As Chanukah begins, we, as always, are reading the story of Yosef and his brothers.
In Parshas Miketz, we read of the birth of Yosef’s sons.
We are told that the first was named Menashe because Yosef said,
“G-d has made me forget all of my toil and all my father’s household.”
The Medrash says something astounding! What was the “toil” that Yosef forgot?
It was the Torah that he learned in Yaakov’s house!
How are we to understand this?
What could be more tragic than forgetting Hashem’s Torah?
How could Yosef call his son Menashe to commemorate that “event”?
Could he possibly have been happy that it happened?
Rav Schwab ZTL explains that the Torah Yosef learned in his father’s house was tainted.
Because it was learned at a time that the house was being destroyed by sinas chinam!
At a time that Yosef and his brothers hated each other so deeply.
And such Torah is better forgotten!
Yosef celebrated the loss of his tainted Torah.
And looked forward to regaining it in the future as pure and holy Torah.
This may be something to think about as we say Al Hanisim on Chanukah.
“When the wicked Greek kingdom rose up… to make them forget Your Torah…”
These words should give us pause.
The wicked Greeks tried to cause us to forget the Torah.
Could it be that, to some extent, we are guilty of the same thing?
Are we sufficiently pained by friction between Jews?
Is it possible that our Torah learning is tainted by sinas chinam?
Can it be that our Torah deserves to be forgotten?
Chanukah is a time we dedicate ourselves to enhance our Torah learning.
In quantity and in quality.
Here’s one way we can improve the quality of our learning…
… Let’s love Jews!