Shabbat Parashat Vayeshev
December 13, 2014 – 21 Kislev 5775
Chanukah is almost here and I take this opportunity to wish you and your loved ones a very happy Chanukah!
The Maccabees had a dream. They wished for a society in which one might study, live, and worship freely as a Jew. They were dedicated and they were determined. They did not let the present reality dictate the future. Instead, they struggled to bring about change for the good. Their story inspires us to stand up for what is right. We rejoice that they were blessed to be able to see their dream come true. Their struggle, and their victory, resonates with us today, as we struggle to see the fulfillment of our dreams for our own society.
Throughout the generations, we have seen how dreams can spur us to action and inspire us to envision a better world.
In our Torah portion weekly Torah portion we read of Joseph’s dreams. Years later, his dreams became a reality. But, as with the Maccabees, the change for the good did not come about without significant struggle…Yet, the dream was remembered. The dream which helped move us forward toward a time of greater freedom and justice, was never forgotten.
Martin Luther King drew on our rich tradition when he said the famous words: “I have a dream.” His words resonate with us today. Even as we see the need for more work, for continued dedication, and for more time, before the dream of racial equality is fulfilled in our society, we are blessed that he communicated his dream to us. We are blessed that we have a tradition that teaches us to remember the dream and to appreciate its value along with the wisdom, the justice, and the passion of his vision.
May the spirit of Chanukah and of the Maccabees, and of this Shabbat and of Joseph’s dreams, inspire us all to dream and to work together to make our world a better place for all human beings.
Rabbi Gilah Dror
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