Rashi points out that the Yishmaelim who carried Yosef down to Mitzraim uncharacteristically were transporting sweet smiling spices when usually they carried wears that smelled foul. Rav Chaim Shmuelevitz points out that this was a major nes from Hashem, who rearranged the world economy and trade just for Yosef not to be bothered from the bad smell on the way to Mitzraim. Given what Yosef just experienced with his brothers, how is this really a Nechama to Yosef? Does he really care about what the Yishmaelim are selling, the bad smell? Doesn’t he have more on his mind? He answers that when Hashem gives us difficult times, he also sends us a “Neshika”, a little kiss, something seemingly insignificant, a demonstration that he loves us, cares for us, and is still with us. He adds this is really the message of the Chanuka Menorah, a nes which didn’t really need to happen, they could have waited, it was to show that Hashem was with the Maccabim through it all.

With vacation here, we have to interact more with our kids, who are bored and demanding and will probably ask do and get things we disagree with, and we will have to stand our ground. It is important to learn from what Hashem did for Yosef and the Maccabim, that even though we might have to be tough with them, we still love and care for them and are here with them. Often, beshaas maaseh kids don’t want to hear a logical explanation for why we are standing our ground, they need to cool off and hear it later. We can, however, show them through a small unrelated gesture that we love them.

Have a great Shabbos, Chag Sameach,

Rabbi Ari Deutscher MSW