Midreshet Amit


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By: Shira Saada

This week's Parsha, Parshat Vayeishev, begins and ends with dreams. Yosef has two dreams that he shares with his brothers, that of the sheaves and that of the sun, moon and stars. The reaction to those dreams is full hatred of Yosef by his brothers. In fact, following Yosef sharing his dreams, his brothers don’t even have the ability to speak nicely to him when they talk to Yosef. When they speak to each other about Yosef, they don’t even call him by his own name; they call him “the dreamer.”
According to Rabbi Zalman Sorotzkin the brothers had so many reasons to hate Yosef. He tattletaled against them, he had a special coat form Ya’akov and Ya’akov showed him more love than the others. However, it was Yosef’s dreams of ruling over his brothers that set the brothers over the edge. This is the reason that Ya’akov scolds Yosef for sharing his dreams, even though until now he’s been showing him favoritism. Ya’akov feels like he needs to scold Yosef in front of the brothers to keep the peace.
The parsha ends with Yosef in jail listening to the dreams of others. When the butler and the baker come to Yosef and ask for an interpretation, Yosef responds “Do not interpretations belong to God?” He then adds, “tell me your dreams.”  How can Yosef acknowledge that the interpretation belongs to God, but also offer to interpret the dreams?  Rav Hirsch explains that if dreams are worth interpreting, if they hold meaning, then God must have sent them and arranged for them to be understood and sends someone to interpret them. 
I have always been a big dreams person, as a result Parshat Vayeshev is one of my favorite parshiot. In my own life I’m always looking for patterns and themes for dreams and I very much relate to Yosef and his desire to interpret the dreams of others. May all our dreams be interpreted for good!