Shabbat Parashat Vayeishev | 5765
Vayeishev | | 02/01/2004
Chanuka falls out during the time of the Torah portion(s) that deal with Yehuda and Yosef struggles for the leadership and future of the Jewish people. While the Chanuka story ends on a positive note, we cannot ignore the painful period of persecution that our nation underwent at the hands of the Greeks. We should look for the historical weakness in our nation’s moral fiber, which the Greeks exploited, and see where the seeds of their decrees were sown.
Where in mishnayot can we find discussion of the laws of Chanuka? The gemara deals with it in the 2nd perek of Shabbat, but that is the gemara, not the mishna. Are there any mishnayot anywhere? Actually, there is one, in Bava Kamma (62b) of all places, dealing with the laws of damages.
Chazal tell us that Hashem offered the Torah to all of the world’s nations, but they refused it (Avoda Zara 2b). At the End of Days the nations will approach Hashem with the following, logical complaint. Even Bnei Yisrael accepted the Torah only after having Har Sinai held over their heads. Under those circumstances, the nations of the world would also have likely accepted it (ibid.).
This edition of
A weekly divrei Torah leaflet: A Glimpse at the Parasha, Ask the Rabbi, From the writings of Harav Avraham Yitzchak Hakohen Kook, zt”l, Pninat Mishpat (Jewish Monetary Law).