In this week’s Torah portion of Miketz, we read that Jacob reluctantly acceded to his sons’ request that they are allowed to return to Egypt together with their youngest brother, Benjamin. The viceroy, whom they did not recognize as their brother, Josef, had ordered them not to return to Egypt for more grain unless they brought Benjamin. Jacob’s reply to his sons was: “May G-d, Alm-ghty grant that the man have pity on you and release your other brother and Benjamin.”
Jacob’s fear and trepidation was greater than that of his children. Although they, too, were aware that this whole event had unfortunate undertones, as they themselves said, “We deserve to be punished because of what we did to our brother…that is why this great misfortune has come upon us,” nevertheless, they looked upon it as a personal misfortune.
Jacob, however, saw this event as a continuation of his previous hardships. Jacob viewed all events that transpired with or were related to, him as a “sign” and forerunner of events that will occur with later Jewish generations.
The tribes, however, were only able to view them in terms of a personal misfortune.
Since Jacob was on a far superior spiritual plane than the tribes, he was able to see these events as they transcended the boundaries of nature.
This closely relates to the festival of Chanuka. Although the events surrounding Chanuka actually came about through miraculous means, superficially one may think that these miracles were bounded by nature. One may be led to think so because the salvation of the Jewish people and their deliverance from the hands of the Syrian-Greeks involved actual physical warfare.
In truth, the victory involved nothing less than miracles that completely went beyond the realm of nature. The reason for this is that the victorious Jews overcame vastly superior odds – “the mighty into the hands of the weak, the many into the hands of the few…” (from the Chanuka Al HaNisim prayer).
Whenever a Jew engages in something, even if it seems to be completely within the realm of nature, he should not think that one’s only response is the natural. His actions must always be preceded by prayer to G-d that he should succeed in his actions.
When a Jew acts in this manner he merits to see the miracles that are clothed in the garments of nature, the miracles that totally transcend nature, and ultimately, the miracles that will be revealed with the coming of our Righteous Moshiach. Moshiach NOW!!!