Master of Dreams
Yosef hatzaddik - the righteous Joseph - was able to turn dreams into reality. How did he do this? A dream exists in the intellect only, void of any connection to this world, the physical world. Each dream we dream contains a kernel of truth clothed in the trappings of our imagination. The task that Yosef hatzaddik was able to perform was discerning the wheat from the chaff, the truth from those imaginative flourishes of the mind. Being a righteous man with a firm grasp of the reality of life, pursuing the wheat, (stewarding Potiphar's household), while winnowing out the chaff (deflecting the advances of Potiphar's wife) even at great personal cost, required the same life skills for the interpretation of dreams. Of course, the "secret ingredient" that gave Yosef mastery, both over his own life, and the world of dreams, was his knowledge that all comes from G-d: "And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying: 'It is not in me; G-d will give Pharaoh an answer of peace.'" (Genesis 41:16) Being a master of both this world and the world of dreams, ("And they said one to another: 'Behold, this dreamer, (in Hebrew, ba'al hachalomot - literally "master of dreams"), cometh," (Genesis 37:19) his complete and absolute trust in G-d and the purity of his own soul enabled Yosef to not only interpret dreams but to make them come true. This is what he achieved for himself, for Pharaoh, for the household of his father Yisrael, and ultimately, for the entire world. By implementing the plan he outlined to Pharaoh he was able to save humanity from physical annihilation. By bringing the children of Israel into Egypt he was able to set into motion a process that would save the world from spiritual annihilation.
Every man, woman, and child who lights a chanukia is, at least for that one moment, a Yosef hatzaddik, a Maccabee: turning dreams into reality. By tapping into the hidden lights of G-d's creative force, we, like the righteous, are able to transform the reality of this world, and flood with light these the darkest days of the year.
Tune in to this week's TEMPLE TALK, as Rabbi Chaim Richman and Yitzchak Reuven discuss Yosef hatzaddik, the world of dreams, the Torah reading of Miketz, the spirit of Chanuka, and the excitment surrounding the golden menora today.
Click to hear: