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Harav Y. Reuven Rubin Shlita

Mrs. Goldberg is stopped by a police car for exceeding the speed limit. “Excuse me madam, would you please show me your license and insurance.” “Whatever for, sir?  asks the middle-aged Jewish matron, “Well, lady, you were clocked going eighty miles an hour in sixty-five miles an hour zone.” “Never,” cried the wounded lady. “Well, be that as it may, can you show me your license please?” “I don’t have one now, it was taken away when I was convicted of drunk driving three months ago.” “What! Well, let me see your insurance please”, “sorry I haven’t had any for months, why should I if I am disqualified from driving.” The police officer was now getting very worried. “Well, who owns this car?” “My husband sir,” she replies.   “And where is he?”  “Well, we had an argument and I shot him and stuffed him in the boot of the car.”

At this, the policeman steps back and seeing the innocent look in Mrs Goldberg’s face, radios in for back-up. Within moments the area is surrounded with police cars, sirens at full scream, blue lights flashing into the night sky. A tall officer calls out through a loudspeaker” put down your car keys, step away from the vehicle and put your hands on your head.” Mrs Goldberg obeys the commands to the letter. “Now lady, where is your husband?” “He is at work in our factory.” “What, you said he is stuffed in the boot of your car.” “What are you saying, go look, the boot is empty.” The wary police cautiously open the back of the car to find an empty space. “OK, now tell us again, when did you lose your license?” “What are you talking about; here is my license and insurance card.” The eyes of Mrs Goldberg are now alight with an air of self-righteousness, “Humph, how ridiculous. Next thing you people will say was that I was speeding!”

We often seek to get out of trouble with all sorts of schemes but no matter what we do, we must be aware that when it comes to the realm of the spirit, we can try to talk ourselves into almost anything but the truth will always be just that, the truth. We can try to jump through all sorts of hoops; however, we cheat no one else but ourselves.

During Chanukah we are reminded of this. There was a moment in time when the Jewish nation thought it could no longer exist as the light it was created to be. They felt that the odds were too great against them and all struggle would just be futile. Then a small group of focused Yidden said no, we have a mission in life and that must become our goal. They fought against tremendous odds and triumphed. Then in the ruins of the Beis Hamikdash they found the validation of all they had gone through, a small vial of olive oil that would spread light in the darkness beyond all natural borders.

Today we are that small vial of olive oil in this corrupt world, and if we don’t allow our souls to ignite despite the coldness that surrounds us, then we will soon feel this coldness creep into our inner being.

In Mikeitz we see how the seven fat cows are devoured by the seven gaunt ones. Rashi tells us that this imagery is meant to tell us that “in the days of abundance, people appear nice to one another, for people are not miserly to one another.”  He then goes on to explain that when the thin cows come to the fore “all the joy of the abundance would be forgotten.”

We are currently witnessing the trials of the thin cows taking over from the fat ones. Our ordeal will be manifest if we allow all the goodness of the past to become lost or forgotten. Now more than ever we have to be benevolent in how we see others and seek to give whatever we can to them. Many need our words of encouragement, our smile, and our support. Helping others in keeping their flame alive will illuminate the world that is seemingly so difficult. We can try to talk ourselves out of a celestial “ticket” but our soul will suffer.

Hashem placed us in this world for a purpose and no matter how fast you drive you will be held to a higher accounting.