On this upcoming Shabbos, parshas Vayeshev, we should begin preparations for the eight days of Chanukah that begin in the middle of next week. It is a well-established principle that the influences of the week to come derive from the preceding Shabbos. This idea is presented in the Zohar hakadosh (Yitro 88.): “all blessings from above and below depend on the seventh day”. Therefore, it is only appropriate to relate Parshas Vayeshev to the Chanukah.
We begin with a revelation from the great mekubel the “Megaleh Amukos”, who points out that the numerical value of the name “Yosef”, which equals 156, shares the same numerical value as the name of the Greek king, “Anteuochos” and also of the words Melech-Yovon. we can learn from this that the kedushe – holiness of Yosef HaTzaddik counteracted the negative power of the Yevonim.
This can be explained with the important lesson we must learn from this week’s parsha, parshas Vayeshev. Yosef HaTzaddik was alone in Egypt, and, nevertheless, maintained his devotion to hkb”h and his torah and withstood one of the greatest tests. The midrash says that this was the divine plan. The brothers, who were all righteous individuals, sold Yosef into slavery, so that he could pave the way for Klal Yisroel, so that they could sanctify themselves and remain devout Jews even when living among the goyim. In this merit, they were delivered from Egypt.
This, in fact, is what inspired the Chashmonoim during golus yoven. Many Jews underwent assimilation. But the Chashmonoim, however, avenging Hashem’s honor and separating Yisroel from the Greeks—in effect, reestablishing the sanctity of Yosef who already paved this path for all of Yisroel in Egypt. So, too, must we connect with this attribute of Yosef’s, regardless of where we are exiled among the goyim. We must not assimilate with the goyim, nor adopt their ways. If we are zocheh to achieve this goal, we will have prepared admirably for the eight days of Chanukah—a festival instituted by our blessed sages to commemorate the miraculous victory of the Chashmonaim over the Greeks due to the sanctity of Yosef HaTzaddik.
Let us all have a sweet and lechtiken Shabbos.
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