By Dani Eisenstock
Former Shaliach in Kansas City (2002-3)
Currently Group facilitor at Gesher and Director of sales and marketing at Travel Insurance Israel

Parshat Miketz is always read on Chanukah. What is the connection between our parsha and the Holiday of Chanukah?
Our parsha starts off in darkness and ends in darkness. At the beginning of the parsha, Yossef Hatzadik is stuck in prison. The brothers sold him down to Egypt and at the end of the parsha his younger brother – Binyamin is about to be dealt a similar fate. Will the brothers again stand by and do nothing while their brother is in danger and suffering
The story of Chanukah wasn’t only a battle of Jew vs Greek. There was a lot of fighting between brothers. There was fighting about who is truly a Jew. What is Jewish culture. As beautiful as the story of Chanukah is, we need to remember that it didn’t end well. The story of light leads shortly after to the entrance of Herod (who murdered most of the sages of Israel)  into Israel and the worst hatred amongst Jews which eventually lead to the destruction of the second Temple and 2000 years of exile. Yet again, a story which ends in darkness similar to our parsha
Today, we face another great question. What we will do when we see our brothers and sisters who need our help. Will we sit idly by as we hear about the rise of antisemitism around the world? What will we do when we hear about inner fighting? When we hear about hatred towards different Jewish denominations? When we see fighting of brother vs brother? What will we do when we see the rift growing between Jews living in Israel and those around the world
The parsha ends with a question. Will the brothers repeat history and forget about their little brother or will they act differently? Each and every one of us who reads the parsha will be asked the same question. 
The Rambam asks an interesting halachik question; If a person only has enough money for Shabbat candles or Chanukah candles, which comes first? He answers the light of Shabbat candles comes first –  since these are the lights that bring peace within the home. This is the ultimate lesson we can learn from the parsha and from Chanukah. Peace in the home always comes first. 
The homes that were opened before us on shlichut in Kansas City many years ago shined such beautiful light that has stayed with me ever since. Even though it has been almost two decades since our shlichut, we have kept a close connection with the special community in KC. A few weeks ago, we had the amazing zchut of celebrating a wedding here in Eretz Yisrael. It was a beautiful reunion of many years of KC Torah MiTzion shlichim. It was a reminder of how amazing the connection is between us in am Yisrael. May the light of Chanukah guide us through the darkness and always keep us together