Miketz: Evolution or Revolution?

Redemption, in the flash of an eye.

Rabbi S. Weiss,

Judaism לבן ריק
לבן ריק
Arutz 7

As we all know, there is a certain mystical meaning to Hebrew that is unique among languages. Because Hebrew has so many fewer words than, say, English, each word contains within it countless nuances and meanings. And when the root of a word appears more than once in a particular story, there is a message just waiting to be found there. And so, please note the following.
Events can occur at dazzling speed to bring about our Geulah.

Our parsha is Miketz - which means "end" (that is, at the end of two additional years, Yosef is released from prison). Later, when recounting Pharoah's dream, the Torah says, Vayikatz Par'o - "and Pharaoh awoke." Still later, Pharaoh becomes angry, and the phrase used is, Paro katzaf. The same two letters - kuf and tzadi - keep recurring. What's the message?

I suggest that there is an element of suddenness which characterizes the word kaytz. Yosef's release from the dungeon comes suddenly, without warning and out of nowhere (linked, curiously, to Pharaoh's birthday, when, as a present to the incarcerated, he frees the baker and butler).

Pharaoh awakens from his prophetic dream suddenly, with a start, knowing that he has dreamt something of great importance, and must now discover its true meaning. And when Pharaoh gets mad, it is a sudden flash of anger, rather than a slow, simmering kind of resentment.

What does all this have to do with the saga of Yosef? I believe HaShem is telling us - subtly, through the use of this one important word - that salvation for the Jewish People can (and will!) occur in the flash of an eye, suddenly, instantly, unexpectedly. Yosef suddenly finds himself thrust into a pit, but just as suddenly ends up in Potifar's house, then back in prison, then smack dab in the middle of the Egyptian palace and the seat of power.

And not only is Yosef redeemed in sudden fashion, but so will we be. Events can occur at dazzling speed to bring about our Geulah. As I have said before, Jewish history advances more by revolution than by evolution.

But of course, we have our part to play, too. We cannot merely sit on the sidelines and mutely watch history unfold. Here, then, is the Chanukah angle. We all know that the little cod of oil had enough for one day, so why is the miracle celebrated for eight days and not seven? One answer is that when we found the little jar, we did not despair and say, "Why should we even light for one day, if we need eight?" We did our part - we lit, we had faith, we acted. And that, too, is a miracle!

The lesson of all this is that if we make the effort and start the job, HaShem can surely be counted upon to finish it.