Monday, December 14, 2009


First, in case you missed it, the video of Senator Orrin Hatch's Hanukkah song.  You just can't make this stuff up!!
Hanukkah Song

And one of my personal all-time favorites as well:
On to the parasha:
Most all of the commentaries I came across talked about the relationship between parashat Miketz and the holiday of Hanukkah.  Since the parasha is always read on the Shabbat of Hanukkah, it is not surprising that this connection is a focus of attention.

  • Rabbi Perry Netter speaks about Joseph's assimilation in this video clip.  It is easy to see the similarity between Joseph's assimilation into Egyptian culture and ours in the majority culture of our country.
  • One of the themes of this parasha is Joseph's forgiveness of his brothers for what they have done.  Rabbi Joseph Telushkin offers an interesting discussion of forgiveness in this podcast which highlights Jewish thinking about forgiveness.  It also explains the difference between Jewish thinking on forgiveness and Christian thinking on the subject.  I believe it is important for our students to know that "Judeo-Christian Theology" is not an accurate title.  There are real differences on some issues.  This is one of them.
  • Here's a cartoon that may make you smile.  Do you think it is appropriate for students?  Explain your thoughts.
  • Please take a look at the G-dcast video which, as usual, presents the issues in this week's parasha in a way that our learners can relate to their own lives.  
I hope you are enjoying Hanukkah, and that these resources give you some new ideas and provoke some new insights.

Here are a few questions you might like to think about:

  • At what point do you think Joseph sees the 'big picture?'
  • What about his family?
  • What is your opinion of the way Joseph acts in this parasha?
  • Describe the evidence that Joseph is changing.
  • How do you think your students view Joseph?
  • Why do you think this story is so long and detailed, in contrast to the other stories in B'reisheet?

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