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Back in 1996, Rabbi Finman was asked to speak to the niece of one of his students. After spending many hours answering her questions, the woman gave Rabbi Finman her e-mail address. Rabbi Finman wrote the woman a note and included in it a short insight into that week's Parsha and a short Chasidic story.

Realizing that this was something no one was yet doing,, Rabbi Finman sent the missive to his mailing list of about 30 people. Requests from recipients friends came pouring in. The next week Rabbi Finman sent the e-Parsha to 100 people. Within a year more than 2000 people were receiving it. Today, more than 14,000 receive the e-Parsha weekly and the requests keep coming in.

Miketz 5778
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Miketz 5778

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In memory of Bennie Magy - Bentziyon ben Avraham v Elke Magy, who passed away Menachem Av 22, 5749 - August 23, 1989 and Rose Magy - Rivka Rayzel Bat Chayim Yaakov v'Chaya Tertza Arbit, who passed away Tamuz 2, 5765 - July 9, 2005. May their souls experience a lichtiger Gan Eden - an illuminated Garden of Eden and may their family only experience Simchas from now on. Sponsored by their son Paul Magy - Birmingham, Michigan.


This week's YouParsha - Haftora for Chanukah http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8Xwghk8Qzw&feature=plcp&context=C320d4cdUDOEgsToPDskJ-GU0gKHUDWAA1_Wm5fF-n


Parshas Miketz, Genesis 41:1 - 44:17, deals with Yosef's rise to power in Egypt. The Egyptians were forced to buy grain from Yosef during the years of famine. They used cattle to procure food when their money was depleted. Their land was taken in payment when the cattle ran out. They became slaves after all the land belonged to Yosef. Yosef insisted that the Egyptians circumcise themselves as is required of all slaves belonging to Jews. Why (Technically, the Egyptians belonged to Pharoah)?

The Arizal writes that the Jews were in Egypt for 130 years prior to Moshe's birth. These 130 years correspond to the 130 years from the sin of the tree of knowledge to the birth of Seth (the Arizal maintains that Moshe was an incarnation of Seth). Adam hooked up with Lilith for those 130 years, essentially wasting his progenitive seed. The children that could have been born during those 130 years were born in the generation of the Towel of Babel. Their job was with bricks and mortar, but they strayed. Instead of improving the world, they created a bigger mess and were reincarnated in the generation of Yosef. Yosef understood that the Egyptians needed a spiritual remedy to Adam's transgression and ordered them circumcised. The Egyptians afflicted the Jewish people with bricks and mortar as a rectification of their own shortcomings. The final rectification came with Moshe - Seth's incarnate - the beginning of Adam's repentance.

Miketz is always read in proximity to Chanukah. The Greeks, in an effort to Helenize the Jewish people, banned circumcision. The Greeks were the opposite of purity and holiness. They therefore banned the practice to limit the effect the Jewish people's rectification would have on the world.

We are still in the rectification process. Our sages say, " With bricks," this refers to understanding Jewish law to absolute clarity (brick and clarity share a common etymological root). "With mortar," indicates that Jews need to delve into the deeper meaning behind every Jewish law. The ultimate rectification comes through Moshiach's arrival.


Private, W. was with the United States Army as it marched through Europe at the end of World War II. His unit was assigned to a village. While there, they were to help the villagers in any way they could. The private was on patrol one night when he saw a young boy running through a field. The boy ducked behind a tree. The private waited patiently. Eventually the boy went to a spot near a large tree and started to dig until he retrieved an object. Private W.ran after the youth. He caught him and tackled him.

In the scuffle that ensued, the boy dropped an ornate Chanukah menorah that he had been holding tightly against his chest. Private W. picked up the menora. The boy tried to grab it back shouting, "Give it to me. It's mine!"

Private W. looked deeply into the frightened youth's eyes and assured him that he was among friends. "I myself am Jewish," he told the youngster. The boy, who had survived the camps, was mistrustful of all men in uniform. He had been forced to watch the shooting of his father. He had no idea what happened to his mother.

In the weeks that followed, Private W. took an interest in the young boy's welfare. Private W.'s heart went out to the boy. He offered to bring David with him to New York City where he lived. David accepted and Private W. went through all the necessary paperwork to adopt David officially.

An acquaintance of now Mr W., a curator of the Jewish Museum in New York City, saw the menorah. He told David it was very valuable and offered David $50,000 for it. David refused saying the menorah had been in his family for over 200 years and he would never consider selling it.

When Chanukah came, David and Mr. W. lit the menorah in the window of their home in New York City. The quiet stillness of the house was interrupted by a knock on the door. Mr. W. went to answer the door. A woman speaking with a strong German accent stood before him. She seemed flustered and excused herself for intruding. She had been walking down the street when she looked up and saw the menorah in the window. "We once had such a menorah in our family," she said in broken English. She had never seen any other like it. Could she come and take a closer look? Mr. W. invited her in to look at the menorah. He said that the menorah belonged to his son who could perhaps tell her more about it. Mr. W. called David. In the mystic glow of the ancient Chanuka menorah, David was reunited with his mother.


Tune into the JEWISH HOUR - Detroit's only Jewish radio program, with your host, Herschel Finman. Sundays 11:00 - Noon on WLQV 1500 AM - Detroit and www.faithtalk1500.com. Now available at the iTunes store (free of course) and on your smartphone - download the free stitcher app.

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