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follow dream

Stick to your dreams, follow your dreams, interpret them all for the better, and when life isn’t as sweet as can be, rest assured that Someone high above is ultimately looking out for you and your welfare.

This week’s Torah portion is “Vayeishev.” In this week’s reading we see the hand of God in places that it would be least expected and working in a manner that appears contrary to reason. We don’t always know why God does what He does, but very often, in the long run, it becomes clear. As we will see, God controls not only everything in this world, but also everything in every person’s individual life. This is referred to as “Divine Providence” or in Hebrew, “hashgacha pratit.”

This week’s Torah portion focuses largely on the life of Joseph. He was his father’s favorite son which irked his brothers who in turn threw him into a pit with the intention of killing him. The brothers then assume that their fortune changed for the better as they noticed a caravan of Arabian nomads who seemed interested in purchasing a slave. Out comes Joseph from the pit! He is profitable now!

Joseph was taken down to Egypt where he was sold and sold again to a number of different masters and household eventually being sold to the Egyptian court! Now while it might sound prestigious to be a slave in the Egyptian court he is soon afterwards thrown into a jail for a crime he didn’t commit! Imagine Joseph’s life. Slavery, bondage, menial labor. And this was long before any concept of human rights existed! Now imagine what an Egyptian jail was like 3000 years ago! Life was certainly not easy for Joseph, to say the least.

But it was in jail that Joseph became acquainted with Pharaoh’s baker and butler who were in prison, as well. The baker and butler both had dreams that only Joseph was able to interpret. Two years later, after the Butler was reinstated to his post, Pharaoh had a bad dream, and he couldn’t find anyone to interpret it. The butler remembered Joseph and his dream-interpreting abilities and told Pharaoh to give Joseph a try. Joseph successfully interpreted Pharaoh’s dream, and the rest is history…Joseph becomes second in command of all of Egypt and ends up providing food for his family and indeed the entire world during the years of famine.

So what appeared to be a life of hardship, if not outright torture, had a Divine plan. We don’t always see things as they come our way. Sometimes we have to look in the rear-view mirror after they pass. This is the message of the portion of Vayeishev. Stick to your dreams, follow your dreams, interpret them all for the better, and when life isn’t as sweet as can be, rest assured that Someone high above is ultimately looking out for you and your welfare.

Shabbat Shalom from Israel!

Rabbi Ari Enkin

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