2 TEVET 5777
In this week’s portion, Pharaoh had two dreams. First, seven handsome sturdy cows came up out of the Nile followed by seven ugly cows. Second, he dreamt that seven healthy ears of grain grew on a single stalk followed by seven thin and scorched stalks. The Torah tells us that Pharaoh, nor anyone in Pharaoh’s realm, could figure out what these obscure dreams meant.
Really? No one could figure it out? I’m no dream expert and even I can see that these dreams are not the most ambiguous of all dreams. The Torah tells us that it took Joseph to finally interpret the dreams. Joseph predicted seven years of wealth followed by seven years of famine.
I can’t help but think that others in Pharaoh’s court knew what these dreams meant. Perhaps everyone knew, but not everyone knew how to tell the Pharaoh in a way that he would hear it. Science tells us that our words play such a small role in communication compared to our many other ways. Perhaps Joseph’s gift went beyond dream interpretation. Perhaps Joseph, more than anyone else, knew how to communicate such difficult news in a gentle way. Perhaps Joseph, more than anyone else, knew how to make Pharaoh feel heard before delivering the bad news.
This story comes to teach us that we don’t need to take dream interpretation courses in order to make a difference in the world. Rather, we should spend more time learning how to communicate with one another so that the person we are talking with will open up their ears to what we have to say.