Vayeishev: Blessings Disguised As Misfortune

When I was preparing to move to Oak Park MI a couple years back, so many people said to me “change your place and change your mazal.” It was easy to see why. Work was sporadic at best. There was trouble with the house and the wife. Being a single dad was a bit much. Anything at all seemed better, so on the strength of a dream I casted off. It wasn’t the first time I relied on our ancient folklore to guide me. It seemed like a great out and, although the dream was not properly interpreted, afterward I learned to stand on my own two feet for the first time ever and that was a damn fine lesson.

The thing is, I never really pondered the source of this choice nugget until today when we leined about Yoseif being cast in a pit, sold into slavery, tempted by the wife of his boss, accused of rape and thrown into prison on trumped charges. This was not a story of a broken man lamenting his fate, dreading the future, living in fear and dejection. Yoseif was a cherry sort in prison, consoling the woes of his fellows and staying generally upbeat. He charmed the guards with charisma and was placed in charge of all the prisoners’ welfare.

This drash is about the strength of a dream when interpreted properly. I had a dream that brought me here. Yoseif dreamed of stars and sheaves. The baker dreamed of birds and the chamberlain of grapes. The pharaoh dreamed of cows. So much dreaming! Where is the solid reality in this wispy world of imaginings and desires? It is found in “Vayahi Hashem et Yoseif” God was with Joseph. All the moving parts in this crazy tale, from Yaakov sending Yoseif to check on his brothers to the father being brought to his son, the Viceroy of Mitzraim, were all pieces of the grand scheme yet to be revealed.

The rav asked me to speak at shalosh seudot and I couldn’t help but bless my chashev chevrah that they would understand what I came to understand today, that they would see the blessings hidden in their misfortunes and direct thanks to their creator for his wondrous ways.

One comment

  1. Chosen Eshet Chayel says:

    So much inspiration out of Torah revealed in life !!!
    May we merit this outlook, always!
    Thank you so much for sharing!!

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