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Joe the Genius?

Thursday, 10 December, 2015 - 1:09 pm

Pharaoh had a dream: seven fat cows arose from the Nile followed by seven emaciated cows. The gaunt cows then stood next to the robust ones and subsequently consumed the robust ones. He then had a second dream, wherein seven healthy ears of grain were eaten by seven thin and parched ears. In the morning, none of Pharaoh's wise men were capable of interpreting the dreams to Pharaoh's satisfaction. Pharaoh's butler approached and related his past jailhouse experience, when a Hebrew boy, Joseph, successfully interpreted dreams. Pharaoh ordered Joseph's release and he appeared before the king. Pharaoh recounted his dreams to Joseph. Joseph told Pharaoh that both dreams contained a singular message: seven years of plenty were destined to come upon Egypt followed by seven years of severe famine. Joseph proposed a plan to store the excess grain of the years of plenty to serve as a reserve for the famine years to follow. Pharaoh was greatly impressed by Joseph's wisdom.

Was Joseph so smart and wise? Aren't cows the source of meat and isn't wheat the source of bread? What was the genius that impressed Pharaoh and what is the message for us?

The issue was that the gaunt cows stood next to the robust ones and only subsequently consumed them. How do you have the years of famine together with the years of plenty? If it is a famine it is not years of plenty. Joseph proposed a plan to store the excess grain of the years of plenty to serve as a reserve for the famine years to follow. In this way, the years of plenty will “remain” during the famine. 

We too have times of spiritual plenty and of famine in our own lives. A Jew is told to start their day with prayer and connecting with G-d - spiritual plenty, and then we enter into the world and need to deal with mundane. 

The question we need to ask ourselves is; how do we ensure that the years of plenty are stored in a way that we can tap into them when we are in a spiritual famine? How do we get ourselves to see our lives in a way that we are always connected and satiated spiritually, even when we are not in the shul or learning Torah? 

Comment on the blog post here with how YOU do it so others can follow your lead.

So was Joseph a genius? Yes

How do we tap into our genius? See the comments on the blogpost :)

Have a wonderful Shabbos and I hope you can join us for minyan and or Saturday evening for game-night.

Rabbi Kushi Schusterman 


Comments on: Joe the Genius?

Rose wrote...

When I read an inspiring short thought, especially a Jewish Torah thought, or photo, I copy it and post it above my desk or on my refrigerator so I can see it as often during the day as I want. I also keep a charity box in my office with a small dish of coins nearby and drop in a coin sometimes.