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Parshat Mikeitz/Shabbat Chanukah

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December 15, 2012 2 Tevet, 5773

Rabbi Frand on Parshat Miketz/Chanukah

Chanukah Theme One: The Many Into The Hands of the Few "At the end of two years, and behold Pharoah dreamt that he was standing by the Nile" [Bereshis 41:1]. Pharoah is very disturbed by a dream wherein seven lean cows eat seven fat cows. None of the wise men of Egypt can interpret the dream for him, and this troubles him even more. Even if we assume that the Egyptian Pharoahs were much more superstitious than modern man, it seems rather odd that a head of state should get so upset about a crazy dream. What is so upsetting about seven lean cows swallowing seven fat cows? Rav Shimon Schwab (19081995) provides an insight into this question. Pharaoh's whole dominion, like that of any dictator, was based on the premise that the mighty will dominate the weak. "I have the troops. I have the force. Therefore I can impose my will, because no one can do anything against me." Pharaoh was so bothered by this dream because it portrayed a situation wherein the weak dominated the powerful. It was the seven lean cows that swallowed the seven fat cows. He understood that as not just a silly dream, but as a terrible omen from heaven. He saw this as a Divine message that his dominion was not secure despite his power. This message shook him to the core, for it undermined the premise of his whole monarchy. Rav Schwab further points out that Parshas Miketz always coincides with Chanukah. This is a constant of the Jewish calendar. It is not just a coincidence. One of the major themes of Chanukah is the idea that "the mighty fell into the hands of the weak, the many into the hands of the few", as we say in the Al HaNissim prayer. Chanukah Theme Two: Renewal We recite two blessings prior to lighting the Chanukah candles: "...who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to light the Chanukah candles," and "...who has done miracles for our ancestors in those days at this time of year". The 'miracle' referred to in the second blessing is the miracle of the jug of oil. It was only through Divine Providence that they even found a jug of pure oil and then this small jug miraculously continued to burn for 8 days. Rav Pam (1913-2001) observed as follows: In the Bais HaMikdash, miracles occurred every single day. The Mishneh [Avot 5:5] lists the miracles that occurred: The Lechem HaPanim [Show Bread] never became stale, flies never descended upon the sacrifices, etc. If so, asks Rav Pam, why don't we recite the blessing "...who has done miracles for our ancestors in those days at


Candle Lighting Friday Mincha Hashkama Parsha Shiur Main Minyan Beit Midrash Youth Minyan Gemorah shiur Mincha Shabbat Ends Sunday, Dec. 16 Mon., Thurs. Tues., Wed., Fri. Mincha Late Maariv (Mon.-Thurs.)

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Kiddush is sponsored by the GNSS In Honor of Donny and Marcy Aharon and all the Dinner Honorees With a herring table By Lisa & Michael Aryeh In honor of Chanukah

Seudah Shlishit is sponsored by the Sedaghatpour Family in memory of their father and grandfather Dr. Habib Sedaghatpour, zl.

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Shabbat Announcements Parshat Mikeitz/Shabbat Chanukah 5773

this time of year" every single day of the year? What was so special about the miracle of Chanukah that only that miracle is commemorated with a special blessing? Rav Pam answers this question by citing a famous comment of the Pnei Yehoshua in Tractate Shabbos. Many of the commentaries ask why the miracle of the jug of pure oil was necessary at all, based on the halachik principle that "Tumah hutra (or dechuya) b'Tzibur", when the majority of the people are impure, the Bais HaMikdash Service may be carried out even in a state of impurity. Had no miracle occurred, they could have lit the Menorah with impure oil. The Pnei Yehoshua answers this question by conceding the point and stating that halachically the whole miracle of the oil on Chanukah was unnecessary. The reason, he suggests, that G-d created the miracle was only to demonstrate "an added amount of endearment" (chibah yeseirah) to the Jewish people. What does the Pnei Yehoshua mean by this term "chibah yeseirah?" "Chibah yeseirah" can be understood based on a comment of the Bac"h in the Tur at the beginning of the Laws of Chanukah (Chapter 670). The Bac"h points out that if the Jewish people were subjected to the decrees of the Greeks and if the Jewish people were subjected to the punishment of having their Bais HaMikdash desecrated by the pagans, then they must have done something terrible to deserve such a punishment. He suggests that their sin was becoming negligent and lazy in their Service of G-d. They performed the Bais HaMikdash service by rote without proper intent and enthusiasm. G-d punishes 'measure for measure'. "If you take the Bais HaMikdash Service for granted, I will now deprive you of that Bais HaMikdash Service".

meaning of the Pnei Yehoshua, when he says that G-d wished to show them 'chibah yeseirah' can be understood as follows: A husband and wife had a terrible fight and then made up. However, the question lingered -- was their current love and relationship the same as it once was? Sometimes it is difficult to get back to the way it once was. G-d wanted to show the Jewish people that after they did Teshuvah, the relationship He now has with them is just as good as it 'once was'. There was no lingering complaint on G-d's part. From His perspective -after Teshuvah -- the relationship was fully restored. True, impure oil would have worked under those circumstances (of general impurity), but G-d wanted to show that the relationship was fully equivalent to what it had been "in the old days" -- and was prepared to miraculously change nature to demonstrate that fact. Yes, certainly the Bais HaMikdash was full of miracles. But this particular miracle was special. This was the miracle that showed that G-d will allow us to come back and that He will not hold grudges against us -- if we sincerely return to Him with complete Teshuva.

The Bnei Yissaschar comments that Chanukah is unique among the Jewish holidays in that it is the only holiday that spans two months (Kislev and Teves). This means that Chanukah always contains a 'Rosh Chodesh' within it. Why is that? We can perhaps suggest that the same idea applies to Rosh Chodesh. Rosh Chodesh implies renewal (of the moon and of the month). This is the theme of Chanukah -- the renewal of the spirit of the Jews and the renewal of the Service in the Bais HaMikdash. The Jewish people are compared to the moon -- sometimes their fate seems to darken and fade away but we are always confident that it will be renewed in the future. This too is The sons of Matisyahu rededicated themselves. They a pattern that sometimes reflects our relationship with the went to war over the Bais HaMikdash Service. Almighty. There are ups and downs. There are peaks and There were renewed dedications and enthusiasm. valleys. It waxes and it wanes. Rosh Chodesh The Jewish people picked themselves off the floor, so demonstrates that there can be renewal. There can be a to speak. Yes, they were distant; yes they had been new moon. The moon returns. It can get bigger. This is lazy; but they came back with a new strength and a new enthusiastic attitude for the Divine Service. They why Chanukah is connected with Rosh Chodesh. The whole theme of Chanukah is that the Jewish people's "returned the crown to its former glory." The relationship with G-d slackened; but then they came back and the relationship was fully renewed its previous level.
Great Neck Synagogue Shabbat Activities Program

Dale Polakoff, Rabbi Ian Lichter, Assistant Rabbi Dr. Ephraim Wolf ,zl, Rabbi Emeritus Zeev Kron, Cantor Eleazer Schulman, zl, Cantor Emeritus Rabbi Sholom Jensen, Youth Director Zehava & Michael Atlas, Youth Directors Mark Twersky, Executive Director Rabbi Avraham Bronstein, Program Director Dr. Scott Danoff, President Harold Domnitch, Chairman of the Board

Family Chanukah Program

Come and Join us!!

The Small Wonder Puppet Theatre
N-4th Grade

Youareinvitedtothe GreatNeckSynagogue AnnualChaiSisterhoodDinner Featuringourguestspeaker RachelleWeisberger AuthorofBiblicalBeauty RESCHEDULEDDATE Tuesday,December18h,6PM, atColbeh,GreatNeck Members$40,Nonmembers$45 SponsorshipsavailableGold($72)Silver($36) Bronze($18) JudyLillien5164876845 FarlaFrumkinFarlafrumkin@gmail.com

BOOKS & BAGELS Sunday, December 16, 10:00am

"In the Sands of Sinai: A Physician's Account of the Yom Kippur War"

Thursday, Dec. 13th

6th Night of Chanukah
5:30 Pizza dinner and Sufganiyot 6:00 Program Braun Youth Center
RSVP to Rabbi Lichter or Mark Twersky ilichter@gns.org or mtwersky@gns.org No later than Tuesday Dec.11th

by Itzhak Brook, MD, MSc Professor of Pediatrics, Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington DC.

Reservations are still being accepted Great Neck Synagogue 61st Anniversary Dinner Sunday, December 16, 2012
Reservation for_____________________ Seating requests_____________




SUNDAY BREAKFAST Sunday Breakfast is sponsored by Rose & Peter Weiss in memory of her father Kalman Fajg, zl and his father Joseph Weiss, zl and by Susan & Jim Frisch and Judy & Kathy Samelson in memory of Felix Samelson, zl. and by Laden & Eliyahu Eliassof in memory of his father Yitzchak ben Mashiach. WITHIN OUR FAMILY

ANNUAL DINNER Reservations are still being taken for the 61st Annual Dinner of GNS, on Sunday, Dec. 16 at 4:30 pm. Please call the office to make you reservations by Tuesday afternoon at 3 pm.
BOOKS & BAGELS Sunday, December 16, 10:00am "In the Sands of Sinai: A Physician's Account of the Yom Kippur War" by Itzhak Brook, MD, MSc Professor of Pediatrics, Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington DC. Dr. Brook served in the Israeli army as a battalion physician during the Yom Kippur war in 1973. Dr. Brook served in the Medical Corp of the US Navy for 27 years, and has authored several hundred publications in scientific journals and ten textbooks. This book chronicles his transformation from a civilian to a wartime doctor. In vivid personal details, he recounts his first experience in war, describing his perspective of a war that shaped his own life, and his nation's fragile identity. Sponsorships are available: for more information, please contact Rabbi Bronstein or the synagogue office.

Mazal Tov to Sydelle Knepper on her election as Co-Chair of the New York Housing Conference, the Washington-based Center for Housing Policy where she was also nominated and approved to the Board of Directors. Mazal Tov to Charles Stein & Jeanne Walfish on the graduation of their granddaughter Rebecca Lebowitz from the New York Law School and passing the New York and New Jersey bar exam. Mazal Tov to Marcy & Daniel Aharon, Debbie & Hal Chadow and Charlene & Hillel Milun on being honored by GNS at the 61st Annual Dinner on Sunday, Dec.16.


FOOD DONATION FOR LOCAL KOSHER FOOD PANTRIES We are collecting much needed non-perishable supplies for local kosher food pantries. Please donate: tuna fish, cereals, condiments (ketchup, mustard, and mayo), kid snacks for school, cookies, crackers, paper goods and more. This will be an ongoing project. Anyone interested in donating or volunteering, please contact Sandra Stern, 516-487-9385. Call for drop off information. CHAI LIFELINE GNS member Donny Steinberg, will be running in the ING Miami half Marathon on Jan., 27, 2013, to raise money for Chai Lifeline. Chai Lifeline is an international organization that provides year-round emotional, social, and financial support to more than 3,000 children with cancer and their families every year. Donny will be raising money and dedicating his run in memory of his grandfather, Philip Steinberg, who died of cancer. Donations can be made online at Donny4TeamLifeline.tk or by sending a check made payable to Chai Lifeline and sent to Donny Steinberg, 2 Sands Court, Great Neck, N.Y. 11023. GOLDEN LAND Folksbiene Yiddish Theatre has tickets on sale for The Golden Land for12/19 - 1/6. To order tickets call 212-213-2120. This is the show that the Yiddish Vort had tickets to but was cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy.
Saturday, 2 Tevet Joseph Hyman for Leon Hyman Sunday, 3 Tevet Lev Dynkin for Rakhil Shifman Semyon Dynkin for Rakhil Shifman Susan Frisch for Felix Samelson Sabina Geist for Harry Geist Leonard Kahn for Robert Kahn Joan Katz for Nathan William Rezak Joan Katz for Max Sadinoff Roslyn Korman for Fannie Wasserman Rachel Lee for Harry Geist Sydney Mauthner for Frieda Mauthner Leo R. Mindick for Israel Mindick Katalin Samelson for Felix Samelson Ezra Sheena for Gorjia Sheena Jerrald Weinstein for Morris Weinstein Doreen Zobel for Harry Geist Monday, 4 Tevet Chaya Gilad for Naftali Freeman Baruch Toledano for Jamila Toledano Paul Weinberg for Louis Tabachnick Tuesday 5 Tevet Deena Heisler for Samuel Jacob Wachsbaerg Albert Miller for Molly Miller Wednesday, 6 Tevet Susan Goldman for Ilana Pachinsky Susan Goldman for Albert Pachinsky Stewart Kaplan for David Kaplan Randi Luxenberg for Evelyn Beeber Elaine Wolf for Rebecca Miller Thursday, 7 Tevet Nadine Eckstein for William Engel Elana Roshan for Yousef ben Asher Friday, 8 Tevet Barbara Shaw for Gussie Schwartz Ellen Siegel for Blanche Givner

SISTERHOOD ANNOUNCEMENTS SAVE THE DATE Our Sisterhood Dinner will be held on December 18th, 6 pm at Colbeh. Our speaker, Rachelle Weisberger, author of Biblical Beauty will give a great talk on seamlessly integrating biblical, historical and cultural perspectives with practical advice and specific tips on a variety of subjects, and will offer enlightening guidance on skin care, sun care, makeup, hair care, fragrance, jewelry, healthy aging, motherhood and leadership. Please send in your reservations ASAP. Sponsorships are available - Gold for $72, Silver for $36 and Bronze for $18. We have some great raffle prizes to offer as well as an amazing goody bag to all attendees. SAVE THE DATE Our very own Robyn Blumner will discuss Hypnotherapy on January 15th at 8 PM. This is sure to be exciting. Our gift card program is up and running. You can purchase many different gift cards for national retailers through Gift Cards for Good and support the Sisterhood efforts to help those in need. These gift cards can be used by yourself, or given as gifts to co-workers, etc. Please contact Sharon Noy at Sharon@bids4good.com . THANK YOU Thank you very much to Vivian Kron, Judy Lillien, Cindy Ludwig, Janet Lenchner, Hindi Lunzer, Jill Swartz, Anida Rosman, and especially to Noah Kron for helping with our Chanukah Bazaar. It was a smashing success! THANK YOU Thank you to Howie Goldstein, Cantor Kron and Nate Wiesel who helped join in our High School Chef Competition. GET EXITED FOR LIMMUD NY 2013 On February 15-18, 2013 at Hilton East Brunswick Hotel, NJ a four-day festival celebrating the rich diversity of Jewish culture, life and learning through art, music, text study, film, hands-on workshops, performances and more. Programming for the whole family, including babysitting and children's camp. All meals are glatt kosher. Register Today! www.limmudny.org/register Questions? Call 212-908-2525 or e-mail info@limmudny.org