In this week’s parsha, Miketz, Pharaoh dreams that seven fat cows come out of the Nile River and then seven skinny cows come out and devour the fat cows. He also dreams that seven healthy heads of grain sprout on a single stalk and are then swallowed up by seven withered and scorched heads of grain. When none of his magicians or wise men can interpret the dreams correctly, the Cupbearer remembers Joseph had interpreted dreams while in prison and tells Pharaoh. Pharaoh sends for Joseph who successfully interprets Pharaoh’s dreams – seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine. As a result of Pharaoh saving food in the good years, Egypt is saved from famine and Joseph is appointed second in command – “in charge of the whole land of Egypt”. There are several important lessons here – the first has to do with dreams in general. We read last week in Vayeshev that Joseph had two dreams and Pharaoh’s Cupbearer and Baker each had dreams. In Miketz, Pharaoh has two dreams. According to the Zohar, the primary Kabbalistic text, when we sleep, a portion of our soul leaves our body to connect to the unseen, 99% reality. Sleep is not merely a time for the body to rest, but a time for the soul and person’s consciousness to access the source of its power. During sleep, our body consciousness is released and our soul has freedom to access the realm beyond time and space. Dreams, if experienced during deep sleep and properly interpreted, can be used as prophecy and a powerful navigation tool for us is our waking life. The Torah’s discussion of dreams (several of them) is a message that there is great meaning to our dreams for which we should always be aware and to use as a potential source of guidance
The second lesson we can learn from Miketz is the importance of sharing unconditionally in order to receive Light and blessings. In Vayeshev, Joseph tells his brothers about his dreams but injects his ego – describing how he was superior to them in both of his dreams. This brought jealousy and evil eye upon him and the brothers subsequently sold him into captivity. Similarly, when Joseph interpreted the Baker and Cupbearer’s dreams, he asked to be remembered and to have Pharaoh find favor with him and have him released from prison. In this instance, he provided the dream interpretation with the expectation of something in return – his potential release from prison. The Cupbearer forgot about him, however, and he was forced to serve another two years. It was not until “two full years had passed” that Joseph was ready to share unconditionally. He was given the opportunity to interpret Pharaoh’s dreams with no strings attached and without expectation – resulting in his immediate release from prison and promotion to the second highest position in the land.
The last lesson we can learn from this week’s portion is to always trust and have certainty that the best result will occur. You may not always get what you want, but when the time is right, you will always get exactly what you need. Although Joseph wanted to get out of prison with the help of the Cupbearer, two full years had to pass in order for Pharaoh to need his dreams interpreted for the timing to be right. Had Joseph gotten out sooner, he would not have had the opportunity to interpret Pharaoh’s dreams, go on to become a powerful and wealthy leader and reconnect with his brothers. In essence, you can plan and hope and think something should happen one way, but when it doesn’t, it is important to maintain certainty and know that in a split second it can and will happen when the time is right.