The Torah relates that Yosef was sold as a slave to Potifar, the head butcher of the Pharoh. Yosef was very handsome and Zelaicha, his master’s wife, continually tried to get his attention. However, the Torah attests that Yosef remained holy and pure. The Torah relates that one day Zelaicha entrapped Yosef to sleep with her. Our Sages tell us that not only did she physically beautify herself, she related to Yosef that she saw in the constellations that he was destined to produce a child from her. This bit of information nearly convinced Yosef. As Yosef was preparing, an image of his holy father, Yaacov, appeared in the window and told him the following, “Eventually the high priest is going to be adorned with a breastplate and it will have all the names of the tribes etched on the Eifod shoulder straps. Do you want to give up your destiny and have your name deleted because you visited a harlot?” Yosef immediately ran out of the house.

Rabbi Yonoson Eibeshetz o.b.m. explains what Zelaicha was trying to convey and how Yaacov convinced Yosef to desist.

The Egyptians were steeped in astrology and into signs taken from the constellations. Yosef was drawn to what Zelaicha was claiming, that a child will be born from their union because he felt it was coming with a certain sincerity.

Yaacov came to Yosef and told him, we, the descendants of Avraham, are not subject to the messages of the stars and astrological signs – we are above it. We are under the direct influence of G-d and not swayed by signs which govern the nations of the world. Through the breastplate which the High Priest wore, G-d directly communicated and answered questions that were posed to it. Yosef got the message and withdrew from having a relationship. In the end, we see that Zelaicha’s claim through the stars was off target, because it was with Zelaicha’s adopted daughter Osnath (who was from Yaacov’s family) that Yosef married and bore children.

The Zohar – our Kaballa – references instances that looking through a Chalon – window – is associated with astrologic predictions. Says Rabbi Avrohom Schorr here too, Yaccov’s image came specifically through a window to emphasize that don’t look at what she is saying because that is the alternative power of a ‘window’. Through the ‘window,’ Yaacov was conveying to Yosef, listen to what I’m saying, for G-d deals with the family of Israel on a totally different wavelength.

Rabbi Schorr continues, the Talmud instructs us that one of the places we light our Chanukah Menorah is at a window facing the street so that we publicize the miracle.

The Greeks were the dominant force in the Land of Israel during the Chanukah era. The Greeks’ wisdom was based on laws of nature and they despised and forbade any type of spiritual belief in G-d’s power, in what we may call the supernatural. The Jews and their beliefs were in direct conflict with the Greeks, and they therefore overran the Temple and prohibited the Jews to observe the Shabbos, Holidays, circumcision, don Tefilin, study the Torah and immerse for purity in a Mikveh. These laws are the pillars of Judaism as they display our attachment to the supernatural.

As we previously mentioned from the Zohar, a ‘Window’ is reference to the materialistic outlook of the Greeks and the deniers of G-d. We specifically light the spiritual candles of our Chanukah Menorah in the ‘Window’ so that the lights which represent the Torah, shine forth through the ‘Window’, similar to the way Yaacov appeared to his son Yosef. The message is that we are to shine our candles – which represent our purity, miraculous existence, and Torah – and pierce through the ‘Window’ which represents false ideologies, and portray the message and meaning of the miracles of Chanukah which were orchestrated through the Power of G-d!

One of the lesser known edicts of the Greeks against the Jews is they forbade them from immersing in a Mikveh to gain purity. This put a strain on marriages and the ability to procreate and the future of the nation was jeopardized. The Medrash tells us that something fascinating and miraculous happened. Every family found a kosher Mikveh pool in their home and they were able to immerse privately without raising the suspicion for the Greek officers.

The second blessing which we recite over the candles is “G-d had made miracles for us at this time of the year back then.” Commentaries point out that the reason why the blessing is on the miracles – using the plural which refers to many miracles – is because there were many miracles that happened during that period. Our Sages included our expression of thanks for all G-d’s miracles within the lighting of the Chanukah candles.

In the special Al Hanissim prayer we recite on Chanukah we end off with, “These days are designated to offer gratitude and praise to His Great Name!” When we are grateful to our Master, it is most gratifying to Him and in turn He answers and provides for all our needs!