During the eight days of Chanukah there is at least one Shabbat and Parshat Mikeitz is always read. Commentaries have sought and found numerous remazim — hints — to Chanukah in the Parshah.

According to some opinions (Orach Chaim 670:2), it is proper to have a festive meal on Chanukah. A hint for this in Parshat Mikeitz may be found in Yosef’s telling the overseer of his household “Utevo’ach tevach vehachein” (וטבח טבח והכן) — “Slaughter an animal and prepare it, for these men shall dine with me at noon” (Bereishit 43:16). The words “vtevoa’ch tevach” (וטבח טבח) have the numerical value of 44. During the eight days of Chanukah we kindle a total of 44 candles, including the shamashim.

Since the Parshah is connected with Chanukah it would be proper to say that perhaps the festive meal to which Yosef invited his brothers was in honor of Chanukah. Now, since our Sages (Avot 3:3) have emphasized the importance of saying Divrei Torah at the table, we may rightfully assume that Yosef, as the most prominent participant, said a Torah thought in honor of the get-together. What did he say?

The Torah relates that at the meal presents were distributed and Binyamin’s presents were “chameish yadot” — “five times more” — than each of the other brothers (43:34).

This is strange: why would he want to arouse jealousy especially when all his troubles started though his brothers being jealous of him? Also, why does the text use the word “yadot” and not “monim” (see 31:41) or “pe’amim”?

It could be that with the “five yadot,” Yosef was alluding to the Al Hanissim prayer, where the word “yad” — “hand” — is mentioned five times: “Masarta giborim beyad chalashim, verabim beyad me’atim, utemei’im beyad tehorim, ureshaim beyad tzaddikim, vezeidim beyad oskei Toratecha” — “You delivered the mighty into the hand of the weak, the many into the hand of the few, the impure into the hand of the pure, the wicked into the hand of the righteous, and wanton sinners into the hand of those who occupy themselves with Your Torah.”

Yosef raised the question that since all these categories of people are mentioned in plural, e.g. giborim — mighty — tzaddikim — righteous, etc., then there is a difficulty in the wording of the prayer. Grammatically it should consistently use the plural and say “bidei” — “in the hands” — and not the singular “beyad” — “in the hand.”

In answer to the question Yosef said, “Indeed, more than one hand fought in defense of the Jewish people. However, the secret of their success was the unity that prevailed among the Hasmoneans. All hands in the Maccabbee army were united as one. When members of a minority are united, they can easily conquer any power that seeks to destroy them.”

The only one who was truly united with him, all of the time, Yosef alluded, was his brother Binyamin. He exemplified in life the message of the five “yadot.” Unfortunately, his brothers were lacking in this virtue. He was therefore suggesting to them that they were to strive for unity and that through unity they would be the most powerful force and most beautiful family in the world.

My dear Chatan and Kallah, your wedding is taking place during Chanukah. You are urged to remember Yosef’s Chanukah message not just on Chanukah and in regard to war, but through all your married life and in regard to everything connected with it. Strive that the way of doing things shall always be beyad — the both of you together should operate with one united and combined hand. When your efforts and activities will be done by your united hand, you will be showered with blessings in abundant measure from Hashem’s open, full and holy hand.