Torah: Vayishlach (Genesis 32:4-35:29) Haftarah: (Obadiah 1:1-21)
Erev Hanukkah is the 25 Kislev/December 7 kindle of the menorah with the three blessings.
First: Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melekh Ha’Olam Asher Kiddushanu B’Mitzvotav V’tzivanu L’Hadlik Ner Shel Hanukkah.
Blessed are You, Adonai our G-d, King of the universe, who makes us holy with mitzvot, and commands us to kindle the hanukkah lights.
Second: Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melekh Ha’Olam She’asah Nissim La’votayhnu Ba’yamim Ha’hem Baz’man Hazeh.
Blessed are You, Adonai our G-d King of the universe, who performed miracles for our ancestors in those days, at this time.
The Third Blessing is recited only on the First night.
Baruakh Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melkh Ha’Olam Shehehkeyanu, V’Kiyemanu, V’higiahnu, Lazman Hazeh.
Blessed are You, our G-d, King of the universe, who has granted us life, and enabled us to reach this day.
The Torah portion summary:
Jacob wrestles with a man-angel who changes his name to Israel. Jacob and Esau meet and part peacefully. Dinah, the daughter of Leah and Jacob, is violated by Shechem. Jacob takes revenge by murdering all the males of Shechem and plundering the city. Rachel gives birth to Benjamin, and is buried near Bethlehem. Isaac dies and is buried in Hebron near his parents Abraham and Sarah. Then there is a list of the genealogy of Jacob and Esau.
Each sidrah (part) is a full story. Jacob was worried about meeting with his brother, Esau.(their father died) Jacob’s name changed. Why? When one reads the Torah and Jacob is used, it shows that at this moment he is unsure of himself. When Israel is used, He is fully sure of himself. The name “Israel/one who wrestled with G-d”. The Hebrew spelling of Israel represents all the Patriarchs and Matriarchs names.
Dinah…THE ONLY DAUGHTER has the shortest chapter in the Torah! Many questions… Why is Dinah going into the city ALONE? Dinah was considered a princess.
Was she raped or was she happy to be with Shechem? Her two brothers did the killing. Jacob was furious due to the fact they were to conquer Cannan. (this is a brief mention).
Why did the beloved of Jacob die at childbirth? Why was Rachel NOT buried with all the Patriarchs and Matriarchs? Ready for the answer? Rachel still had an idol, and maybe she was worshiping an idol. Rachel was NOT the FIRST WIFE, Leah was. Also, the reason a Jewish person puts a stone on the grave to show someone visited. Is it that every Israelite placed a stone where Rachel was buried! Yes, they could have brought Rachel’s body to Hebron just like they did Joseph’s.
More questions, right? This was just a brief lecture from my Torah and Women’s Voices in the Torah at ICL classes.
May the hostages continue to be rescued. May those that were rescued continue to recover. May this Hanukkah our LIGHTS will bring MORE LIGHT to the WORLD!
May Israel be victorious in all their endeavors…in Hebrew B’Hatzlacha!
May you and your family have a joyous Hanukkah.
Shabbat Shalom V’AM YSRAEL CHAI,
Rabbi Helene Ainbinder