MIKETZ

*Chanukah Candles lit before

**In the home they are lit after Havdalah**

RELIGIOUS

Is it a plus or minus to have a person of faith on staff?

Pharaoh had recurrent dreams that disturbed him. Yosef interpreted them in a way that Pharaoh felt comfortable. Pharaoh felt secure when he recalled that the interpretation that Yosef provided was identical to the one that he had dreamt, but had forgotten.[1] Pharaoh declared, “There is none as discerning and wise as you.”[2] He removed his ring and gave it to Yosef, dressed Yosef in royal finery, and had him ride in the royal chariot.

Yosef had been incarcerated for years. There were serious allegations that landed him in jail. All of a sudden, not only was he freed, but was given position of viceroy of Egypt. How do we explain his meteoric rise to power? What did Pharaoh see in Yosef that impressed him to such a great degree?

When Yosef first appeared before Pharaoh, Pharaoh declared; “I heard about you, saying that you can hear a dream and interpret it.”[3] In response Yosef said, “Biladai, it’s not me, it is Elokim, G-d will respond with Pharaoh’s welfare.”[4] Yosef then provided the interpretation which was pleasing to Pharaoh. Afterwards it states, “And Pharaoh said to Yosef, after G-d revealed all of this to you.”[5]

What happened here? Yosef communicated to Pharaoh: “It’s not me.” He conveyed his recognition of and fear of Heaven. That impressed Pharaoh, to the extent that Pharaoh echoed that which Yosef had expressed, attributing Yosef’s greatness to his connection with G-d.

People associate Yiras Shamayim, fear of Heaven, with being a Tzaddik, a righteous person. But there is another dimension, beyond observance of Mitzvos, and that is what Pharaoh understood. He realized that the G-d fearing individual is responsible. He answers to authority – a Higher authority. He can be trusted. He will perform his duties without fail.[6]

Yosef could have been flattered by the words that Pharaoh initially said regarding him. He could have accepted the royal position with grace. Instead, he deflected the credit from himself. He made it clear that the credit should be shifted to G-d. This impressed Pharaoh. Self-interest will not be his objective, but rather fulfilling the task placed before him, for the sake of Heaven.

During Chanukah, the Chafetz Chaim would remark that the great victory of the Chasmonaim stemmed from their objective – to sanctify the Name of G-d. They did not seek power. They did not seek personal gain. They had one objective – “lehodos u’lehallel leshimcha Hagadol, to express gratitude and praise to the Great Name of G-d.”[7]

Do we expect and find that the more religious, are more responsible?

Shabbat Shalom & Chanukah Sameach, Rabbi Hershel D. Becker

 

 

[1] Midrash Sechel Tov 41:37

[2] Miketz 41:39

[3] Miketz 41:15

[4] Miketz 41:16

[5] Miketz 41:39

[6] Sichos Rebbe Nosson Tzvi pp.213-215

[7] Chafetz Chaim al HaTorah Vayigash