Parsha Mikeitz/Shabbos Chanukah 5766:
The Message of Yosef for the Observant — A Time for Indignation.
By Moshe Burt
Two years ago, this author made a big splash at the Shul’s Shabbos Chanukah Oneg.
Shortly before the Oneg, this author read Jay Shapiro’s book “Almost Midrash” and gave over a vort on Yosef encorporating a story entitled “Duaf of Memphis” from Shapiro’s book (about Duaf, the former Barber whose meteoric rise through the ranks of Pharoh’s army and monarch culminated in his being appointed as the Viceroy’s right-hand man) and the dialogue of Page 13 A & B of Gemora Megillah Esther (the dialogue between Achashveirosh and Haman resulting in the evil decree against the Jews). The point of the Torah Vort of course was that with longevity in Shushan and throughout Achashveirosh’s Empire, as with Mitzrayim, the Jews were disparaged as either useless or too powerful, and in both cases, antagonists conveniently forgot about Yosef. The point was made as a lesson to the secular which sadly has repeated itself again and again throughout history in different ways whenever Jews got comfortable, complacent in where they were at the time and forgot who and what they are. In forgetting, they assimilate and, in our time, Chanukah evolves into “spin the dreidel”, cutsie, yet shallow assemblies in Conservative Synagogues to make it seem like they are doing something for Jewish youth, yet totally miss the meaning and message of what Chanukah is really all about. That was the focus of the Rav Kahane article recently received which was put out as an email and on the Sin of Expulsion blog.