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During the Second Temple, the Greek empire reigned (over Israel),1 and they (the Greeks) passed decrees against the Jews and (tried) to erase their religion, and did not allow them to carry out Torah (study) or the commandments. They put their hands on their property and their daughters. They entered the Temple, destroyed and made the pure unclean. The Jews were in great distress because of them and were much oppressed, until the G-d of their fathers had mercy on them, delivering them from their hands and saving them. Then overcame, the sons of the Hasmonean High Priest, (the Greeks) and killed them and saved the Jews from their hands. They appointed a king from the Priests, and the kingdom of Israel was restored for more than 200 years until the destruction of (the) second (Temple). When the Jews overcame their enemies and destroyed them, it was the 25th of Kislev2 when they entered the Sanctuary (inner room) and did not find pure (olive) oil in the Temple, except one jar sealed with seal of the High Priest, and it did not contain enough to light except for one day only. But they lit from it the lamps of the Menorah3 for eight days, until they could crush olives and produce a (new quantity) of pure oil. For these reasons, decreed the Sages of that generation that these eight days that begin on the 25th Kislev, will be days of joy and praise. One lights on them lamps at evening at the entrance to the houses, every evening of the eight nights to show off and demonstrate the miracle. These days are called ''Hanukah'' that is to say ''they rested'' (chanu) on the ''25'' ('th of the month) because on the 25th they rested from their enemies. and also because of those days they (re)-dedicated the house (Temple) which their foes had defiled. Also some say that it is a commandment to increase slightly the festive meals on Hanukah. Another reason is because the work of (building) the Sanctuary (in the desert) was completed in these days. One should tell one's children the story of the miracles that were done for our fore-fathers in those days, (see Josephus) However, these meals are not considered as part of the commandment unless one says at the meal songs of praise. One should increase charity in these Hanukah days, for this can help mend any defects in our souls. This charity, should be given particularly to poor Torah scholars. (KSA 139:1)
1) 352 BCE until 70 CE
2) 139 BCE
3) The Menorah was made of gold and had seven branches.
The Weekly Shtikle is dedicated le'iluy nishmas my father, Reuven Pinchas ben Chaim Yaakov, a"h.
The Weekly Shtikle is dedicated le'iluy nishmas my Oma, Chaya Sara bas Zecharia Chaim, a"h.
When Avraham and Sarah, then Avram and Sarai, come to Mitzrayim, Avraham asks her to tell the Mitzri’im that she is his sister "l'ma'an yitav li ba'avureich, v'chaysa nafshi biglaleich" (12:13), so that they will do good to me and I will live because of you. Rashi comments on "l'ma'an yitav li," that they will give him presents. The obvious question that many ask is why Avraham seems to be so interested in gifts. We know from later in the parsha that Avraham was not one to desire gifts in the least. Why is this different? Another question to be asked is why the receiving of presents is put before survival? Surely receiving presents was not more important than coming out alive.
The Ta"Z, in his sefer on Rashi, Divrei David, answers the first question beautifully. When they came down to Mitzrayim, they had a dilemma. Surely, they did not want the Egyptians to think they were married. That would be the worst-case scenario. But for them to come into Mitzrayim and for Sarah to blurt out, unprovoked, "he's my brother," would also have seemed very suspicious. But if they never asked, and she never told, they ran the risk of the assumption that they were indeed husband and wife. So, they needed a plan to tell them that they were brother and sister with a pretense. This was their plan: Sarah would come to Mitzrayim with Avraham and say "This is my brother, a very poor man. Please give him some money." By doing this, there is a very legitimate reason for her to say that he is her brother. This would invoke a feeling of pity and the Mitzri'im would be likely to give gifts. If she had just come in with any beggar off the street, they might not be inclined to give him. With this crafty plan, they have informed the Mitzri'im that they are brother and sister without looking suspicious. And the Mitzri'im will give gifts to Avraham because of Sarah.
This answer may be used to alleviate the second difficulty as well. Only "v'chaysa nafshi..." is really what Avraham wanted to get out of the whole deal. The phrase "l'ma'an yitav li" is not as much a statement of what Avraham wanted, but more of what he wanted Sarah to say, that they should give her brother presents as the Ta"Z explains.
I propose another suggestion, though, exclusive of the Ta"Z's explanation. The two results of the situation are not put in order of what was important to Avraham, but more of an order of events from the Mitzri'im's perspective. If they were husband and wife, surely, they would know they have no chance with Sarah and they would kill Avraham right away. But now that they are brother and sister, they will simply give Avraham gifts to convince them to let them have Sarah. But if this does not convince him, then they will still have to kill him. So, the Mitzri'im had the mindset, "If he accepts the gifts, we will let him live." That is why the order in the pasuk is "they will give me gifts, and they will let me live" because it is the accepting of the gifts on which his survival relies.
Have a good Shabbos.