Thoughts on the Weekly Parshah by HaRav Eliezer Chrysler
Formerly Rav of Mercaz Ahavat Torah, Johannesburg

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Vol. 14   No. 10

This issue is sponsored anonymously

Parshas Miketz
(Incorporating Chanukah Supplement)

Bitachon v. Hishtadlus
(Adapted from the Beis Halevi)

The Medrash Rabah (cited in part by the last Rashi in Vayeishev) cites the Pasuk in Tehilim "How fortunate is the man who makes G-d his fortress and who does not place his trust in vain people". And it goes on to explain that the Pasuk pertains to Yosef, who, on account of his request of the chief butler to mention him to Par'oh, was forced to remain in prison for another two years (two years for the two words "Zechartani" and "ve'hizkartani").

The Beis Halevi refers to commentaries who query this Medrash, which appears to be self-contradictory, in that it begins by praising the one who places his trust in G-d, ascribing this praise to Yosef, and then it promptly takes him to task for doing just the opposite.

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To resolve this paradox, the Beis Halevi explains that the Torah permits Hishtadlus (making efforts on one's own behalf) as indeed the Pasuk writes in Re'ei (15:18) "And Hashem ... will bless you in all your endeavours". And so the Gemara teaches us in B'rachos (35b), where, based on the Pasuk " ... and you will gather your corn, your wine and your oil", Chazal specifically allow tending to one's crops in the way that people generally do.

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The reason that the Torah permits us to indulge in Hishtadlus, he explains, is because Bitachon is not something that comes naturally. Not everybody is ready to live with it, at least, not according to his full potential. Consequently, the Torah specifically permits Hishtadlus to enable each person to reach a level of self-sufficiency, from which point he will be able to place his trust Hashem without feeling unduly strained. Each person is obligated to find work, a job or a profession, which leaves him in such a position. In order to maintain one's level of Bitochon, it is essential that one feels calm and comfortable within oneself as regards the balance that one strikes between Hishtadlus and Bitachon. Otherwise, one will not be able to maintain whatever level of Bitachon one attains. (For it is one thing to attain a level of Bitachon, but quite another to retain it - as David ha'Melech said in Tehilim [24:3] "Who will ascend the mountain of Hashem, and who will stand in His Holy Place?")

In other areas of endeavour too, we find that the Torah permits making use of tools that are perhaps not ideal, in order to ultimately arrive at the ideal situation. Chazal have ruled for example, that one should perform Torah and Mitzvos she'lo li'shmah (for ulterior motives), since that will lead a person to perform them li'shmah (for their own sake). It goes without saying that someone who has attained the level of performing Mitzvos or of learning Torah li'shemah has no need, indeed no right, to do so she'lo lish'mah. And this same concept applies to someone who has reached the highest levels of Bitachon, vis-?-vis using Hishtadlus, as we will now explain.

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What emerges from here is that the measure of Hishtadlus that one needs to employ differs from person to person. Someone who is able to reach his maximum level of Hishtadlus with little work and who does more work than is necessary, is guilty of a lack of Bitachon, for he has performed work there where he ought to have placed his trust in Hashem. On the other hand, someone whose Bitachon is perhaps on a lower level than that of his friend, may (perhaps even should) increase his workload over and above that of his friend, up to the point where he too feels that he is able to apply Bitachon without feeling burdened by it. For as we have said, Bitachon entails trusting Hashem, and throwing one's lot with Him, but with a feeling of contentment rather than of strain.

Someone who employs more Hishtadlus than is necessary will find that G-d will punish him by withholding from him his due, with the result that he is forced to add to the excessive Hishtadlus that he has taken upon himself. If that is what he wants, Hashem is telling him, then that is what he will get.

*

The Hishtadlus employed by Yosef in asking the butler to intercede on his behalf was really minimal, consisting of no more than a few words. And all the more so, considering that he himself obviously realized that the entire episode with the butler and the baker was Heaven-sent to bring about his release from jail. Indeed, Yosef's words to the butler leave no room for doubt that this was how he saw it. He knew that his own release was destined to come about through the butler speaking with Paroh, and all he did, says the Beis Halevi, was to make the butler aware of this, not even in the form of a request.

And for that he was punished and had to remain another two years in jail. This is surely a stark indication of the high level of Bitachon that Yosef had attained, where even the slightest Hishtadlus on his part was superfluous and therefore punishable. That is why Chazal apply the Pasuk "How fortunate is the one who makes G-d his fortress, and who does not place his trust in vain ones" to Yosef. The first half of the Pasuk merely reflects Yosef's incredible level of Bitachon, which, as the second half of the Pasuk explains, had reached such great heights that he was taken to task for placing even that minimal measure of faith in an Egyptian (who are referred to as vain ones). He should have realized that to be sure, the butler and baker were sent to bring his release from jail (exactly as he himself anticipated), but that Hashem would manage it alone, without his participation. And it is because he employed this minimal Hishtadlus in place of Bitachon that he was punished.

*

Rabeinu Bachye, expressing a similar idea, writes that it is not feasible for Yosef to have placed his trust in the chief butler, and not in Hashem (alone)! Yosef realized that Hashem had prepared the butler on his behalf, in order to perform a miracle through him, only he made the mistake of trying to set the salvation in motion. And the reason that he was punished was (not for a lack of Bitachon, but) for his words to the chief butler.

In other words, Yosef sought means to bring about his freedom by requesting from the chief butler that he remember him , and it is not fitting for Tzadikim of Yosef's caliber to make even such minimal effort even to procure their own salvation. He should have allowed G-d (who is the Master of contrivance), to press the switch Himself, without making any efforts towards that end.

Indeed, that is what is expected of Tzadikim whose Bitachon is complete, like the story with Eliyahu ha'Navi, who found himself in the desert without food, yet he trusted implicitly in Hashem, who sent him ravens, which in turn, provided him with bread and meat, morning and evening, from the kitchen's of Ach'av; Eliyahu did nothing to bring that about.

What emerges from here is that Yosef ha'Tzadik did not place his trust in a human being at all, and his punishment was for having contrived to set the salvation (that he knew to be imminent) in motion. And it is only because G-d is particular with Tzadikim even to a hairsbreadth, that he was punished.

*

We cited earlier the Gemara in B'rachos, which the Beis Halevi himself uses to support his explanation. The opinion that he has cited is that of R. Yishmael. According to R. Shimon bar Yochai (there), a person should learn Torah exclusively, and rely on Hashem for his sustenance. This clearly conformed with his personal level of Bitachon, as the Gemara in Shabbos (33b) attests. R. Shimon however, advocated that everybody should follow his example, and as the Gemara in B'rachos concludes, it is not the generally accepted opinion, because most people are not capable of attaining it.

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Parshah Pearls
(Adapted from the P'ninei Torah and the Ma'ayanah shel Torah) Two Kinds of Waking up

"And Paroh awoke ... And he went back to sleep" (41:4/5).

By Ya'akov, the Torah records in Vayeitzei (28:16) "And Ya'akov awoke from his sleep and he said "To be sure, G-d is in this place". On both occasions, the Torah uses the word "va'Yikatz" (and he awoke).

R. Meir mi'Premishlan comments that everybody wakes up from his sleep, yet the difference between the awakening of a Tzadik and that of a Rasha is like the difference between day and night (excuse the pun) as the Torah indicates here. The Tzadik wakes up, and his first thoughts center round serving Hashem (like Ya'akov Avinu); whereas the Rasha wakes up, turns round and promptly goes back to sleep again (like Paroh).

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Well and Alive

"Your servant our father is at peace, he is still alive" (43:28).

It would have sufficed to write "Your servant our father is at peace" and to stop there, says the Seforno. Why did the Pasuk find it necessary to add "he is still alive"?

This is because deceased people are at peace too, he answers, which is why we say upon taking leave from a dead person 'May he arrive at his resting-place in peace'?

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The Brothers Drank Wine ...

"And the portion of Binyamin exceeded that of all of them fivefold, and they (the brothers) drank ..." (43:34).

From the day that the brothers sold Yosef, neither he nor they had drunk wine, comments Rashi. And now they all drank. The question arises that Yosef, who was aware of the fact that he was in the company of his brothers, was justified in drinking wine. The brothers, on the other hand, who did not know the true identity of Tzofnas Pa'nei'ach, were guilty of contravening their Neder. On what grounds did they do that?

The Yismach Yisrael explains that their Neder not to drink wine was not so much an act of mourning for their brother Yosef, as it was of mourning for the Midah of jealousy that caused them to do what they did.

Here, Yosef had just given Binyamin (also a son of Rachel) considerably more than he gave them, and they felt not the slightest twang of jealousy. That meant, the brothers concluded, that they had rectified their original sin, and that drinking wine was now justifiable.

*

Alternatively, he concludes, they were afraid to decline from drinking in Yosef's presence, in case he accused them once again of being spies and of refusing to drink for fear that it might loosen their tongues (as drinking tends to do), causing them to divulge secrets that, as spies, they would rather keep hidden.

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I would attribute their drinking to what Chazal often say 'He prophesied without realizing that he was prophesying'. The brothers drank, because they were once again reunited with Yosef, even though they did not yet realize it. They may not have known it, but Hashem did, and it was He who orchestrated this incredible feast, putting it into their heads to drink, without knowing why.

*

... And They Got Drunk

" ... and they drank and they became inebriated together with him" (Ibid.)

Since when were the sons of Ya'akov drunkards?

They drank modestly, says the S'fas Emes, but they did not realize that, when one hasn't drunk for twenty-two years, it doesn't take much wine to turn a person's head.

And in similar vein, he points out, we can explain No'ach becoming drunk. No'ach too, was a perfect Tzadik, hardly the type to drink excessively. Only he too, drank a regular quantity of wine, without realizing that many things in the world had changed, including man's nature. What before the flood was considered a regular quantity, had now become excessive.

*

Before They Recited Tefilas ha'Derech

"They (Yosef's brothers) left the city, they had not gone far, when Yosef said to the one in charge of his household (Menasheh) 'Get up and chase after the men and you will catch them' " (44:4).

"They had not gone far", the Pasuk informs us, in which case, they had not yet recited Tefilas ha'Derech. If they had, Yosef knew, they were bound to be safe from any pursuer.

*

Not Me Stupid - Par'oh!

" ... you ought to have known that a man such as me uses it for divination!" (44:15).

Indeed? Since when did Yosef indulge in practices forbidden by the Torah?

Notice, the Orach la'Chayim points out in answer to the question, that Yosef did not say 'I', but "ish asher komoni" (a man like me). Now Yehudah will shortly describe Yosef as being Paroh's equal, using virtually the same expression ("ki chomocho ke'Paroh"). No coincidence, he explains. Yosef, to all intents and purposes, was just as powerful as Par'oh, which explains why Yehudah placed them on a par; and that is precisely what Yosef meant with the above words ... "You ought to have known that a man like me (Paroh) uses it for divination". And he deliberately used this ambiguous expression, so that the brothers would think that he was referring to himself, even though in fact, he was referring to Par'oh.

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HIGHLIGHTS FROM TARGUM YONASAN

'And it was in the morning, his spirit was agitated, so he called all the magicians of Egypt and all its wise men. He told them his dream, but there wasn't a man who could interpret it, because it was a Divine strategy, since the time had come for Yosef to go free from jail' (41:8).

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'And Paroh said to Yosef "I had a dream which nobody is able to interpret, and I heard about you saying that when you hear a dream you interpret it'" ' (41:5).

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'Let Paroh organize the appointment of officers throughout the land, and let them deduct one fifth of all the produce that grows in the land of Egypt during the seven years of plenty (and place it in the king's storehouse)' (41:34).

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'Let the produce be stored away in caves ... ' (41:36).

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'And the land was successful in that each stalk produced two fistfuls of grain during the seven years of plenty, until all the storehouses were filled.' (41:47).

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' ... the second one he called Efrayim, because (he said), G-d strengthened me in the land of my suffering; so He will strengthen my father's family here too, when they suffer' (41:52).

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' ... the entire land of Egypt was starving, because the corn had not (even) produced seeds ... ' (41:55).

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'And the sons of Yisrael came (to Egypt) each one via a different gate, to avoid being affected by an Ayin ha'Ra ... ' (42:5).

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' ... they were emptying their sacks, and behold, each one's bundle of money was in his sack, and they and their father were afraid for Shimon whom they had left there (in Egypt)' (42:35).

* * *

Egypt and the Four Exiles
(Adapted from the B'nei Yisaschar)

It is written in Sefarim that Galus Mitzrayim incorporated all the other four Galuyos (Bavel, Madai, Yavan and Romi). Each Galus represents one letter of G-d's Holy Name (which that particular nation opposed, but to all four of which Yisrael cleave, as the Torah writes in Devarim "But you cleave to Hashem your G-d ... "). Egypt, on the other hand, represented the tip of the 'Yud', as is hinted in the Pasuk "va'yokutzu mipnei B'nei Yisrael" (Sh'mos 1:12, as 'Kotz' means 'a tip'). That is why the Torah writes in Sh'mos (2:23) "Vayehi ba'yomim ho'rabim ho'heim ... ", adding the word "ha'rabim", since the letters 'rabim' make up the first letters of 'Romi', 'Bavel', 'Yavan' and 'Madai', of which Galus Mitzrayim was the fore-runner.

And the significance of mentioning constantly, the Exodus from Egypt, and above all, Egypt's downfall, is partially due to the fact that their downfall symbolizes the ultimate downfall of the other nations, the last of which we are eagerly awaiting today.

*

When Ya'akov and his family approached Egypt, he sent Yehudah to Goshen to prepare for their arrival. Why Yehudah, asks the B'nei Yisaschar? Why to Goshen? And why does the Torah use the word "Goshnah" rather "le'Goshen?"

He cites the Maharal, who explains that each of the four Kingdoms of which we spoke earlier, set out to destroy a distinct aspect of Yisrael (inherent in the letter of Hashem's Name which that particular nation opposes); Bavel, the Nefesh (the Soul), as they were the first to destroy the Beis-Hamikdash (in which connection the Torah writes "ve'Nefesh ki Sakriv ... )"; Madai, the body, for so the Pasuk in Megilas Esther states "le'hashmid, la'harog u'le'abeid (with regard to killing us physically"); Yavan attacked the seichel (our Torah, which they attempted to replace with Greek philosophy); whereas Rome represented all three ('ha'Kol' [first the Nefesh, then the body and finally, the Seichel]), which is why they treated us more harshly and more consistently during the course of our Galus, initially by attacking the institution of Korbanos, later by killing us, and finally, by interfering with Chochmas ha'Torah by means of external Chochmos which defile the Neshamah.

Incidently, it appears to me, the three things under discussion represent Torah, Avodah and Gemilus Chasadim (even though they are not cited in that order).

*

Now the first letters of 'Guf', 'Seichel', 'Nefesh' and 'Ha'kol' form the word 'Goshnah'. And this is why Ya'akov sent Yehudah to Yosef (representing Mashi'ach ben Yosef and Mashi'ach ben David) to Goshen ("Goshnah"), to strengthen the Guf, the Seichel, the Nefesh and the people (Ha'kol) before Galus Mitzrayim (the forerunner of the other four Galuyos). He did this, to ensure that Yisrael would be able to survive the Galuyos, and to ultimately be redeemed, first by Mashi'ach ben Yosef and then by Mashi'ach ben David. Oh, and by the way, the numerical value of Mashi'ach is 358, equivalent to that of "Goshnah". This Gematriyah is shared by 'Nachash', says the B'nei Yisaschar, because with the conclusion of the fourth Galus, synonymous with that of Eisav, Eisav's angel, the Satan (known as 'Nachash') will be eliminated, and G-d will reign supreme over the entire world. And that explains why the Gematriyah of "Hashem Melech, Hashem Malach, Hashem Yimloch" is 358, too.

That is how Ya'akov in his deep wisdom and foresight, paved the way for the redemption from Egypt, as well as from the remaining Galuyos.

*

The Dreidel

Based on the previous piece, the note in the B'nei Yisaschar explains the well-established Minhag of children playing Dreidel on Chanukah. Bearing in mind that Chanukah is a preparation for the forthcoming redemption, as the author repeats a number of times, it is significant that the letters on the Dreidel are 'Gimel', Shin', 'Nun' and 'Hey' ('Goshnah), representing the four nations whose combined rule will come to an end with the coming of the Ge'ulah (as we explained above). (According to the B'nei Yisaschar, perhaps one ought to revert to the original four letters, which contained a 'Shin' instead of the 'Pey' with which they have replaced it here in Eretz Yisrael).

The central axis around which the Dreidel spins represents Yisrael, as they are the focal point that connects the four kingdoms. And spinning it signifies the fact that the latter will all become nullified to Yisrael when Mashi'ach comes, and when that happens, the Nachash will be humiliated once and for all, and G-d's Kingdom will be manifest over the world (Hashem Melech, Hashem Malach, Hashem Yimloch). May all this take place speedily in our time.

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The original Minhag insisted on using specifically a Dreidel made of wood, says the author, a Minhag that is based on the Pasuk in Yechezkel (37:16), which we will read for the Haftarah next week. Hashem instructs the Navi there to take a piece of wood and to write on it 'for Yehudah' and then, a second piece, and to write on it 'for Yosef'. And the Navi goes on to describe how the two pieces will merge into one, and that, in the end, David Hamelech will reign over them. Specifically wood, the B'nei Yisaschar explains, since man is compared to a tree of the field. What's more, if one multiplies the first two letters of the name 'Havayah' with one another, forwards and backwards (10x5 + 5x10 = 100) and one does the same with the last two letters (6x5 + 5x6 = 60), the total turns out to be 160, the same numerical value as that of 'Eitz' (a piece of wood).

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Chanukah Supplement

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In Those Days at This Time

Miriam bas Bilgah
(Adapted from the closing Sugya in Succah)

When Miriam the daughter of Bilgah the Kohen, saw the terrible suffering of the Jewish people at the hands of King Anti'ochus and the Greeks, how they oppressed them mercilessly, she left her father's house, converted, and went on to marry a Greek general.

Eventually, when the Greeks overcame the Jewish army and entered the sanctuary of the Beis-Hamikdash, Miriam the apostate entered with them. She proceeded to the Mizbei'ach, and after kicking it with her shoe, she proclaimed 'Wolf, wolf, how long will you go on consuming the money of Yisrael, yet you do not defend them (when they need you!)?

Thousands of sacrifices are slaughtered upon you, but when Yisrael are in trouble, you do nothing to assist them!' (The final phrase, added by Kol Agados Yisrael, does not appear in the Gemara).

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The Mishnah informs us there how the Chachamim, devastated by Miriam bas Bilgah's actions, penalized the entire group of Bilgah (one of the twenty-four groups of Kohanim, of which Miriam's father was the head) in three ways:

1. When the Korbanos of that day were distributed each evening, they always received their portion on the south-side of the Azarah (even though the incoming Kohanim were privileged to stand on the north side - the area where Kodshei Kodshim were Shechted);

2. Each of the twenty-four groups had its own ring which held down the animal to the floor of the Azarah, whilst it was being Shechted. Bilgah's ring was permanently fixed to the ground (thereby preventing them from swiveling it round, to reveal the opening into which they slipped the animal's head, whilst it lay on the ground, before swiveling it back into the ground);

3. Each of the groups had its own window, on whose ledge they would place their knives (used for Shechitah and for cutting-up the animal after the Shechitah). Bilgah's was permanently shut.

In the last two cases, Bilgah was forced to obtain permission from another group to share a. their ring, and b. their window, an obviously demeaning exercise.

According to others incidentally, Bilgah was punished because the entire group once turned up late for the Avodah, and their brothers, Yesheivav (the outgoing group) was forced to stand in for them until they arrived.

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According to the initial version of the story however, the Gemara asks (bearing in mind the Pasuk "Fathers will not die for (the sins of) their children ... " why the Chachamim punished Bilgah for his daughter's actions?

The Gemara's striking answer is a quote from Abaye, who said that 'What a child says in public is what it hears from its parents'. Consequently, if Miriam had not heard derogatory comments regarding the Kehunah from her parents, she would never have behaved in the way she did.

And the Gemara adds that the reason that the punishment spread to the entire group, was due to the principle 'Oy le'Rasha oy li'shecheino ... !' (Woe to the Rasha; woe to his neighbour. Good for the Tzadik; good for his neighbour).

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Yehudah ha'Maccabi & Jupiter and Lysias

(Adapted from Kol Agados Yisrael)

Following Anti'ochus' death, his son Jupiter ascended the throne of Greece. He too sent a vast army to attack and conquer Yehudah.

When Yehudah heard that the Greek army had arrived in Gil'ad (across the Jordan River), and that the residents of Gil'ad were in mortal danger, he quickly gathered his small army and crossed the River to defend his brothers. He and his men realized that they were vastly outnumbered by the Greek troops, but he placed his trust in G-d and attacked them fearlessly. Yehudah and his men fought valiantly that day, but they became overcome with fatigue, without having tasted victory. When Yehudah saw this, he raised eyes heavenwards and prayed to G-d for Divine assistance. No sooner had he issued his brief request, than he saw five young men appear, riding on fiery horses, dressed in gold, coming towards him. The swords they were holding glittered like flashes of lightning and they held golden shields to their chests. He was still wondering at this apparition, when three of the youths approached the Greek army, and began to strike out to the right and to the left. At the same time, the remaining two removed the enemies' shields from their hands, whilst defending Yehudah. Yehudah for his part was greatly encouraged by what he had seen, and he called to his men, informing them that help had arrived from above. This breathed new strength into his troops, who rallied round him and attacked the enemy once more. This time they were victorious, and after losing twenty-five thousand men, the Greeks fled in panic.

Immediately after this victory, the Greek general Lysias gathered another army and attacked the stronghold of Beitar. He built a siege wall and proceeded to break through the walls of the city with iron battering-rams. Once again, Yehudah got wind of the danger and came with his army to the assistance of Beitar. When his men saw the size of Lysias' army, their hearts froze. Yehudah proclaimed a fast-day, on which they would beseech the G-d of vengeance to deliver the enemy into their hands. The soldiers responded positively to Yehudah's words, and that is precisely what they did. 'Let the nations of the world know' they concluded, 'that there is none like our G-d, who works wonders for all who place their trust in Him'. At the conclusion of the fast, Yehudah sounded the Shofar, and the army surged forward towards the enemy. At that moment, the sky opened, and the entire area where the Jewish army stood lit up. And before their eyes, between Heaven and earth, stood a man with the awesome appearance of an angel of G-d, dressed in gold, holding in one hand a shield of fire and in the other, a spear of lightning, whilst his horse comprised a flame of fire. 'See, my men,' Yehudah announced, 'how Hashem who is G-d, is fighting on our behalf. Be strong and take courage! And now, blessed be Hashem, the G-d of Yisrael, who has not withdrawn His kindness from us, and who has sent His angel to wreak vengeance against the nations who have undertaken to destroy Yisrael '.

When the men of Yehudah heard these stirring words, their spirit came alive and their hearts were strengthened. They eagerly followed Yehudah into battle, and, catching Lysias' mighty army off guard, they fell upon them, creating utter confusion. They went on to rout them, killing many Greeks in the process. Lysias returned to Greece in utter disgrace. He was terrified of Yehudah and entered into a peace-treaty with him, a peace-treaty which was not destined to last long.

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Thirty-Six Lights & Thirty-Six Masechtos
(Adapted from the B'nei Yisaschar)

The thirty-six lights that we kindle on Chanukah, says the B'nei Yisaschar, correspond to the thirty-six Masechtos of Gemara.

And he goes on to explain this statement, based on an earlier theory of his that the Greeks' chief intention was to eradicate from Yisrael the Chochmah of Torah (which is called 'light', and in which is hidden the original light that G-d created in the beginning [see Rashi and commentaries on Bereishis 1:4] and which shone for thirty-six hours before it was hidden). In its place, they wanted to introduce external Chochmos, all of which are considered foolish, compared to the Chochmah of Torah. (Bear in mind that the Pasuk says in Koheles [2:14] " ... and the fool goes in darkness", whereas another Pasuk there [8:1] writes " ... the wisdom of man illuminates his face)".

This goes beautifully with the Medrash, which commenting on the Pasuk in Bereishis (1:2) "And the land was null and void ... ", explains that "null" refers to Bavel; "void", to Medes; "darkness", to Greece, and "on the face of the depths," to Rome. So we see that already at the creation, the Torah referred to the darkness (i.e. the foolish culture) of the Greek Empire.

In any event, the Pasuk generally refers to redemption as light, like we find in Megilas Esther (8:16) "la'Yehudim haysah orah ... ", and Chazal explain "Orah" to mean Torah. Moreover, the symbol of Chochmas ha'Torah is the Menorah, which was placed on the south side of the Azarah. That explains why the Gemara in Bava Basra (25:) states that whoever wants to acquire wisdom should turn to the south. And yet another combination of Pesukim (in Mishlei 9:1 & 14:1) writes "The wisdom (of women) builds her house, she carved its pillars seven" (a hint to the Menorah's seven branches).

The miracle occurred with olive oil, the author adds, due to another earlier statement of his, equating olive oil with wisdom, and he supports this statement with the episode in Shmuel (2 14:2) where Yo'av sent to Teko'ah (where olive-oil was produced in large quantities) and he took from there a wise woman.

From here, the B'nei Yisaschar becomes extremely esoterical, so I have omitted the rest of the piece.

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