Parashat Miketz 5768

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06 Dec 2007

Parashat Miketz 5768

Parashat Miketz – It is Lucky that Yehudah the Maccabee Did Not Ask…

It is lucky that Yehudah the Maccabee did not ask politicians, because if he had they would have told him that one must consider the possible international pressure in the overall plan, and he would have sat and deliberated and deliberated.

It is lucky that he did not ask too many military strategists and experts, because they would have told him that there is no chance of delivering “the strong into the hands of the weak,” and they would have broken his spirit.

It is lucky that he did not ask statisticians, because they would have revealed to him the secret that we are “the few against the many,” and he would have been afraid of the demographic demon.

He also did not ask too many heads of Yeshivot, because if he had they would have ruled that it is forbidden to cause nullification of Torah learning from yeshiva students who engage in Torah study, and then there would have not be a delivering of “the heretics into the hands of those involved in Your Torah.”

He also did not ask too many Rabbis, because if he had they would have told him, it is forbidden to challenge the nations of the world, and that we do not rely on a miracle, especially where there is a real potential for danger, etc…, etc…

He also did not ask the humanists, because they would have revealed to him the secret that one soul of Israel is worth more than a few kilometers of land and is more costly for the Nation.

He certainly did not ask those who are pure-of-heart, because they would have depressed his spirit, and preached to him that it is not proper to kill or to be killed.

He did not ask deep thinkers, because – within the midst of great depth – they would have confused him and stopped him with discussions of the order of priorities: Perhaps the Nation takes precedence, etc…, etc…

He did not ask the pacifists, because they would have illuminated his eyes to the greatness of peace, and that one should never use violence, and that goodwill will resolve everything.

He did not ask too many questions, but he fulfilled his national and spiritual obligation and jumped into the lion’s den, with amazing self-sacrifice into the great battle which saved Israel. And then all of the politicians, all of the strategists, all of the statisticians, all of the heads of Yeshivot, all of the Rabbis, all of the humanists, all of the pure-of-heart, all of the thinkers and all of the pacifists became sages after the fact, and they lit Chanukah lights as a remembrance of the victory, and these lights illuminate our lives from those days until this time.

[Shut She’eilat Shlomo vol. 8 #35 and Sefer Am Ve-Artzo vol. 2 #182. Originally published in the Israeli newspaper “Ma’ariv”]

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Text Message Responsa

Ha-Rav answers hundreds of text message questions a week. Here’s a sample:

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Stories of Rabbenu – Our Rabbi: Ha-Rav Tzvi Yehudah Ha-Cohain Kook

A Jerusalem Holiday

Our Rabbi once said to the yeshiva students on Chanukah that one must remember that the holiday of Chanukah is a Jerusalem holiday (Gadol Shimusha p. 120).

Maoz Tzur

When Our Rabbi would sing Maoz Tzur, he would cry during the sad stanzas and would be full of excitement during the joyous stanzas. (Ha-Rav Yehoshua Wiezman)


Our Rabbi would light his Chanukiyah inside. (Ha-Rav Aviner)

Excavations of the Kotel Tunnels and Finding the Temple Implements

After the liberation of the Old City during the Six-Day War, there were extensive excavations of the Kotel Tunnels, which extend under the Temple Mount. Ha-Rav Meir Yehudah Getz, Rav of the Kotel, asked our Rabbi, is it permissible to excavate under the Temple Mount to find the Temple implements? Our Rabbi answered, “No, do not dig.” Our generation is still not ready to merit discovering the treasures of the Temple. (The book “Rav Ha-Kotel” p. 306)

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Shut She’eilat Shlomo – Questions of Jewish Law

Substituting a lower number to move up in line

Where to light the chanukiyah

Where do yeshiva students light the chanukiyah

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On Air

Every Tuesday and Thursday night Rav Aviner answers questions of Jewish Law and faith on the radio in Israel. On the Air presents a sample of these answers each week.

Davening on the job

Student praising the teacher

Teacher informing parents about child


Finding meaning in prayer

Reciting kaddish without a mourner

Women covering their hair for prayers on their own

Ritually washing hands in bathroom

Use a hotplate or bleich on Shabbat

Item brought on Shabbat

Moving grave of Rebbe Nachman to Israel

Talmudic measurements

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Unity, Wholeness, Perfection

Our Rabbi, Ha-Rav Tzvi Yehudah, on the Twenty-fifth anniversary of the departure of our Master, Rav Kook (Sichot Ha-Rav Tzvi Yehudah – Bereshit, p.88, arranged by Rav Aviner)

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Ha-Rav Shlomo Aviner is Rosh Yeshiva of Ateret Yerushalayim. All material translated by Rabbi Mordechai Friedfertig. For more Torah:

The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.