BS”D Parashat Miketz 5784

 

The Dreams of Kings

 

Part A: The world is swiftly plummeting into a free fall nosedive, culturally and militarily. Every day the war between Am Yisrael and the murderous Arabs which is, so-far, contained within the area of Gaza is about to escalate far beyond our borders.

Part B: Two Biblical episodes involving formidable, gentile rulers whose dreams were interpreted by a Jew.

Dream One:

In last week’s parasha, Va’yai’shev the Paro experienced two consecutive dreams.

In the first, he was standing on/by the Nile, when out of the river emerged seven healthy, fat cows, followed by seven sickly and gaunt ones who devoured the seven healthy cows. Another dream followed. Seven ears of healthy wheat growing on a single stalk, followed by seven other ears of thin and scorched wheat which devoured the seven full ears.

After 12 years of imprisonment, Yosef was brought before Paro to interpret the dreams. He informs Paro that both dreams share the same interpretation. Hashem has begun 7 years of agricultural prosperity which will be followed by 7 years of desperate famine.

The apparent object of the dreams in Egyptian history was to inform Paro that he will be the savior of the nation through his wisdom in choosing a talented assistant, who together with their agricultural knowledge and managerial skills will save the nation and millions of people even from foreign lands.

Right or wrong? Wrong!

The purpose of the dreams was to serve as a message to the world that now HaShem has begun the first of three exiles that the Jewish nation would have to undergo: descend to Egypt; experience hundreds of years of servitude, eventually resulting in the miraculous exodus, receiving the Torah on Mount Sinai and returning to the holy land as its masters.

Part C: Dream Two:

Chapter two in the Book of Daniel relates that Nevuchadnezzer, King of Babylon and the destroyer of the first holy Temple, awoke with profound feelings of anxiety and frustration caused by a disturbing dream; however, he could not recall the dream’s details.

He summoned his trusted advisors with the order that they remind him of the details and then interpret the dream. They responded that their expertise is limited to interpretations of dreams; but not what the individual has dreamt. The King was unimpressed and threatened “reveal and interpret or die”.

Daniel was among the King’s advisers (among three other Jewish advisors; Chanaya, Misha’el and Azarya). He prayed to HaShem for salvation, and that night the dream and its meaning were revealed to Daniel.

In the morning he came before the King and informed him that he had dreamt of an enormous, dazzling statue, awesome in appearance. Its head was of pure gold, shoulders and arms of silver, chest and thighs of bronze, legs of iron and its feet partly of iron and partly of baked clay. Then suddenly from out of nowhere, a rock appeared which struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay destroying it “like chaff on a threshing floor in the summer” that was swept away by a wind without leaving a trace. Then the rock that struck the statue became a huge mountain, filling the earth (Daniel 2:31-35).

The King was enraptured with the words of Daniel, the Jew who continued: The statue represents a series of kingdoms, each less glorious than the previous, as indicated by the decreasing value of the metals. Daniel identifies Nebuchadnezzar as the head of gold, stating that HaShem had given Nebuchadnezzar much power (Daniel 2:37-38). The next kingdom to arise will be inferior to Babylon etc. but Daniel did not detail who the following empires would be.

Our Bible commentators filled in the omitted details: After Nevuchadnezzer King of Babylon, would come Persia and Medes represented by the shoulders and arms, followed by the bronze chest and torso by Greece, then Rome – the iron thighs, with the fifth mixture of iron and clay the Christian and Islamic nations sharing the stage.

At some point in history, mankind, as we know it today, will change forever. The rock in the dream represents the Jewish nation which will smash, one by one in turn, all the evil empires which arose in history, paving the way for the final earthly world empire – the Jews in Eretz Yisrael.

Conclusion: The major thrust of Paro’s dreams dealt with the initial formulation of individual Jews into nationhood, beginning with servitude and developing into HaShem chosen people, the lone possessors of the Torah and the Holy Land.

The major thrust of Nevuchadnezzer’s dream dealt with the climax of world history when the Jewish nation will outlive all of its arrogant, evil, atheistic enemies, who in the words of Daniel “will be reduced like chaff on a threshing floor”, then our achieving world prominence.

Part D:  The message of this dream is the essence of two verses in Tehilim 22,28-29:

יזכרו וישבו אל יקוק כל אפסי ארץ וישתחוו לפניך כל משפחות גוים

כי ליקוק המלוכה ומשל בגוים

 

“All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to HaShem, and all the families of the nations shall bow before Him. For dominion belongs to HaShem, and He rules over the nations”.

Part E: What we are experiencing now are the final chapters in the almost six-thousand-year drama of human behavior. It is six millennium based on idolatry, unbridled impulses, antagonism and competition – all devoid of spiritual connection with the Almighty.

HaShem began the saga of mankind by letting loose the evil in men’s hearts. As we grow closer to the “end of days” life will become ever more complex. Competitive economic and nationalistic interaction and interests between nation and races, will lead us to a worldwide crisis where people will raise their hands in despair.

There are many scenarios which one could think of but all will center around our prophets’ predictions that the Jewish nation under HaShem will not only survive but will be the torchbearers of a new era, where man and Hashem rejoin based on the Bet HaMikdash in Yerushalayim.

Part F: My repeated warning. The US will, by necessity, restore the military draft. Your religious sons and daughters will find themselves in the Middle East, either in the uniform of Tzahal in Eretz Yisrael or in other parts of the region wearing GI fatigues, in exotic places like Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia etc.

Shabbat Shalom

Chanuka of Victory

We are winning!

Nachman Kahana

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