Living the Dream – Parashat Mikeitz

December 22, 2019 at 3:49 AM , , ,

“….At the end of two years, it came to pass that Pharaoh was dreaming…..” – Bereishit 41:1

״….ויהי מקץ שנתים ימים ופרעה חולם…״ – בראשית מא, א

Pharaoh's dreams
Yaakov’s move to Egypt with his family was brought about by a series of dreamsYosef’s dreams caused his brothers to hate him and sell him as a slave, and his eventual owners brought him to Egypt. In jail in Egypt, Yosef earned fame as an interpreter of dreams, and ultimately his interpretation of Pharaoh’s dreams landed him the powerful position of viceroy of Egypt. Yaakov and his family came to join him—a visit that resulted in the Jews becoming enslaved to the Egyptians for some two hundred years.

The Arizal taught that all of the later exiles of the Jewish people are rooted in the original exile and servitude in Egypt. In light of the significant role that dreams played in the Egyptian exile, it follows that our current exile too is characterized by dreams. Chassidus (Torah Ohr, Vayeishev) explains that in a spiritual sense, that is exactly what galus, our exile, is: a dream. As we say in Tehillim (126:1), “היינו כחולמים—we have been like dreamers.”

In a dream, even obvious contradictions seem plausible. We dream about things that we’ve actually seen or thought about, but they appear in a context that would be contradictory in real life. Similarly, the spiritual effect of galus is that our lives are filled with contradictions. We may feel a selfless love for G-d while we pray, but all the meanwhile harbor a lust for selfish pleasures, even those contrary to G-d’s will as expressed in the Torah. A life filled with such inconsistencies is but a dream…

By the same token, however, we should not be discouraged by the contradictory nature of our spiritual lives while in galus, for galus shares another—and even more significant—characteristic with dreams as well. We wake from our dreams when it becomes light around us, and the same is true of galus. When we capitalize on the dreamlike nature of galus to determinedly add in the light of Torah and mitzvos not with standing our flaws, we will force ourselves awake from the dream of galus to the bright world of Moshiach.

—Likutei Sichos vol. 1, pp. 85-88


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