Mikeitz: A Path to Follow

A man should await the fulfillment of a good dream for as much as twenty-two years. Whence do we know this? From Joseph. For it is written: These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph being seventeen years old, etc., [Daniel 2], and it is further written, And Joseph was thiry years old when he stood before Pharoah [Genesis 41:46]. How many years is it from seventeen to thirty? Thirteen. Add the seven years of plenty and two of famine [after which Joseph saw his brothers], and you have twenty-two….

R. Huna b. Ammi said in the name of R. Pedath who had it from R. Jochanan: If one has a dream which makes him sad he should go and have it interpreted in the presence of three. He should have it interpreted! Has not R. Hisda said: A dream which is not interpreted is like a letter which is not read? Say rather then, he should have a good turn given to in the presence of three. Let him bring three and say to them: I have seen a good dream; and they should say to him, Good it is and good may it be. May the All-Merciful turn it to good; seven times may it be decreed from heave that it should be good and it may be good. They should say three verses…

This text — from Babylonian Talmud, Berakoth 55b — goes on to specify verses to be recited in this circumstance: three including the word “turn,” three including the word “redeem” and three including the word “peace.” This discussion of good and bad dreams, and how to handle them, is quite extensive. To read more in English translation, download Berachot (Benedictions) here.

To follow a path on dreams and their interpretations in Judaism, here are a few sources:
Dreams and Dream Interpretations (from My Jewish Learning)
The Jewish Dream Book from Jewish Lights.

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Click on the “WeeklyTorah” tag for more resources on the weekly portion throughout the year, or on a portion name for parashah-specific notes. (The series began with Numbers; posts for Genesis, Exodus and Leviticus are being drafted, week-by-week.) You can also zero-in on particular types of “Opening the Book” posts by clicking Language and Translation, Something to Notice, a Path to Follow, or Great Source in the tag cloud.

The “Opening the Book” series is presented in cooperation with the independent, cross-community Jewish Study Center and with Kol Isha, an open group pursuing spirituality from a woman’s perspective at Temple Micah (Reform). “A Song Every Day” is an independent blog, however, and all views, mistakes, etc. are the author’s.
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