Dvar for Vayeshev (Genesis 37:1-40:23)
Parshat Vayeshev relays that when Yosef recounted his second dream to his father (of the sun, moon and stars bowing to him), Yakov rebuked him (37:10). As Jonathan Gewirtz asks, why didn’t Yosef tell his father about his first dream? Also, why was Yakov so angry at Yosef, who merely had a dream, when in contrast he was not angry when Shimon and Levi killed the entire city of Shechem (34:30)?
One possible answer comes from a Maharshal that says that “most dreams follow their interpretations.” When Yosef shared his first dream with his brothers, their response unwittingly interpreted his dream when they responded “will you rule over us?” However, after the second dream they remained silent, so Yosef shared it with his father. Yakov was aware of the power of his interpretation, which is why he cloaked his interpretive response with anger when he said “shall it come to pass?…”, with the intention to deflect the brothers’ animosity toward Yosef. Yakov’s fierce response shows us the heightened sensitivity we need to have toward interactions among those around us and their perspectives.
Perhaps that’s why on Chanukah we celebrate the miracle of the oil, as opposed to the victory over the Greeks. Being mindful of others’ perspective, viewpoints and feelings will help us focus on the positive things in life, like diversity of opinions, shared goals and common dreams.