Monday, December 26, 2011

Deaf Ears

I was just reading the Insights section written by Rabbi Sinclair commenting on this week's Torah portion that concerns Joseph's interpretation of Pharaoh's dream.

Rabbi Sinclair points out that Joseph reverses the chronology and starts by telling Pharaoh about the seven years of famine that are to come.

Then Joseph tells Pharaoh about the seven 'fat' years that are to come first.

And he asks the question as to why Joseph reversed the order and says (attributing the insight to Ramban) that at the time, Egypt was a prosperous country and that trying to grab Pharaoh's attention by telling him about the good times would have sent Pharaoh to sleep.

The lesson being that in communicating ideas to people, you must first gain their attention. Without that, the best arguments will fall on deaf ears.

Where Was He Standing

The story inside the story goes that when Pharaoh described his dream to Joseph he said he was standing beside the river Nile. In fact, when he dreamt, he dreamt that he was standing on the Nile.

Why the change?

It was because Pharaoh saw himself as a god, and as such he stood on the Nile, commanding it. But he had a dream he could not interpret and he knew there was something wrong with his vision even of himself, so he told Joseph he was standing beside the Nile.

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