April 17, 2024
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April 17, 2024
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Run Away From Sin and Say No

Saying no is extremely hard especially if it is something tempting or you are surrounded by so many people doing the action, you don’t want to do it. In Parshat Vayeishev, Yosef worked at Potifar’s house. Potifar’s wife liked Yosef a lot and wanted to have an affair with Yosef even though she was married. She was strategic and planned it out so that no one would know and they wouldn’t get in trouble, but Yosef knew it was wrong. He knew that as much as maybe he desired to do certain actions, he must think of Hashem and the values that He had taught him. Yosef took action but not the action of desire; he took the action of saying no to his desires and the wife of Potiphar. Yosef ran away from this sin.

The Maccabees, in the story of Chanukah, go in the ways of Hashem and say no. While the Greeks were Hellenizing most of the Jews, the Maccabees recognized that while it may be easy for them to give in, they must say no. They needed to say no to the desire to take the easy way. It became a norm for those with whom they surrounded themselves, yet they did not give in. They said no and took action. Not only did the Maccabees not become Hellenized, but they tried showing Jews who had given in that they were wrong. They helped fight off the Greeks and bring the Jews back to Hashem. They ran away from the sin and toward the mitzvah of defending Hashem. May we all recognize the times to say no, be able to say no and grow closer to Hashem.


Shira Sedek is a passionate educator currently working toward a master’s degree at Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration.

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