Sunday, December 20, 2009

Junior on Miketz and Chanukkah

A few interesting things Junior came up with the past few days. First, we were learning parshat Miketz on Shabbos, and came to the pasuk (Bereshit 41:48):

מח  וַיִּקְבֹּץ אֶת-כָּל-אֹכֶל שֶׁבַע שָׁנִים, אֲשֶׁר הָיוּ בְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם, וַיִּתֶּן-אֹכֶל, בֶּעָרִים:  אֹכֶל שְׂדֵה-הָעִיר אֲשֶׁר סְבִיבֹתֶיהָ, נָתַן בְּתוֹכָהּ.
48 And he gathered up all the food of the seven years which were in the land of Egypt, and laid up the food in the cities; the food of the field, which was round about every city, laid he up in the same.

and when I mentioned that he gathered up all the food, Junior objected that it could not have been all the food, for if so, the Egyptians wouldn't have had anything to eat. And indeed, this is what Ibn Ezra says:
את כל אוכל -
אין פירוש כל כי היו מתים ברעב.
וכן וכל הארץ באו, רק טעמו שקבץ כל אשר יכול.

Then, unrelated ... I was putting a onesie on Baby, and Junior commented, in a mixture of amusement and disbelief, that he had seen a magazine and there was a fully grown lady wearing a onesie! How silly!

Finally, I had some discussions with him on Chanukkah about balancing the performing of the mitzvah of hadlakah with safety concerns, to make sure he wouldn't play with the fire. And at one point I simply put out a shamash of one menorah, since there were other shamashim, the overhead light was on, and I couldn't smelt the candle in securely and safely while holding the baby, and I explained to him why I was doing it.

But his question was how come danger to life and limb overrides the mitzvah of lighting Chanukkah candles. After all, didn't the Maccabim risk their lives to perform the mitzvos, and that is the very reason we have Chanukah?! And I gave him what I think was a good answer, distinguishing between the big three and other commandments, and between times of oppression when their goal is to eliminate the religion and times when this is not so.


Lion of Zion said...

how old is your son?

joshwaxman said...

junior is five.

Lion of Zion said...

that's really great he asks those questions (although i'm wondering where he saw that magazine in your house)
you should get much nachas from him

joshwaxman said...

in terms of the magazine, i'm not sure in whose house he saw it. but it was likely a Time magazine with an ad featuring a women in a modest bathing suit, or else a clothing catalog...


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