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30/31 December: Shabbat Chanukah

rabbipaulsmlShabbat comes in 3.45 pm: goes out 4.55 pm

The Joseph story ended on a cliff-hanger last week with Joseph forgotten in jail. We read this week on Shabbat Chanukah of Joseph’s rehabilitation.

The Rabbis compared Joseph to the one pure flask of oil that was forgotten and hidden in the Temple and thus not destroyed by the Greeks.  They explained that in each story, there was doubt about the potential use and strength of the subject.

In the Chanukah story, the true wonder  was that the Maccabees decided to use that flask despite its seemingly inadequate potential.   And just as the oil lasted for seven extra days, it was Joseph who taught Egypt how to extend their plenty to last seven extra years  through the famine.

So, we are reminded on Chanukah not to forget the strangers, the refugees, the desolate, innocent prisoners hidden at the bottom of society. They are potentially miraculous flasks.  Their untapped potential may be far beyond what it appears, and through them we may yet find our redemption.

Shabbat Shalom and

Happy Chanukah!

Rabbi Paul Arberman

December 29, 2016