When you Choose Shabbat, you choose to learn that every Shabbat is different and special. This Shabbat was filled with many blessings including Shabbat Chanukah and Shabbat Rosh Chodesh Tevet. This week I learned that Parashat Mikeytz (Genesis 41:1 through 44:17), the tenth weekly Torah portion in the annual cycle of Torah readings. According to Wikipedia, Mikeytz contains 7,914 Hebrew letters, 2,022 words, 146 verses and 255 lines of the Torah Scroll. The Parashat has the distinction of including the most letters of any of the weekly Book of Genesis Torah portions.
Miketz, Mikeytz or Mikeytz (מִקֵּץ), translated as “at the end“, includes Joseph’s interpretation of Pharaoh’s dreams, Joseph’s rise to power in Egypt and Joseph’s testing of his brothers..
Rabbi Michael D Klein of Temple Torat Emet offers his insights on this week’s Torah reading, Mikeytz:
The beginning of month of Tevet marks the final days of Chanukah. Thus, the joyousness of the holiday is somewhat diminished by three sad events which occur during this new month. What three events occurred during the month of Tevet that lessen our happiness? (Hint: why do we fast on 10 Teveth?)
Chanukah represents the dream of religious freedom for our people. How does this underscore the role of Joseph as viceroy in Egypt? Why was Joseph’s interpretation of Pharaoh’s dreams more acceptable to Pharaoh then even his wise advisors? What transformation had Joseph undergone enabling him to interpret Pharaoh’s dreams in such a convincing fashion?
All of us dream! Psychologists have, for many years, portrayed the role of dreams as windows into our subconscious mind. They include hopes, desires and experiences which are transformed by our minds into signs and symbols that sometimes puzzle us. Occasionally we have dreams which trouble us and we awaken, as Pharaoh did, puzzled and disturbed, without a clue as to what the dream might portend.
Beyond the world of dreams is the ability to have vision. Joseph had this gift and so did the Maccabees. They all possessed the ability to see beyond the realm of unreal symbols and realize that dreams are G-d’s method of communicating important ideas. The prophets and our ancestors understood this also. They also had the unique ability to receive and interpret G-d’s messages into guiding principles of faith and courage which gave Joseph the confidence to speak to Pharaoh and the Maccabees to defeat the most powerful army and rededicate the Temple. If we can see beyond our own individual dreams and enter the world of vision, we can interpret the events in the world in different perspective and indeed can then receive the gift of vision which is ours to accept if we are able to attune ourselves to the right channel!
Rabbi Michael D. Klein attended Yeshiva College of South Florida and served as Torah Reader, Hebrew teacher, Chazzan and spiritual leader of various synagogues throughout South Florida. In January 2015 he became Ritual Director, Bnai/Bnot Mitzvah instructor and 7th grade Hebrew instructor for Temple Torat Emet of Boynton Beach. In October 2019 he was accepted into an accelerated track and received his shicha from Yeshiva Adath Wolkowisk and has been the Rabbinic leadership of Temple Torat Emet since August 2020. In September of 2022 he was appointed Rabbinic and Spiritual Advisor of the Florida Region of FJMC.
Choose Shabbat; choose to celebrate, to light candles, sing songs and learn a little Torah.
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