Last week’s portion, Vayeshev includes the narrative of Joseph life. He must have been extremely distraught at first for having been separated from his father by being sold by his brothers into slavery. He finally reaches a position of relative prominence in Potiphar’s house, to be thrown into prison for a crime he did not commit. Then he see’s some light by interpreting correctly the butler’s dream and asked him to remember him when he got out of prison, all to no avail. Joseph could have got dispaired, questioning the purpose of his existence.
The Sidra of Mikketz describes Joseph’s meteoric and miraculous rise to power, after having been imprisoned for 12 years. When the Butler was released two years before him, Joseph had hoped that he would help him regain his freedom. On the day that the Butler left prison, Joseph specifically asked him to remember him to Pharaoh. However the Butler forgot him as soon as he left prison. The last verse in the previous Sidra of Vayeshev reads: “The Butler did not remember Joseph, he forgot him”. The unusual repetition suggests that he forgot him deliberately.
The Israeli violinist Yitzhak Perlman contracted polio at the age of 4. Ever since, he has had to wear metal braces on his legs and walk with crutches, yet he became one of the great virtuosi of our time.
The Sidra of Mikketz describes Joseph’s miraculous rise to power. Unfortunately, ancient Egyptian documents have not yet been discovered, which shed clear light on the whole story of the Israelites’ migration and stay in Egypt. Therefore, there are different opinions regarding the identity of the King of Egypt who appointed Joseph to his high office. Various suggestions have been made which focus on the period between the 18th and 15th centuries BCE.
Throughout Bereishit we encounter some significant 'Dreamers of Dreams', three of the most important being Ya'akov, Yosef, and now, in Miketz, Pharaoh.
In our modern age, Freud, Jung, Adler and others have investigated the psychoanalytical aspects of dreams; currently, neuropsychologists are investigating the neurological mechanisms of dreams, and how they are affected by our psychological state, or how dreams affect our nervous system. Dreams cause a great deal of interest and anxiety, and always have.