Mikeitz-Chanukah 5764-2003

"Chanukah--The Struggle of Joseph and Judah"

Clothed in his coat of many colors, Joseph was betrayed by his brothers and eventually sold to Egypt. His subsequent involvement in Egyptian society is contrasted by Judah's purist, more conventional philosophy. These two viewpoints are echoed in the struggle of Chanukah, as Jews throughout the ages question how much to participate in the culture of the day.

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Mikeitz-Chanukah 5763-2002

"In Those Days, in These Times"

The story of Joseph may be seen as the saga of an assimilator struggling with his identity, very much paralleling the struggle of the Traditionalists and the Hellenists in the 2nd Century B.C.E. It appears to be an ancient story with an ancient theme. What contemporaries often fail to acknowledge is that a subtle assimilation that is taking place today as well. This powerful force is exacting a heavy toll on our people today, even among some of the most committed Jews. To resist its influence, it is necessary for all to affirm and reaffirm their commitment to the ethics and morality reflected in our Torah. As the honored values of the Jewish past are whittled away by the pernicious values of the contemporary environment, the battle of Chanukah continues today.

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