Friday, December 11, 2009

Hanukka and Yehuda

It's not very often that Hanukka falls out on Parshat Veyeishev. It's almost always on Miketz alone (and even more rare is when it falls out on Vayigash).
A few websites mention the connection between Hanukka and Yosef.
However, you can also find a connection between Hanukka and Yehuda in this week's Perasha.
In this week's Perasha, we find Yehuda demoted from his position of power וירד יהודה מאת אחיו - and Rashi, quoting Midrash, says that his brothers demoted him since it was his suggestion that caused Yosef to be sold, and it caused great pain to their father, Yaakov. So Yehuda lost his position as the king of the brothers temporarily.
Similarly, we find that the Hashmona'im took over the leadership position of the Jewish people during the time of the Hanukka story. The Hashmona'im were Kohanim - not from the tribe of Yehuda, who should not have kept the power that they ascended to. It was for this reason that they were punished by their family being wiped out.
However, everything is for the best - through the Hashmona'im, the Beit Hamikdash was rededicated and the the Jewish people had self-rule for many years.
Similarly, Yehuda's descension was for the best. As the Midrash says, "והקב"ה היה עוסק בורא אורו של מלך המשיח ... קודם שלא נולד משעבד הראשון נולד גואל האחרון" Hashem was busy creating the first light of Mashiah (via Yehuda's story) ... before the first oppressor was born, the final redeemer was born (meaning Peretz, the son of Yehuda, was the first light of Mashiah, and he was born before the Par'oh of Sefer Shemot because Hashem creates the cure before the plague).


At Fri Dec 11, 11:53:00 AM 2009, Blogger The Old Geezer said...

interesting blog

At Sat Dec 12, 08:43:00 PM 2009, Blogger Neshama said...

I came across a fascinating bit of Torah on the Secret of Chanukah as Revealed by the Prophecies of Chaggai and Zecharia by Rav Yoel Bin-Nun, linking Chanukah all the way back to Adam HaRishon! (In English so I can totally enjoy it):
Please read it and respond.

At Sun Dec 13, 12:54:00 AM 2009, Blogger משה רפאל said...

Yishar Koach. That Ramban seems Kasheh in the light of history, as e.g. recorded in Sefer Hamakabim. The rebellion was really L'Shem Shamayim, and oriented towards the Mikdash, and the four brothers who died did not rule as kings, nor did they have such aspiration. Shimon, the last brother, did become king, after the victory. That would/could be an Aveira, but not one that can explain the earlier death of his brothers.

At Sun Dec 13, 01:55:00 AM 2009, Blogger yaak said...

Thanks for that link. Interesting how he puts a lot of well-known concepts altogether to support his theme. Very clever.

משה רפאל,
In my post, I mentioned that they were punished because they should not have kept the power that they ascended to. I was talking about the later Hashmonai generations. However, you bring up a good point - that the Ramban also says that the 4 sons of Matityahu died for the same reason. Perhaps, the Ramban holds that they should have let go of their position of power, even if not as royalty, and handed it over to someone worthy from the tribe of Yehuda (or, more precisely, a descendant of Zerubavel) instead of keeping power for themselves. After all, the Pasuk is לא יסור שבט מיהודה - not לא יסור מלכות מיהודה.
Also, the Ramban doesn't say that it was not Lesheim Shamayim. He agrees that it was, but Af-Al-Pi-Ken, they were punished for this reason.

At Sun Dec 13, 05:48:00 AM 2009, Blogger משה רפאל said...

I would say, for reasons of Pikuach Nefesh, that the best man should be king at least as long as there is not complete Shalva.

At Sun Dec 13, 05:34:00 PM 2009, Blogger IudaismRo said...

Open antisemitic attack in Moldova

An orthodox priest overthrows the Hanuka in Chisinau Moldova


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