15/16 Dec: Shabbat Chanukah comes in 3:36 pm, goes out 4:46 pm
The theme of G-d’s intervention in history marks both the holiday of Chanukah and this week’s Parashah. Joseph is rescued from prison and becomes the second most powerful man in Egypt. He is able to rescue his brothers, the same brothers who sold him into slavery. A series of natural historical events separates and then reunites the brothers. Yet Joseph in next week’s portion will say to his brothers, “So it was not you who sent me here, but G-d.” (Genesis 45:8) G-d is at work behind the scenes.
One way to look at miracles is as natural events; yet it becomes a miracle when a person of faith looks at the event and sees the hand of G-d. A miracle is an event that points towards a greater reality, a consciousness beyond the physical or material world.
It is possible to go through life without ever seeing a miracle. As the Baal Shem Tov, the founder of Hasidism taught, “The world is full of wonders and miracles; but we take our hands, and cover our eyes, and see nothing.” What Chanukah tries to do is teach us to uncover our eyes, look out at the world, and see the hand of G-d. On Chanukah may we learn to look out at the world and declare, “A great miracle happened here.”
Rabbi Paul Arberman.