In the stories of Chanukah and Parshat Vayeshev, we find a common theme of moving from tough times to brighter ones.
In Parshat Vayeshev, Yaakov, who has faced many challenges such as conflicts with Eisav and mistreatment by Lavan, hopes for peace when he returns to his homeland. But the Sages, as Rashi tells us, say that the righteous shouldn't expect peace in this world; their real reward comes in Olam Habah, or the World to Come.
Yosef's tough journey into slavery is part of Hashem's big plan, lifting him to power in Egypt and starting Bnei Yisrael's exile, thus fulfilling the promise to Avraham. This plan, driven by Hashem's love, unintentionally leads to Yaakov's suffering.
Similarly, in the Chanukah tale, our Rabbis explain the lighting of the menorah as a way to show and reveal the miracle, a sign of divine intervention and redemption. The Chanukah lights offer hope, connecting those who knew about the miracles with those who didn't, echoing Yaakov's wish for peace despite life's challenges.
Lighting the Chanukah candles reminds us of the shared journey from tough times to success, drawing strength from Yaakov's trials and the miracles of Chanukah, and finding comfort in the everlasting light of Olam Habah.
By: Miriam Cohen (11th)