Our Torah portion this week,
Parashat Miketz, is almost always read on the Shabbat that falls during Chanukah. According to traditional commentators, this is not a coincidence. They suggest several parallels and connections that can be drawn between this week's Torah portion and the festival of lights.
One of my favorite connections has to do with Pharaoh's dreams, and the unlikely Maccabean victory. In Pharaoh's first dream, seven sickly thin and diseased cattle ate seven healthy and plump ones. In his second dream, seven strong and thick ears of grain were consumed by seven weaker ones.
Similarly, on Chanukah, we celebrate the incredibly unlikely Maccabean victory over the Greeks. The few Maccabees, the underdogs, were able to defeat the Greek army which was greater in strength, numbers, and resources.
One of the many things we can learn from both our Torah portion and the holiday, is that we should never underestimate the underdog. Whether it is in an election, our favorite sports teams, or with our family and friends even though numbers, money, or resources may not be in our favor, if we believe in ourselves, if we continue to push for what is right, with the grace of God, we will be able to overcome whatever obstacles may be in our way.
Wishing you all a
Shabbat Shalom and Happy Chanukah,