Shabbat Parashat Vayeshev Shabbat Mevarekhim HaChodesh Give it a Try!

Hopefully, you have enjoyed Thanksgiving and will continue having a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend as well.

This Shabbat we will recite the blessing for the new upcoming Jewish month of Tevet.  Rosh Chodesh Tevet will be a week from now, on Friday night, Saturday and Sunday and, in anticipation of the new month of Tevet, we will pray for a month of joy and of blessing.

Of course, Chanukah will begin this coming Sunday evening so we are looking forward to much blessing and joy as we celebrathe Chanukah together, as a community, beginning at City Center on Sunday evening at 6 pm and then on Monday evening at 5:30 pm as RST takes its turn lighting the Menorah at City Center.  I hope to see many of us there on Sunday and on Monday evenings!

This Shabbat we will read the weekly Torah portion of Vayeshev.  It recounts the beginning of the Joseph story in the Bible.  Lots of action.  Lots of drama.  Lots of ups and downs.  This parsha connects in my mind with the lighting of the Chanukah candles and particularly with the story of the small cruze of oil that miraculously burned for 8 nights when the Temple in Jerusalem was reclaimed and purified.

How so?

One small cruze of oil doesn’t seem like much.  Yet, as the story goes, our ancestors gave it a try.  They lit the first candle and, seemingly, against all odds, they managed to light the Menorah for a full 8 days!

Similarly, our parsha relates the story of Joseph, who managed, seemingly, against all odds, to go from the bottom of the pit and from the depths of Egyptian imprisonment, to the heights of government in Egypt and to saving not only his family, but all of Egypt, from famine!  Here is another instance of our tradition reminding us never to give up hope.

The message is that there is always a chance that things will turn out for the good.  All we have to do is to give it a try…You never know what light will be found at the end of the tunnel!

With that in mind, I again wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving weekend and a very Happy Chanukah beginning on this Sunday evening!

Shabbat Shalom!

Rabbi Gilah Dror