Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Joseph's Dreams

At the beginning of Parashat VaYeishev, Joseph had two dreams (Lines 37:55 & 37:9). Both of the dreams are revealed to his family - the first one only to his brothers, who now "hate him even more" (37:8, the hatred was originally inspired by Jacob's favoritism) due the dream's content, and the second to Jacob and his brothers, which results in a scolding from Jacob and feelings of jealousy from his brothers. Joseph surely knew that revealing these dreams could only further strain his relationship with his brothers, and yet he still did. Why?

The commentators offer a few reasons ... Here are a few from The Stone Edition Torah:

- He was still young (17) and not aware/mature enough to understand that his actions would inflame them (Sforno)
- He hoped his brothers would realize his fate was Divinely decreed and would stop disliking him (Chizkuni)
- He hoped his brothers would realize he was destined to play a pivotal role in their futures and would realize that hating him was unwise (Or HaChaim)
- He understood his dreams were prophecies, and a prophet is forbidden to conceal what he must reveal to others (Vilna Gaon)

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