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Word Power

By: Mrs. Batsheva Reinitz

At the end of Parshat Vayeshev, Yosef is famously presented with the dreams of the Sar Ha’ofim and the Sar Ha’mashkim. The dreams did not contain clear messages and it was not clear what the next steps would be. The Torah relates that to try and gain some clarity, the ministers turned to Yosef for help.

As we know, Yosef interpreted each dream very differently. The Sar Ha’mashkim was to return to his place in the palace of Par’oh, while the Sar Ha’ofim was to be killed for his transgressions. Yosef’s interpretations were so accurate in fact, that in next week’s parsha the Sar Ha’mashkim emphasizes to Par’oh that indeed, the dreams played out exactly as Yosef had predicted.

Based on the accuracy of Yosef’s interpretations, the Gemara in Brachot (55b) learns the power of one’s words and one’s perspective. Yes, clearly the realizations of the dreams were Hashem’s plan. But – says the Gemara – we see from Yosef that one’s attitude and one's words in interpreting a dream can have an effect on how that dream actually plays out. A positive perspective and interpretation will bring with it a positive outcome while a negative interpretation will likely bring with it a more negative one. The Maharsh”a  explains further that this does not just apply to dreams - this is a lesson for one’s life in general. A positive perspective creates positive energy and helps develop a more positive reality.

As we all know - life is not always black and white, good or bad. Many times we find ourselves trying to navigate circumstances and situations that have grey areas with both positive and negative aspects to them. What we see from the story of Yosef and the dreams is that our attitudes and our perspectives have the power to influence the outcome. Trying to see things in a more positive light with a more optimistic perspective can help create the reality that we are hoping for.

Shabbat Shalom






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