Dec. 23, 2011 Miketz

S.T.A.R. News & Events

Here are S.T.A.R.’s upcoming exciting events:

December 25th:

STAR kid’s Chanukah party!!!

Join the STAR Gang as we journey back in time at Golf and Stuff. Unlimited games and rides for all, plus a special Chanukah presentation followed by Chanukah gifts!!!

January 6th-8th

STAR Teens will occupy Big Bear on this amazing retreat. A 3 day luxurious stay at a 5 STAR hotel accompanied by great food lots of crazy fun, skiing, snow boarding and much more.

January 15th:


Let”s go to the happiest place on earth, Disneyland!!! To top it all off, you will be with the happiest people on earth, the STAR Group!


This Shabbat

Shabbat Parashat: Miketz

Candle Lighting: 4:31pm
Shabbat Ends: 5:30pm

Torah Message

Do You Want To Hear A Good Story?

"Seven years of famine…" (41:27)

If you examine most classic Torah insights, they often start with an anomaly in a verse, be it in the spelling, the grammar, or the sequence of the words, and based on this anomaly the writer will draw a homiletic interpretation. And then he will write, "To what may this be compared?", and finish with a parable to illustrate the point.

I have had the merit, thank G-d, to write these insights on the weekly Torah reading for nearly twenty years. Early on in my career I made a discovery that I would like to share with you.

My feeling is that nowadays many readers are resistant to inferences based on textual anomaly–but everyone wants to hear a good story. So very simply, I reversed the classic structure, starting with the story and finishing with the textual analysis.

The great spiritual master Rava would always begin a deep Torah discourse by telling a joke. Why? As soon as the yetzer hara notices someone getting up to speak divrei Torah, it sends a powerful sedative to the brain.

Rava knew that to grab the attention of his listeners he would have to outflank the yetzer hara.

You can’t get people to listen to you unless you can first grab their attention.

My intention was the same as Rava’s, the same as any teacher – to grab the attention of the audience before they hit the delete button.

So having told you the story, here’s the anomaly:

In this week’s Torah portion, when Yosef interprets Pharaoh’s dream, he starts off by first telling him about the seven years of famine. Chronologically, the seven years of plenty came first.

Why didn’t Yosef start be talking about them?

In a country as prosperous as Egypt, talking about seven years of plenty would have been about as interesting as watching wallpaper. Yosef deliberately started with the years of famine because he knew that such a cataclysmic disaster would be sure to make Pharaoh sit up and take notice of his advice.

In communicating your ideas to people, you must first gain their attention. Without that, the best arguments will fall on deaf ears.

  • Source: Ramban

Rabbi M. Weiss                                                  Rabbi Y. Sakhai

Community News

Em Habanim Congregation

Weekly Parashat Hashavua class with Rabbi Joshua Bittan on Wednesdays at 8:30pm for more info. visit

Sephardic Temple:

Talmud Torah and Youth Havadalah and Movie Nite will return in January after the completion of the remodel of the new Alcana Youth Lounge. Watch for upcoming dates and info!

Get Well Soon

We wish a speedy recovery for all the Jews that may need it where ever they may be and especially for:

Em Habanim:

Max Barchichat From Sephardic Temple: Al Azus,Buena Angel,
Elaine Leon,Itzchak Rachmanony

From S.T.A.R.:

Mordechai Chaim Ben Chana, Chaim Ben Buena,
Meshulam Dov Ben Chana Sarah
Bracha Eliza Bat Ehteram, Bracha Sara Chaya Bat Ronit

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