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Dvar for Miketz (Genesis 41:1-44:17)

When Paroh has two puzzling dreams that neither necromancers nor sages can, according to Rashi, interpret to his satisfaction, Yosef is summoned from prison to decipher them. Yosef confidently decodes the dreams and their implications and then boldly counsels Paroh on the necessary actions to prepare for the impending catastrophe (41:33-37). Who asked Yosef for his suggestions, and why did he think it was appropriate to interject his ideas to the ruler of Egypt?

Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky explains that Yosef was someone who invariably sought out opportunities to help. After understanding the meaning behind Paroh’s dreams and the abundance and famine that the dreams foreshadowed, Yosef naturally feels compelled to advise Paroh on adequately preparing for the tragedy that is about to befall Egypt. At the risk of appearing brazen and inappropriate, Yosef assumes responsibility for helping Paroh. Perhaps it is this same moxie that convinces Paroh to appoint and ultimately entrust Yosef with his nation’s immediate future. Yosef’s eagerness to act with such presence of mind and resolve leaves us with the strong message that if G-d blesses us with gifts, we should use those gifts to help others.