shaw: Iran post Geneva, and the implications for Israel. The 9,500 centrifuges to be given up are old, over-used and warn out.


Another toddler with head injures from Arab stones:



Not the worst thing that can happen in the world -,7340,L-4459114,00.html




Now for M. Wolfberg’s Good Shabbos Story “Light up my life”


Good Shabbos and A Freylichen Chanukah Everyone.  One of the legendary activists who kept Judaism alive in Communist Russia in the darkest years of repression was Rabbi Asher Sossonkin, who spent many years in Soviet labor camps for his "counter-revolutionary" activities. In one of these camps he made the acquaintance of a Jew by the name of Nachman Rozman.
         In his youth, Nachman had abandoned the traditional Jewish life in which he was raised to join the communist party; he served in the Red Army, where he rose to a high rank; but then he was arrested for engaging in some illegal business and sentenced to a long term of hard labor in Siberia. Rozman was drawn to the chassid who awakened in him memories of the home and life he had forsaken.
         With Reb Asher's aid and encouragement, he began a return to Jewish observance under conditions where keeping kosher, avoiding work on Shabbat, or grabbing a few moments for prayer meant subjecting oneself to near-starvation, repeated penalties and a daily jeopardy of life and limb.
         One winter, as Chanukah approached, Reb Asher revealed his plan to his friend. "I'll get a hold of a small, empty food can -- the smaller the better, so it'll be easy to hide and escape notice. We'll save half of our daily ration of butter over the next two weeks, for oil. We can make wicks from the loose threads at the edges of our coats. When everyone's asleep, we'll light our 'menorah' under my bunk...." "Certainly not!" cried Nachman Rozman. "It's Chanukah, Reb Asher, the festival of miracles. We'll do the mitzvah the way it should be done. Not in some rusty can fished out from the garbage, but with a proper menorah, real oil, at the proper time and place. I have a few rubles hidden away that I can pay Igor with at the metal-working shed; I also have a few 'debts' I can call in at the kitchen...."
         A few days before Chanukah, Nachman triumphantly showed Reb Asher the menorah he had procured -- a somewhat crude vessel but unmistakably a "real" menorah, with eight oil-cups in a row and a raised cup for the shamash. On the first evening of Chanukah, he set the menorah on a stool in the doorway between the main room of their barracks and the small storage area at its rear, and filled the right-hand cup; together, the two Jews recited the blessings and kindled the first light, as millions of their fellows did that night in their homes around the world.
         On that first night the lighting went off without a hitch, as it did on the second, third and fourth nights of the festival. As a rule, the prisoners in the camp did not inform on each other, and their barrack-mates had already grown accustomed to the religious practices of the two Jews.
         On the fifth night of Chanukah, just as Reb Asher and Nachman had lit five flames in their menorah, a sudden hush spread through the barracks. The prisoners all froze in their places and turned their eyes to the doorway, in which stood an officer from the camp's high command. Though surprise inspections such as these were quite routine occurrences, they always struck terror in the hearts of the prisoners. The officer would advance through the barracks meting out severe penalties for offenses such as a hidden cigarette or a hoarded crust of bread.
         "Quick, throw it out into the snow," whispered the prisoners, but the officer was already striding toward the back doorway, where the two Jews stood huddled over the still-burning flames of their candelabra. For a very long minute the officer gazed at the menorah. Then he turned to Reb Asher. "P'yat? (Five?)" he asked. "P'yat," replied the chassid. The officer turned and exited without a word.
         We can all be inspired by this amazing story about how two Jews fulfilled the mitzvah of lighting the Chanukah Menorah under the most difficult of circumstances. Thankfully, we are able to fulfill mitzvahs without the threat of persecution; we must all therefore take advantage of our opportunities and make sure to be meticulous with the Chanukia lighting.  Then we will all merit the tremendous spiritual light which shines down on us during these special days of Chanukah.  Good Shabbos and A Freylichen Chanukah Everyone.
M. Wolfberg is sponsored by: In Memory of CHAYA CHAVA BAS REB MOSHE YAKOV In memory of R' Yaakov ben Naftoly, of blessed memory In Memory of Reb Yitzchok ben Reb Shimon (Friedman) of blessed memory Refuah Shleima to Reb Mordechai Mendel ben Tziporah Yitta Refuah Shleima to Leah bas Tziporah


Chanucha Samayach and have a good Shabbos,

Rachamim Pauli