Saturday, December 17, 2022


Adapted from the works of the Lubavitcher Rebbe by Malka Touger

A Torah Teacher called one of his students named Shimon. And said to him: “Please look into your Chumash and pay attention.”

The teacher’s stern tone jolted Shimon, who was staring out of the window, lost in his thoughts. “I am sorry Shimon, I didn’t mean to startle you,” said the Rabbe, this time in a more relaxed voice, “but you really should not daydream so much while in class. Maybe it has to do with the Parashah of this week, which we are learning and, which is all about dreams. 

Pharaoh has two dreams, Yosef is called to interpret those dreams because he was right about other dreams some two years before; the dream of the butler and the dream of the baker of the king. And obviously, it goes without forgetting that Yosef was sold into Egypt in the first place because of his dreams some 12 years before or so.”

Shimon nodded his head apologetically: 

“Actually, Kavod Ha’Rav Davidson, I really was thinking about all those dreams. We learned that Pharaoh woke up and called all his wizards to explain his dreams, right?”

“That’s correct, Shimon.” The teacher turned to the class and asked:

“Who remembers how the wizards interpreted those dreams? We learned that Rashi already.”

Many hands went up and the teacher picked a student named Yossi.

Yossi said:

“Some wizards said that the seven fat cows and stalks of wheat were a sign that Pharaoh was going to have seven daughters. And that the seven thin cows and stalks meant that the daughters were going to die.”

“Is there another explanation?” asked Rebbe Davidson, pointing at a student named David.

David said:

“They said that Pharaoh was going to conquer seven nations, but that seven others would later rebel against him.”

Right there Shimon declared: 

“That’s exactly what I was thinking about, Kavod Ha’Rav”. “Why wasn’t Pharaoh satisfied with his wizards’ explanations? And why was Yosef’s interpretation so convincing to the king, so much so that he accepted it right away?”

Rebbe Davidson smiled: 

“That’s an excellent question, Shimon. And if that’s what you were thinking about when I interrupted you, then I’m not even upset about your daydreaming in class anymore.

“You see, King Pharaoh ruled over the world’s leading empire of that time. Now, a ruler is not a private person. He is responsible for his people, and he spends his entire life attending to their needs. Pharaoh knew that his dream had a very important message which would involve himself as well as his entire people.

“Pharaoh did not think that the explanations his wizards gave were fit for a king’s dreams. Having children or showing the strength of his armies, does not involve all the people in his nation. Yosef’s explanation was different. Yosef told him that years of plenty and years of famine would arrive. These events would affect everybody in his empire.”

Now, what is good for us to keep in mind is that, if this is true about an ungodly non-Jewish leader, then it is certainly true about a Jewish leader leading God’s children. 

A Godly Jewish leader does not only think about making his own life better or about helping a small group of people close to him. A True Godly Jewish leader cares about the entire Jewish nation.

(Adapted from Likkutei Sichot, Vol. XV, Parashat Mikeitz)