Lighting Chanukah candles (illustration)
Lighting Chanukah candles (illustration) Nati Shohat/Flash 90

The light-filled holiday of Hanukkah begins this week, converging with the Torah portion of Vayeshev, which focuses on Yosef (Joseph) the dreamer – the patriarch Yaakov’s beloved son of his old age.

To put it mildly, Yosef doesn’t get along with his brothers – and they waylay him, throw him in a pit, and sell him as a slave. He winds up in Egypt as a servant to one of the Pharaoh’s officers.

But as our hosts discuss in this week’s episode of the Jerusalem Lights podcast, all the events in our Torah portion are part of a Divinely-orchestrated progression that will ultimately lead to Israel’s exile in Egypt, a necessary step towards Torah and Redemption.

Jim Long and Rabbi Chaim Richman find that the concepts and mysteries of parashat Vayeshev, and the enigma of Yosef himself, are inexorably bound up with the themes of Hanukkah, the Festival of Light. The holiday discussion also looks at the non-Jewish connection to Hanukkah…and the courage to stand with Israel. An illuminating, must-listen Hanukkah special.

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