Just as Mikeitz is the Parshah of Chanukah, Vayeishev is the introduction to Chanukah.
The Medrash Tanchumah begins by saying that every vayeishev in Tanach is followed by a tzarah.
Furthermore the balei tosafos (R A Karr mentioned this to me) note that every passuk in this parshah begins with "Vay" an expression if woe, except for EIGHT p'sukim.
The Tanchumah continues to bring numerous examples and then asks why the story of Yosef follows the Alufei Eisav to which it answers the well known mashal that Rashi brings in vayetzei, when yakov left Lavan. A blacksmith was concerned about a the huge load of flax being carried by a camel when someone enlightened him with the idea that one 'makeh' with his hammer can send forth a spark which can consume all the flammable material instantly. Yakov too, was worried how he could face the multitudes of Eisav but the answer was in his spark - Yosef.
What is the connection between the first part of the Tanchumah & the spark of Yosef?
It seems clear that the way I always understood - that the z'chus of Yosef is the antidote for Eisav - may be quite wrong. From this Tanchumah it seems that the TZAR from Yosef was the antidote for Eisav!
A spark comes from a 'klop'! The greatness of Yosef did not come from the 17 years of easy chinuch - teaching all of Shem's Torah! Rather through the last year of chinuch - before turning 18 - (acc. to one opinion in kiddushin) came the great 'makeh' and spark of Yosef.
This parshah tells us how to approach Chanukah. When there was a Vayeishev - Nisrashlu b'avodah - our tzaros from the yevonim began. And when the Chashmonaim took the initiative to the point of Mesirus nefesh they had the miraculous victory.
This contains a great lesson. The 'makeh' does not have to come from external sources or enemies, so long as we take the initiative and 'klop' the hammer ourselves! Until vayeishev yakov, there was no need for 'rugzo shel yosef' until nisrashlu b'avodah there was no need for Mesirus nefesh in war. We can be moser nefesh and 'klop' on our own to create sparks. Then we won't need something to hit us.
'Chanu chaf hey' is a strange name for a Yom Tov. The ShLa"H however notes that it is associated to chaf hey ellul - when the world was created. The first creation was light, with "Yehi Ohr" yehi is = 25 & the word "ohr" is the 25th word in the Torah. What's amazing is that the seforim hak'dkoshim state that the first spark of light 'hayuli' was made by Hashem with a 'klop'! This was certainly without any opposition. Yet a self initiated 'klop' also produces a spark.
Chanukah is described by R Wolbe as Chag HaChizuk. Chazal did nit create an issur melacha because its nit 'downtime'. Whether yeshivahs are off or not whether there's more time for families getting together - its not time off. We must be pro-active in creating sparks through mesirus nefesh for Torah or for achdus and middos, but not to be vayeishev.
The eight days of chanukah are the 8 p'sukim that do NOT begin with 'VAY'. Be pro-active. Make sparks. And may we all be zocheh to the ohr haganuz in Chanukah.
Posted By KH to DRASHOS at 12/11/2017 11:02:00 PM