Parshas Mikaitz/ Chanukah

(ז) וַתִּבְלַעְנָה הַשִּׁבֳּלִים הַדַּקּוֹת אֵת שֶׁבַע הַשִּׁבֳּלִים הַבְּרִיאוֹת וְהַמְּלֵאוֹת וַיִּיקַץ פַּרְעֹה וְהִנֵּה חֲלוֹם:וַיְהִי בַבֹּקֶר וַתִּפָּעֶם רוּחוֹ וַיִּשְׁלַח וַיִּקְרָא אֶת כָּל חַרְטֻמֵּי מִצְרַיִם וְאֶת כָּל חֲכָמֶיהָ וַיְסַפֵּר פַּרְעֹה לָהֶם אֶת חֲלֹמוֹאֵיןפּוֹתֵר אוֹתָם לְפַרְעֹה: (בראשית מא/ז-ח)

.. and Paroah woke up and behold it was a dream. And it was in the morning; he was overcome with worry, so he sent and called all the sorcerers of Mitzrayim… (Breishis 41/7-8)

Zera Shimshon asks three questions on this possuk. Firstly, it seems from the possuk that even though Paroah woke up in the night he wasn’t overcome with worry until the morning. Why wasn’t he worried about his dream right when he awoke?

Secondly, why does it even mention that he woke up? It’s understandable why after the first dream it says that he awoke. This is in order to tell us that he want back to sleep and dreamt a second time. But here why does the Torah make any mention that he woke up?

Thirdly, the phrase “And behold it was a dream” seems to be superfluous.

He also asks another question; Why didn’t Paroah accept the interpretation of his sorcerers.

He answers in light of the Gemorra in Berachos (55b) that says that there are three types of dreams that are fulfilled; a dream that was dreamt in the early morning, a dream which a friend has about someone else, and a dream which is repeated.

According to this, he answers the three questions. After he dreamt the second dream, which was similar to the first one, he felt that this was a sign that something is going to happen. He didn’t yet know what this was going to be, but he felt that these dreams are telling hims something. This is the meaning of the phrase, “and behold it was a dream!”

After he realized that he dreamt this dream early in the morning (that we see from the phrase “And it was in the morning”), another sign to the validity of the dream, he become uneasy. He didn’t understand why he wasn’t shown the third sign of a valid dream. If there would have been only one sign, he would have been at ease and sure that something would be happening. However since, for some reason, one sign wasn’t enough he couldn’t understand why there weren’t all three signs.

Because he was waiting to see the third sign he didn’t accept the interpretation of the sorcerers who explained that the dream was referring to his daughters.

However, when Yosef interpreted that the dream had to do with the whole world, the third sign, he immediately accepted this explanation!


וַיְהִי מִקֵּץ שְׁנָתַיִם יָמִים וּפַרְעֹה חֹלֵם וְהִנֵּה עֹמֵד עַל הַיְאֹר:(בראשית מא/א)

And it was at the end of two years and Paroah dreamt and he was standing on the river. (Braishis 41/1)

The Yalkut Shimoni (remez 147) comments on this verse, “And Paroah dreamed… and why were two years added? In order that Paroah would dream and (Yosef) would be made great through this dream”.

Zera Shimshon comments that we learn from this Midrash that Paroah’s dream was meant to be at this specific time. In other words, Paroah’s dream was not only a way

that Hashem used to free Yosef from jail. .Rather it was the opposite: since Paroah was meant to dream at that time, therefore Yosef was freed from jail.

He asks, though, why was it so important that Paroah dreamed specifically at that time?

He answers this question in light of the Gemorra in Megilah that Yaakov had to suffer twenty two years as a punishment for the twenty two years that he left home and didn’t fulfill the mitzvo of Kibud Av V’aim.

Therefore if Paroah would have dreamed any earlier then the years of plenty would have been sooner, the years of famine would have been earlier, and Yaakov would have made contact with Yosef earlier before the twenty two years ended. Hashem therefore waited two extra years for Paroah to dream to finalize the twenty two years.

Zera Shimshon continues to ask that how can it be that Yosef stayed in jail for two extra years solely so his father, Yaakov, would recieve the punishment that he deserved? Where is the justice?

He answers this question by quoting Rashi in the end of last week’s parsha that Yosef ALSO deserved to be punished because he put his trust in the Saar HaMashkin.

He concludes that these two reasons don’t contradict each other but, on the contrary, they complement each other. Meaning, if Yaakov didn’t deserve to be punished for not fulfilling the Mitzvo of Kibud Av V’aim, then Hashem would have found a more lenient punishment for Yosef.

And if Yosef didn’t deserve to be punished then Hashem would have caused some other way to delay Yaakov’s coming together with Yosef.

It was only that they both deserved to be punished did Hashem keep Yosef in jail and delay Yaakov’s coming to Mitzrayim!


The mitzvah of nair Chanukah (Chanukah candles) is to light at sunset. (Shabbos 21b) The mitzvoh of nair Chanukah is for each family to light one candle…(Shabbos 21b)

The Mitzvoh of nair Chanukah is to place in the doorway that faces the public street. If he lives in an attic… (Shabbos 21b)

The halacha is to put (the Chanukah menorah) on the left side of the door so that the nair Chanukah is on the left and the mezuzah on the right. (Shabbos 22a)

Simply understood, Chazal instituted the mitzvah to light candles or oil on Chanukah in order to commemorate the miracle that happened to Clal Yisroel after they won the war against Antiochous. After they consecrated the Bais HaMikdash and they came to light the Menorah they found enough oil for only one day. In the end though it burned for eight days, until they were able to produce pure oil.

Zera Shimshon asks that if this is the main reason for this mitzvoh then it is hard to under- stand the four halachos mentioned above.

Firstly, the daily mitzvoh to light the Menorah in the Bais HaMikdash was in the late after- noon (according to the Rambam it was also in the morning) and it was assur to light it in the night. This being so it would have been more appropriate to institute the lighting in the late afternoon, the time that the Cohanim lit every day and not after sunset when it was assur for them to light.

Secondly, the Cohanim only lit one menorah for all of Clal Yisroel. Therefore it would be more appropriate to light in Shul for the whole congregation, similar to the menorah in the Bais HaMikdash, and not each family in their own house.

Thirdly, why did Chazal institute to light in the doorway next to a public street. The menorah in the Bais HaMikdash was inside the haichal.

And fourthly, why did the Gemmoro mention the place of the mezuzah in connection with the place of the Chanukah menorah.

He answers in light of the Medrash that explains that Antiochous wanted to ìdarken the eyes of Clal Yisroelî with his decrees to prohibit making milah, keeping Shabbos, and Rosh Chodesh (and according to the Rambam, all of the mitzvos).

Since these decrees are described as darkening the eyes of Yisroel, then it stands to follow that the salvation is considered as giving light to Yisroel. In other words, the main reason for lighting the nair Chanukah, is to commemorate that we went miraculously from the darkness of not being able to do mitzvos to the light of doing mitzvos.

According to this we are now able to answer all of the questions that we asked.

We light the Chanukah menorah in the evening and not in the late afternoon because Shlomo HaMelech compares mitzvos to light. Chazal teach us that a candle in the day isnít noticeable (since there is sunlight), therefore we light only in the night so the light of the candles will be noticeable, similar to mitzvos.

The main place for people to do mitzvos in in the privacy of his house. Therefore Chazal in- stituted lighting in our houses. Since however a mitzvoh done in public has a special status therefore we also light in Shul.

We light in the doorway to remember that Antiochous sent his representatives to check that Clal Yisroel were not keeping the mitzvos.

Even nowadays, when Baruch Hashem, in most places in the world there are no decrees against mitzvah observance, we can still benefit from putting the Chanukah menorah in the doorway.

The Arizal explains that the mezuzah protects us from the yetzer hora. Therefore Chazal insti- tuted putting the menorah opposite the mezuzah so that we will be protected from the yetzer hora on the right and through the menorah on the left we will remember to perform the mit- zos. It is for this reason that Chazal mentioned the place of the mezuzah in connection with the place of the Chanukah menorah!HaRav Shimshon Nachmaini, author of Zera Shimshon lived in Italy about 300 years ago in the time of the Or HaChaim HaKodesh.

The Chida writes that he was a great Mekubal and wrote many sefarim including sefarim about practical kabbolo but asked that all of his sefarim be buried after he passes away except for Zera Shimshon and Niflaos Shimshon on Avos.

He had one child who died in his lifetime (hence the name Zera Shimshon) and in the preface he promises for people who learn his sefarim after he dies ... And your eyes will see children and grandchildren like the offshoots of an olive tree around your tables, wise and understanding with houses filled with all manner of good things and wealth and honor These d’vrai Torah are dedicated to Esther Yenta Bas Chana Chassia. In the merit of the learning Zera Shimshon’s divrai TorahHashem should answer her prayers and she should quickly find her proper match along with all the other members of Clal Yisroel who are also looking for their zivug hagun.

If you are interested in buying your own copy of the Hebrew version of Zera Shimshon

Call 05271-66-450 in Eretz Yisroel


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