,In Memory of Mr. Max Glass -.$% ('/ "0&1 !

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0n Memory of Mr. Jack Gindi !"#" $"%&' !( $"%&' ()*% +”*&

Likutei Ohr
Volume II : Issue IX
!di"r-in-Chief: #sher Naghi ’14 $enior Edi"r: %icah Hyman ’14 #riel Amse&em ’15 %anaging Edi"rs: !itan Meisels ’15 %ichael Somekh ’15 'ayout Edi"r: (air Fax ’14 %arke)ng: (osef Hier ’16 *is+ibu"rs: %itche& Silberberg ’14 %ichael Lazovsky ’14 Jordan Lustman ’15 $ta, Advisor: -abbi Arye Su.i/

The Pamphlet of Light

Parshat Vayeshev

A publication of YULA Boys High School!

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Rabbi Avner Shapiro

Insights of Rav Soloveitchik on Yosef and Chanukah

The Flame of Our Ancestors
“They kneel and fall, but we rise and gain strength.” - Tehillim 20:9

1e2&ah Gems
(onah Hi&er ’14

In a characteristically brilliant and insightful essay on the connection between Yosef and Chanukah, Rabbi Soloveitchik writes, “There is meaning and symbolism to every detail of the Jewish calendar. The mere fact that Chanukah always falls on either or both of the two Sabbaths devoted to the Joseph story, Vayeshev and Miketz, bears witness that there is a link between events surrounding Joseph's sale into slavery, and the events leading to Chanukah.” The juxtaposition of Chanukah to the reading of the stories of Yosef shows us that a study of Yosef will help us understand the essence of the Chashmonaim, the heroes of the Chanukah story. The episodes of Yosef and the Chashmonaim are both timeless and give us something to think about as we take the messages of the Parshiot and this meaningful holiday as personal calls for our constant growth as Avdei Hashem. Rav Soloveitchik relates how the Divine Providence of Hashem, Hashgacha Pratit, can involve man in two ways. Firstly, man can play a secondary role as Hashem’s Shaliach, emissary. Hashem guides the man’s actions carefully, but ultimately Hashem carries out the primary events in a miraculous fashion. The classic example of this is Yetziat Mitzrayim. Hashem designates Moshe as his messenger on multiple occasions; however, Hashem carries out the main events, such as the ten plagues and the crossing of the Red Sea. The second way involves a more proactive man, who must take initiative. Here, man's role, through tremendous effort and Mesirat Nefesh, personal sacrifice, is to carry out the plan of Hashem's Hashgacha. In the story of Yosef, Hashem had a plan that B'nei Yisroel should go down to Egypt. Initially, it was in order to survive the famine in Eretz Yisroel; additionally, there was the long-term plan of staying there and falling into servitude. Yosef's destiny was directly correlated with B'nei Yisroel's descent upon Egypt. This destiny was not a process where Hashem was proactive with various miracles to ensure their arrival in Egypt. Rather, it was Yosef's years of activity and suffering that led to their ability to come to Egypt. Rav Soloveitchik explains that the Chashmonaim shared a similar destiny in ensuring the welfare of B'nei Yisroel. Their role was one of proactivity, not of subordination, to Hashem's miraculous works. In the destinies that are given to us by Ha’Kadosh Baruch Hu, we are like Yosef and the Chashmonaim. We do not live in an era of open miracles. The Yad Hashem, or Hashem’s hand, which exists in the Nissim Nistarim, demands, like by Yosef and the Chashmonaim, a call for hard work and at times great personal sacrifice. Yosef had two dreams. In the first, there was an image of sheaves in a field, bowing down to the Yosef’s sheaf. In the second dream, the sun, moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to one star, which represents Yosef. Rav Soloveitchik feels that these two images reflect Yosef's destiny for greatness in two areas. The dream of the sheaves represents greatness in the physical realm. The dream involving the celestial bodies represents greatness in the spiritual realm. We see in the Parshiot how Yosef achieved greatness in these two areas. In the political realm, he rose to a position of power and influence. In the spiritual realm, he rose to his Nisyonot, his challenges, which was the way he retained his Jewish spiritual identity throughout his stay in Egypt. This duality of two types of greatnesses is how R' Soloveitchik understood the symbolism of the Ketonet Passim, Yosef's multicolored coat. The many colors of the coat, as opposed to a monochromatic coat, represent Yosef's greatness in multiple areas. The greatness of the Chashmonaim, as well, manifests itself in two areas. Not only were they warriors who successfully battled against the Greeks despite their sizable disadvantage, but they were also men who fought for the Kedusha of the nation. In our contemporary lives, we are also constantly challenged to achieve this duality. We need to manage our careers and families. However, we are called upon to live and thrive in a spiritual realm, and often to have an impact on others in this area as well, whether it is with our friends, our students, or our families. As we read the Parshiot of Yosef and celebrate the victory of the Chashmonaim, we should appreciate the timeless messages of these events.

In some Shuls Adon Olam is repeated at the end of Davening. Why do we repeat something that was already said at the beginning of Davening? Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev explains this interesting phenomenon by comparing it to Talmud Torah, learning Torah. When one opens a Gemara he finds that it starts with Daf “Bet” This means that the second letter of the Hebrew alphabet is written on the first page instead of an “Alef, ” the first letter. This represents the infinite nature of the Torah: It does not have a start, and, no matter how much one has learned, he has never reached the “Alef.” That is exactly why we start and end Davening with Adon Olam. After one has Davened, he might think that he has “fulfilled his obligation” and thus does not need to pray anymore. The Chachamim, when they composed the order of Davening, were trying to teach us that even when we have “finished,” in reality we have only begun. The dialogue between Hashem and man is continuous and must never come to an end.

Missing the Mitzvah
Nathan Silberberg ’16
!"#$ %&'( )*(' *&)+, %&'( (-"* (.*) “And Ya’akov settled in the land of his father’s sojournings, the land of Cana’an” (Bereshit 37:1). On this Pasuk in this week’s Parsha, Rashi brings down a Midrash that states, “Ya’akov desired to dwell in peace. [But], the troubles of Yosef sprang upon him.” Chazal teach that Ya’akov’s suffering due to his separation from Yosef for 22 years was a ‘Midah K’Neked Midah’ punishment for the 22 years he spent at Lavan’s home where he did not fulfill the Mitzvah of Kibud Av Va’Em, honor your father and your mother. The reason Yosef was punished for 22 years was because he told on his brothers to his father, Ya’akov. The Gemara says that if one is presented with the opportunity to preform a Mitzvah Asei, a positive commandment, and allows it to pass by unfulfilled, he does not receive his punishment immediately. Rather, the punishment will come about later from some other misfortune. Those 22 years when Ya’akov was not at home meant a passing digression from Ya’akov achieving the Mitzvah Asei of honoring his parents, since he was too far away to do that Mitzvah. Therefore, Ya’akov did not get punished immediately. Only once Yosef hurt his brothers did Hashem sentence Yosef to be sold into servitude, which would ultimately commence Ya’akov’s 22 years of distress. Often, we are lax when it comes to preforming Mitzvot Asei. We feel that we can put off wearing our Tefillin, visit the sick another day, or learn a little bit less Torah because we do not have to fear that Hashem will punish us as severely as by Mitzvot Lo Tasei, negative commandments. In reality, however, the neglect of such Mitzvot will come back to haunt us in the future. Imagine, each and every Mitzvah that we ignore can just suddenly appear and wreak havoc in our lives. In order to minimize this often painful (as seen in Ya’akov’s case) discipline from Hashem, we must complete every Mitzvah, Asei or Lo Tasei, that comes our way. May we be Zocheh that Hashem will guide us on the path that will allow us to do more Mitzvot, so that Mashiach will come Bimeherah B’Yamenu. Then, we will be able to be able to do all Mitzvot, positive and negative, with the likes of the righteous Ya’akov and Yosef.

Halachic Illuminations
From Rabbi Nachum Sauer
There are two Chiyuvim of Hadlakat Neirot: firstly, there is a Chiyuv to light within one’s home for the purpose of Shalom Bayit, namely, so that one does not trip over or bump into objects in a dark room. Secondly, the Chachamim instituted that each individual has a personal Chiyuv to light candles for Shabbat. If a group of men on a business trip rent a room and split the cost, they are all obligated to fulfill both of the Chiyuvim of Hadlakat Neirot, to light for Shalom Bayit as well as to fulfill their personal obligations. However, one of the men may serve as a Shliach for the others and be Moztei them. If, however, someone is a guest in a home, and he does not have his own designated room that he will use exclusively, then he would not have to light himself, but he could be Yotzei with the lighting of his host. In order to do this, he would have to give a Prutah, a small amount of money, to the host in order to buy into the host’s candles. Alternatively, the host could ‘give’ him a share in the candles as a gift. When children come home from school, they are automatically members of the household and can be Yotzei with their mother’s lighting. One who boards with a family for an extended period is also considered to be a member of the household and does not have to light his own candles. However, he must make sure that there is some light shining in his bedroom, whether a light in the actual room or a light from outside, so that he will have Shalom Bayit and not trip over objects.

Compiled By Your Editor-in-Chief Asher Naghi

Caring for Others in Times of Trouble

David Noghreyan ’17

We are often faced with a series of issues and problems that make us feel like we have almost hit rock bottom, as if there is no hope left. Similarly, in this week’s Parsha, Parshat Vayeshev, Yosef encounters a defining moment where he sinks to this type of low level. To begin with, Yosef’s brothers plot to throw him into a pit. Then, they decide to sell Yosef to the children of Yishmael, and, after being bought multiple times, he is eventually taken to Egypt. From there Yosef is thrown into jail, which is probably one of the bleakest, most hopeless places one could be. However, even with a distraught state of mind and being, Yosef still retained his concern for others: when he sees that the imprisoned chief baker and chief cupbearer are distressed, Yosef cares. As the Torah states, “[…] he asked Pharaoh's chamberlains who were with him in the prison of his master's house, saying, ‘Why are your faces sad today?’” (Bereshit 40:7). Many may think that in the darkest moment of one’s life the only thing a person can and will do is feel sorry for himself. Nonetheless, we see that even in the plaintive pit of hopelessness and distress we must acknowledge and mitigate the despair of others. The Gemara teaches us a similar lesson: it states that when a sword is at our neck we must still have mercy. This figurative statement should be perceived in the following manner: when we are in pain we must not forget that others around us are also in pain. We must be strong and never allow for our personal problems to be used as an excuse for not caring for others. Yosef, in literally the worst situation one could be in, kept this in his mind. He stretched out a caring arm to Pharaoh’s butler and baker as they were in pain as well. It is devastating when we find ourselves in a terrible situation. It is easier for us to remain sad than to offer a helping hand to those in pain as well. Sometimes we may feel that we have a right to sulk and brood because of our situation, but our obligation to our fellow Jews comes before our own self-pity. Ultimately, we must keep in mind what the Gemara teaches us: nothing can kill us except the decisions we make, we must not give up hope, and, most importantly, we must always care for others.

(ULA Boys High School Nagel Family Campus 9760 W. Pico Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90035 Tel: 310.203.3180

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