This past Shabbos, we had our first real rain of the season. The first in over six months, and always a time of happiness in the Winner household.
It was wonderful! It started on the way home from shul and continued throughout the night. We even had some thunder and lightning. When I got home, I made kiddush on a wine which had a slightly higher alcohol percentage, followed by hot soup, singing, and more rain. And being that it's a winter Shabbos, Shabbos started early, giving us time to unwind after the meal. While the kids spoke with my wife about who knows what, I sat on the couch dozing off. Then, after ordering everybody to get ready for bed, I made a hot tea, and sat outside in my roofed balcony for a few minutes where I drank tea in silence and again started dozing off (when my wife joined me and started to speak about something-or-another). Finally, I went to bed, got wonderful seven hours of sleep and woke up at 4:35 am for davening. They say Shabbos is a "taste of the next world." If so … well, I'd better work hard to earn the real thing.
This week's parsha starts off with two dreams that Yosef had regarding his family.
When learning the parsha, I had a question. We learn that when Pharoah had to back-to-back dreams that were different, yet the same, that the dreams had the same message. The reason that they were back-to-back was to tell Pharoah that Hashem had already begun to bring his dreams into reality, so he needs to move quickly to save Egypt.
Yosef too had two dreams back-to-back and both were very similar to each other. So, what was the point of both of them?
The first dream was: "There we were binding sheaves in the field, when suddenly my sheaf stood up and remained upright; then your sheaves gathered around and bowed low to my sheaf."
And the second dream was: "And this time, the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me."
So, what's going on?
Thankfully, Rav Shimshon Pincus gives us an insight into the two dreams. He believes that the two dreams represent the two times the brothers will be meeting Yosef in Egypt. The first time, when they are looking for food, and meet Yosef as the Viceroy of Egypt. The second time, when they have already learned Yosef's identity, and meet him when they finally move to Egypt.
Rav Pincus learns this from several small differences in the dreams.
The first is that in the first dream, the brothers' sheaves bowed to Yosef's sheaf. Not to Yosef himself. That is because they were coming to collect food for their families, and when they met Yosef, they had no idea who he was. They knew only that this was the Viceroy and he had the power to give food at his whim. Hence, they were not bowing to Yosef, but rather to his sheaf of wheat. When they came to him later, like in the second dream, they bowed to Yosef himself, knowing full well who he was.
Another difference is, the first time they came, it was just the brothers who bowed to him (only the brothers' sheaves are mentioned). The second time they bowed to him, they (the eleven stars) were with Yaakov and his wife (the sun and the moon).
Yet another difference is, in the first dream, the sheaves of the brothers "gathered around" Yaakov. They bowed together only in fear, knowing that this man in front of them had the power of giving them food. Yet, in the second dream, there was no mention of this "gathering." At the second meeting, each one bowed in respect to Yosef, because each individual had a desire to show personal respect to him.
And from here we learn the meaning of Yosef's two dreams.
Have a wonderful Shabbos!