Shabbat Shalom with a Heart Healthy Dose of Torah –Mikeitz

We are dreamers—people dream. Each of us dreams at night and dreams during the day: dreams of future successes and failures, personal and communal.

From Midrash Rabbah, we learn, “Rabbi Yochanan said: All dreams are dependent on the interpretation given to them, except for a dream about wine. Sometimes a dream of drinking wine bodes well, and sometimes it spells misfortune. When a scholar drinks, it is a good sign; when an ignoramus drinks, it spells misfortune.” The awareness of the dreamer determines the purpose of the drinking. The intonation pits the glass of wine for celebration vs. the wine drank for the sake of escape or gluttony.

It’s important to dream; it’s even more important to do something good with the dream. If our dreams are to enhance our well-being or the benefit of society – we have to work to make them real. Making dreams real takes effort. And the more people who benefit from one’s dreams – the better off the dreamer’s reward. Our coaches would say, “No pain, no gain.” General Colin Powell put it in far more accurate and providential language, “A dream doesn’t become a reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination, and hard work.”

This week we continue into the Joseph story. Last week we read of his dreams of superiority over his family. His dreams led him into the ire of his brothers as they first threatened his life and then sold him into slavery to his cousins (the Ishmaelites). His dreams, only for his own “self,” served to drive people away – except for plotting his destruction.

His dreams evolved. He served time in servitude and prison. Over the course of time, his dreams turned. His focus on himself moved to be about the wellbeing of others. First, he helps make sense for the butler and baker in jail. He then saves all of Egypt interpreting Pharaoh’s dreams. His dreams enfranchised the world.

Each of us wants a better world. Where we focus our dreams on each other’s blessing, we all benefit. Where we join our sweat, determination, and hard work – our dreams can come true. Superman (the late Christopher Reeve) reminded us, “So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.”

Let’s dream. Let’s join hands. Let’s persevere. Let’s heal.

Shabbat Shalom.