Miketz: I Dreamed a Dream

“I dreamed a dream” may sound like it comes from the trailer for the upcoming movie Les Miserables, but these words also touch on a theme from this week’s Parasha, Miketz. After all of the magicians and wise men of Egypt were unable to explain Pharaoh’s dreams about cows and ears of corn, Yosef comes to the rescue. Not only does Yosef interpret Pharaoh’s dreams but he also goes on to offer Pharaoh the idea that someone should oversee preparations for the famine in Egypt. On-the-spot, Pharaoh decides to appoint Yosef as his right-hand man. The Midrash in Bereshit Rabbah 89:7 explains how the odds were against Yosef in that he was both a Hebrew and a slave, but that it was with the help of Hashem that Yosef was able to successfully fulfill his task. My 5th grade Chumash students suggested that it was a bit ostentatious, for Yosef, a slave on leave from jail, to offer advice to the leader of Egypt.

  • Why do you think that Yosef offered unsolicited advice to Pharaoh?
  • Why do you think that Pharaoh decided to put Yosef in such a powerful position?
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2 Responses to Miketz: I Dreamed a Dream

  1. Susan Mullen says:

    I think Yosef could have offered his advice to Pharoah because Yosef felt compelled to. I have had insights myself, and sometimes the insight itself is more powerful than any of my personal hesitations about being in danger, or — more likely these days — looking stupid or crazy. And just maybe, Pharoah put Yosef in a powerful position because Pharoah could hear the “ring of truth” in what Yosef said. Rulers and bosses are always in need of someone who speaks the truth, although not all rulers and bosses can see that. Thank you so much, Rabbi, for your thoughtful questions! The story of Yosef has so many facets — a person could study Yosef all his or her life and learn something new every day.

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