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Vision and Mission

By: Rav Jason Knapel

Yosef was the dreamer of Israel. Maybe this was why he was able to survive in chutz la'aretz for so long on his own – he was always dreaming beyond his current circumstances – he had a vision of the future and did not get caught up in the present. But if we look closely there is a pattern to Yosef’s dreams and what happens to him.

Whenever Yosef dreams of himself he gets into trouble however when he dreams for others he is able to rise above his current situation. He dreams that the brothers will bow down to him and he is thrown into a pit and eventually sold to Mitzrayim. But when he dreams for the Sar HaMashkim and Ofim and in this week’s parsha for Pharaoh, he rises out of the pit.

These two factors are essential for the overall growth of Klal Yisrael; we need to be visionaries - we need to be constantly thinking of the next step, the next ten years, and the next twenty years. We need to remember that Klal Yisrael is eternal and therefore we are not people that live in the present alone but in the future. As individuals we need to have a vision for ourselves that transcends the momentary desires of the present.

But this is not enough. As a nation we need to remember our mission is for the world not only ourselves. It would be easy to close ourselves off in a ghetto, as we did in the past. But ours is a mission to the world, and we need the vision to carry this through. As individuals, again, we need to think not only for ourselves but for the Klal – what is my place amongst my people? How can I help advance not only myself but all the Jews everywhere and at all times?

During this season that represents light during the darkest time of the year, we need to see what light we can add to ourselves and the world, so that we may be zocheh to “Or chadash al Zion ta’ir”.

Shabbat Shalom

Rav Jason





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