Joseph is a dreamer of dreams – always was, always will be.
In his youth, Joseph’s dreams all revolve around himself. And when he shares them with others, he seems either unaware or unconcerned about the impact they will have on the lives of those around him.
As Joseph grows, there grows within him a recognition of the significance of other people’s dreams. He listens to their words and interprets there meanings, but still he lacks the empathy to understand how these interpretations will affect the lives of others.
Through Pharaoh’s dreams, Joseph learns to enter into the dreams of others for good: seeing what others must see, saying what others fear to say. Joseph learns that the dreams and fears of others matter to his life, and that through our lives we can make a difference in fulfilling the best of our dreams together.
We are all Joseph, still dreaming of a better world and sharing such dreams with others, but still needing to enter those dreams to bring them to fruition, still believing in a greater redemption which awaits us and all the world. It says in the Talmud: “May the world we live in be the world of your dreams.” (Talmud Berachot 17a) May this be our blessing. Amen.
Joseph interprets Pharaoh’s two dreams and predicts seven years of prosperity followed by seven years of famine. (41:1-32)
Pharaoh places Joseph in charge of food collection and distribution. (41:37-49)
Joseph marries Asenath, and they have two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. (41:50-52)
When Joseph’s brothers come to Egypt to buy food during the famine, Joseph accuses them of spying. He holds Simeon hostage while the rest of the brothers return to Canaan to retrieve Benjamin for him. (42:3-42:38)
The brothers return to Egypt with Benjamin and for more food. Joseph continues the test, this time falsely accusing Benjamin of stealing and declaring that Benjamin must remain his slave. (43:1-44:17)