At the beginning of this week's Parasha, Pharaoh dreamt two disturbing dreams and all his wise men failed to interpret them to his satisfaction. Pharaoh was recommended by his butler to call upon Yosef who was a master dream interpreter. Pharaoh was very keen to see him and he “rushed him from the dungeon”.
Yosef “had his haircut, changed his clothes, and he appeared before Pharaoh”. Rashi explains that the haircut and the change of clothing was Yosef’s idea. The use of the verb ״ויריצהו״ means that “they took him out (of the dungeon)”. If the pasuk meant that they also gave him a haircut and changed his clothes, it should have continued with the plural noun and said “״ויגלחו ויחלפו however, it says “ויגלח ויחלף”. The use of the singular nouns indicates that that it was Yosef’s ideas. Pharaoh was an impatient man and was clearly distressed by his dreams, yet Yosef took time to groom himself and get dressed. Rashi continues to explain that Yosef did this out of respect for the King.
When speaking to Pharaoh, Yosef explains “Not I! G-d will see to Pharaoh’s welfare”. Yosef does not boast about his wisdom or special talents and immediately points out that all his wisdom is a gift from G-d.
Pharaoh, who was a pagan idol worshipper who did not recognize G-d, had the power to ruin Yosef for disagreeing with his beliefs. Yosef’s words reveal his great level of trust in G-d. It would have been very easy for Yosef to try to impress Pharaoh in hope to escape prison. He knew what he could gain if he took credit for the interpretation, but Yosef was not afraid and took this opportunity to declare his faith in G-d. It is very clear that Yosef had great respect for Pharaoh, the king however, he did not let this prevent his respect for the King of Kings, G-d.
Chanukah is a time for showing this trust and faith in G-d. We celebrate the amazing miracle of the victory of the Maccabees. Yehuda Hamaccabi never failed to pray to G-d and had said “Hashem will help us defeat the enemy!”. When facing dangers or threats, Jews have always stood bravely and declared their faith and the values of the Torah. Shabbat shalom.