We do a lot of remembering and dreaming in our lives. The two seem almost intertwined. I have all these ideas shooting down like in a pin- ball machine. Kling Kling Kling! Even THAT is a memory, potent, bright and bringing with it other “lightbulbs” shooting down memory lane and ringing when I realize things.
In these Parshas Yosef remembers his dreams .When his brothers came to stand around and eat of his hand he remembered them. This even goes back to an earlier time when Hashem remembered Rachel when Yosef himself was conceived, meaning that it’s not so much that something happened already, but that something is about to happen.
Memory transcends time as our dreams transcend the confined rational physical limits of our lives .
“And we would be like dreamers in our return to Zion.”
In our religion, we are given many opportunities to remember and are commanded NOT TO FORGET. On Purim we remember Amalek, on Passover we remember Yitziat Mitzrayim and becoming a nation, on Shavuot we remember the giving of the Torah and that each and every one of us was there! We remember the Sabbath and the six days of creation, taking rest for one seventh of our week. These days of Chanukah have us remembering our holy Temple that stood for hundreds of years in Jerusalem in the celebration of belief in one G-d, overcoming pagan influences and sharing the true light with the world as it seemed that all the odds were against us.
The culture of Hellenism was adapted from ancient Egypt giving credit to human logic, analytical and rational gain through labor and hard work with an emphasis on beauty philosophy and political strategic realism. Religion was designed for belief in mythical pagan earthly monuments and in many cases worship involved the antithesis of our Torah values. Yosef Hatzaddik and the Maccabees shared a joint mission – to influence belief in one G-D, teaching that Providence works side by side with the practical in the pragmatic world. Yosef comes to teach that in the strategies of building storehouses, collecting and preserving supernatural amounts of grain and creating a system that kept society in tact he was actually the personal link of connecting the heavens and the earth, of taking something material and blowing holiness into it. He dreamt about it!
Pharoh has dreams too. So do his stewards. But they can’t interpret them.
Yosef comes to shine like a candle burning in a blackened room as he says, “Hashem will solve it.”
Later when we begin Sefer Shmot the Torah goes on to tell us that a new King took over Egypt that did not remember Yosef. On the final plague that was later to come, the blackness of that night had no candle burning in the dark and the cynical rational way of not remembering had Pharoh and his house never dreaming again.
Remembering Jerusalem and dreaming of it proves that what appears to be mythical and legendary is actually Divine and sublime. It can be and IS above logic. As a State, Israel is brimming over with potential. As theories are brought into practice on a daily basis and transactions that supercede way beyond what we are able to know from CNN The New York Times or NBC -there is a force you feel here coming alive day by day, minute by minute, on a practical and spiritual plane!
The Jewish people remember the dream. Now the candle burning flickers into a new reality because as we remember, our dreams are coming true.
Something happened already. And something is about to happen.
Have a beautiful bright and enlightening Chag.