Israel Forever

For the week ending 8 December 2007 / 28 Kislev 5768

Dreams of Leaders

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
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Pharaoh, king of Egypt, had a dream. He dreamed of fat and thin cows and fat and thin ears of corn.

His wise men, professional interpreters of dreams, came up with explanations such as seven daughters being born to the king and then dying. Pharaoh rejected all such interpretations until a young Hebrew convict named Yosef solved the mystery.

What was wrong with the many interpretations of the king's wise men?

They interpreted the dreams as relating to the king's personal fate and not to that of the nation he ruled. Only Yosef offered an interpretation relating to the king's responsibility to save his nation from eventual famine.

The lesson to be learned from this week's Torah portion account of the dream of a leader is that every true leader must put the interest of his people above his own and that when he is blessed with a prophetic dream it is a Heavenly message to care for them.

The dream – and aspiration – of a true leader must be the well-being of the people he serves. Only such leadership can bring to fulfillment the dream of a secure Israel forever.

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