Story by Jessica Goldstein
This week has been wonderful. There were Zoom celebrations to light the candles each night of Hanukkah. We learned that the word in Hebrew for candle is “Ner”. The tables were decorated for Hanukkah this week and we learned YouTube is a great resource for learning how to prepare latkes! Everyone has really been enjoying the latkes this week with applesauce and sour cream.
Rachel explained that the holiday is the festival of lights. Ralph shared that Hanukkah is time to celebrate miracles. He believes that the universe will have many more miracles if we all remember to be kind to one another. Stacy C. said that in order to receive kindness and respect, you have to give it as well. She led the group thanking G-d for all that we have and the many blessings we have together, like the friendships we have with each other. Daniel shared wonderful news. He started a volunteering job at a nearby nursing home. He is thrilled and said it must have been a blessing of Hanukkah. Everyone hopes that we will be able to celebrate holidays and mitzvahs in person together soon.
In the torah portion this week, Miketz Pharaoh has two dreams that confuse and upset him. One of his underlings, remembers Joseph from prison and suggests that Joseph could help him interpret his dreams. Joseph does a wonderful job and Pharaoh makes Joseph his advisor.
A while later, there is a famine. Jacob sends his sons to Egypt to buy food. The brothers do not recognize Joseph. Joseph wants to find out if his brothers are sorry for selling him into slavery, so he tests them by accusing them of being spies. They pass the test and do seem to be sorry, but he wants to find out a bit more, specifically his brother Benjamin’s whereabouts. So, Joseph gives his brothers the grain they need and money and tells them, if they want more, they must bring their brother Benjamin back with them.
When the brothers return to Egypt with Benjamin, they have dinner with Joseph. Not one of the brothers suspect this man to be Joseph. They again are sent back to Egypt with sacks of grain, but Joseph frames them and includes a silver goblet. He asks for Benjamin to be sent back to him, the brothers are distraught at the idea of losing another one of them. This leaves us to wonder, will Joseph change his mind? Will the brothers leave Benjamin behind? These questions will be answered next week.
The evening wound down with a prayer for friends who are sick, the Mi Sheberach and songs in both Hebrew and English.
Another Hebrew phase the group learned was “Lev Samech” means happy heart which everyone certainly had after the wonderful celebrations this week.