14 Dec Rabbi Hillel Skolnik’s Torah Spark for Parashat Mikeitz/Shabbat Chanukah 5778 – Weekend of December 16, 2017
This Shabbat we read from Parashat Mikeitz as well as a special maftir aliyah in celebration of Chanukah. While Parashat Mikeitz is the continuation of the Joseph story in Breishit (the book of Genesis), the maftir aliyah is taken from the section that describes the special sacrifices offered by each tribe upon the consecration of the Tabernacle in the book of B’midbar (Numbers). What is extremely noticeable about these twelve sacrifices, one offered by the head of each tribe, is that the sacrifices are exactly the same. Each tribal leader offered the same sacrifice to signify that when it came to worshipping at the Tabernacle, each and every Israelite was equal with no one person or tribe giving special preference. Similarly, while my chanukiyah might look different from yours, you might light slightly taller candles and I may choose to use oil on each of the nights, we all light the same number of lights each night while reciting the same blessings with the understanding that each of our hopes and prayers for bringing light to the world is equally holy. Let us hope and pray that the light of our Chanukah candles helps to bring peace to our world and healing to all those in need.
Shabbat Shalom and Chag Urim Sameach,
Rabbi Hillel Skolnik