Torah – Genesis 41:1-44:17 Haftarah – 1 Kings 3:15-4:1 Brit Chadashah – Romans 10:1-13:6
Parasha (portion) Miketz (at the end of) is the tenth portion of study. This parasha always comes at the time of Chanukah. In keeping with past teachings about how the division of Torah into the parasha system is divinely inspired and are linked with certain “windows of Heaven” that are open at these times, I will share just a little about how this portion links up with the Festival of Lights.
This is a familiar story of Yosef (Joseph) being brought before Pharaoh to interpret his two dreams. Neither of which could be interpreted by any of Egypts finest magicians and interpreters. Only after they failed to give adequate interpretation does G-d arrange for Yosef to be brought before Pharaoh.
Before Yosef gives interpretation, he points out that it is not him, but rather G-d that was giving the interpretation through him. Furthermore, after giving the interpretation Yosef immediately gives the solution to the problem presented in the interpretation. The rest as they say is history.
There are several links the sages make with Chanukah, I will point to only two of them, but first let’s look at a couple verses.
Genesis 41:17-25, “Then Pharaoh said to Joseph: “Behold, in my dream I stood on the bank of the river. 18 “Suddenly seven cows came up out of the river, fine looking and fat; and they fed in the meadow. 19 “Then behold, seven other cows came up after them, poor and very ugly and gaunt, such ugliness as I have never seen in all the land of Egypt. 20 “And the gaunt and ugly cows ate up the first seven, the fat cows. 21 “When they had eaten them up, no one would have known that they had eaten them, for they [were] just as ugly as at the beginning. So I awoke. 22 “Also I saw in my dream, and suddenly seven heads came up on one stalk, full and good. 23 “Then behold, seven heads, withered, thin, [and] blighted by the east wind, sprang up after them. 24 “And the thin heads devoured the seven good heads. So I told [this] to the magicians, but [there was] no one who could explain [it] to me.” 25 Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “The dreams of Pharaoh [are] one; G-d has shown Pharaoh what He [is] about to do.” (NKJV)
The first link I’ll share is that in both dreams the weak, contrary to nature, overtake and devour the strong. This is seen played out in the Jewish rebellion of a few Jews who were under the thumb of an enormous and powerful military force. Despite being overwhelmed by numbers, force, strength and training, the Jewish people were victorious.
The sages also draw out that the seven stalks of grain is a reference to the seven branches of the Menorah in the Holy Temple. The light of which was the light of the world. As a result of the dream, its interpretation and the wisdom given in the form of advice following the interpretation, the world was saved from a famine. This famine did indeed envelope the entire world and the storehouses of Egypt under charge of Yosef literally brought forth salvation from the famine.