There is also a very strong link between our portion of Mikeitz and Chanukah (besides that it is read during the chanukah week almost every year). At the beginning of this week’s reading, Pharaoh has a dream about seven cows coming up from the river. These cows were healthy looking, robust, full of flesh. Following them were seven other cows that were gaunt and ugly. The gaunt ugly cows ate the fleshy cows and left no trace of them.

Seven is the number which connotes this-worldliness. Seven cows emerged from the Nile. There are seven colours in the rainbow; seven notes in the diatonic scale; seven days in the week.

However, Chanukah is the festival where we celebrate eight; when we connect to that which is beyond this world. Chanukah is where we take one step beyond and recognise that miracles are real—that God is real. When we witness that a prisoner can rise to become  a vizir, that a small group can become victorious against a overpowering force, and that the dreams of  dreamers can become reality.

Chanukah is the time to light up the darkness in order to see that there are these and more miracles happening around us, all the time. Big ones, such as a new life born into the world, or a smile from someone who recovers from an injury, or small ones like a perfect summer day—you call it.

Chanukah is the time to thank each and everyone of you for the light, hope and joy you brought into my life and into the life of our congregation.

May in return God’s light shine upon you and be gracious to you.

Chanukah Sameach—Shabbat Shalom

Rabbi Adrian M Schell