Three Torahs, no waiting

Rabbi Philip Weintraub
Congregation B’nai Israel
December 8, 2018
Parshat Miketz, Hanukkah, Rosh Hodesh

It is not often that we get to take out three Torahs on one day. Outside of Simchat Torah, the occasion is quite infrequent. Today we read from Bereshit and two different places in Numbers. We heard the story of how Joseph gained and consolidated power in Egypt. We learned about the Rosh Hodesh sacrifices and about the identical gifts of the tribes to establish the Mishkan, the Temple in the wilderness. What could these three readings have in common AND what can I say in under 5 minutes about that connection?
With a little creative thinking, the answer is clear from the opening of our parsha--dreams of connection. Joseph’s ability to interpret dreams (with Gd’s help) gives him the ability to consolidate power and eventually save his family and nation. The sacrifices may seem like dreams to us, but they were a way of bridging connection between humanity and Gd. The gifts of the various tribes were identical, allowing each tribe to come before Gd as equals--it was a dream of an ideal, collaborative society.
As we come together today, we continue to build upon the dream of our founders almost 100 years ago. They wanted to establish a place where they could pray, eat, socialize. They dedicated a synagogue. Each morning this week we have repeated the 30th psalm, the psalm for the dedication of the Temple. מִזְמ֡וֹר שִׁיר־חֲנֻכַּ֖ת הַבַּ֣יִת לְדָוִֽד׃ A psalm of David. A song for the dedication of the House. Each morning we rededicate ourselves to worship, to serving Gd, to being part of the Jewish people. Tonight we are doing the same. As we lit our candles, we remember the dream of those who came before us. We connect ourselves l’dor vador, from generation to generation, to the chain of Jewish tradition. As we light those lights each night, we remember the miracle that it is that we are here today. We dream that the miracle will continue and we work to ensure that it will.

Cantor Schultz, Mayor Kriseman, and myself, Rabbi Philip Weintraub lighting CBI's giant Hanukkiah on the 8th night of Hanukkah

Shabbat Shalom, Chag Urim Sameach!