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Vayeishev: Gearing Up for Chanukah

Vayeishev: Gearing Up for Chanukah


Editor's Note:

Dear Friends,

I remember that Chanukah night, many years ago, when my two-year-old sister, curly hair on fire, was saved by yours truly, all of nine years old, rushing to the rescue. (We had taken all the precautions, but the lure of the open flames, momentarily unguarded, was too strong.)

Some may call it coincidence, but I still see the hand of G‑d guiding my brother to the menorah, leading him to call for help, and in turn driving me to extinguish the threatening fire before it managed to graze my sister’s scalp.

A Chanukah miracle of our very own.

The famous Chanukah miracle in which the oil for the menorah stretched to last eight days defied the law of physics, irrefutably pointing to a higher power. However, many smaller miracles that occur on a daily basis simply pass unnoticed; we attribute them to coincidence or the ways of the world.

I have learned that there is no such thing as coincidence.

It may be easier to pinpoint the miracles born in dramatic circumstances, but recognizing the many ordinary miracles in our daily life will surely serve to improve it immeasurably.

Wishing you a miraculous Chanukah!

Etti Hazan,
on behalf of the Editorial Team

Chanukah Megasite
Everything Chanukah-related: stories, games, insights, recipes, FAQs, guides and more.
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I like a good sale as much as the next girl, but my perspective has most definitely shifted . . .
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Make delicious jelly doughnuts in the comfort of your own home.
Why All the Oil and Cheese (and Potatoes)?

It seems a bit odd, really, this mixture of cheese, thirst, decapitation, potatoes, oil, pancakes and joy. But as often happens, the more you look into something, the more sense it makes . . .
The Miracle of the First Night

Does an event need to be miraculous in order for us to celebrate its occurrence? The first night of Chanukah proves that this is not the case.
The Search

The old question of “Why do bad things happen to good people?” seemed almost quaint in comparison to some of the new ones I had darting around my brain.
Chanukah Corn Latkes

It should be bright yellow. Like the sun. Or the paint stain on your three-year-old’s clothes when she comes home from school.
19 Kislev
If 1,000 Years Is a Day, It's Now Friday 12:33 PM

In the autumn of 1902 Rabbi Sholom DovBer of Lubavitch addressed a select group, and mapped out, in part, the sixth millennium to the periods of a 24-hour day.
The Peaceful Battle

The internal battle which we all experience can be largely avoided. One need only uncover the secret weapon which guarantees victory.
The Refusal to be Comforted

On what basis did Jacob continue to hope? Surely he had recognized Joseph’s bloodstained coat and said explicitly, “A wild beast has devoured him. Joseph has been torn to pieces”?
How Joseph Maintained His Serenity

Joseph was in tune with another person’s pain, and was therefore capable of doing that one small act of goodness and kindness. Little did he know that it would change the world.
Vayeishev in a Nutshell
Jacob makes a colored coat for his favorite son, Joseph. Joseph’s brothers are jealous; they sell him to travelling Ishmaelites, and tell Jacob he is dead. Joseph is taken to Egypt, works for Potiphar, and is thrown into jail, where he meets the baker and the butler and interprets their dreams.
Jacob’s Greatest Adversary

Our father Jacob was victorious over many a formidable adversary in his lifetime. However, there was one source of opposition that he could not overcome.
In the Game, Part V

Ari discovers that he has not yet discovered the secret of the universe.
Do-It-Yourself Chanukah
Simple-to-follow instructions on how to do the mitzvah of lighting the menorah on Chanukah.
Why Do Rabbis Discourage Conversions?

My Jewish friends are mostly indifferent or even hostile towards their own religion, while I love Judaism and strongly desire to become a Jew. Then this rabbi tells me that “Judaism is not for you”?!
Can We Drive Grandma on Shabbat?

My granddaughter is becoming bat mitzvah, and my 92-year-old mom is saying she will not be able to go because she cannot drive on Shabbat. But is it allowable—for this special occasion—for her to violate Shabbat just this once?
Why Is the Prayer for Rain Based on the Civil Calendar?

The Connection Between Dec. 5 or 6 and Vetein Tal Umatar Liverachah
How to Get What You Want from G‑d

There are two ways to ask for something. One is to kvetch. The other is a little more sophisticated.
Prisoner Exchange

Mere mention of the landlord’s dungeon paralyzed the Jews with fear . . .
I see it, but not now; I behold it, but it is not near. There shall shoot forth a star out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and rule all the children of Seth
— Balaam, prophesying on Moshiach, Numbers 24:17
Print Magazine

The child delights in the simple things of life.

Sometimes that delight could lead in the wrong direction.
But the delight in itself is good.

We need to embrace and nurture the delight
while weaning it from those things unwholesome.

Zot Chanuka 5739, sicha 28.

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