Ohr Hachayim Genesis: Vayeshev


“So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.”

– Christopher Reeve

Joseph had a power. He had a power to interpret the strange, irrational, often incomprehensible images of the unconscious mind that we call dreams. He was able to read the prophetic messages conveyed in the dreams and alert the waking world.

The Ohr Hachayim (Genesis 40:8) thinks that we have the cause and effect of dreams mixed up. He claims that the interpretation of the dream is what makes it come real. The dream is just the canvas of future potential. The interpretation, the enunciating, the giving of form and structure and content to the visions of the mind, brings the dream to the real world and gives it shape, purpose and fulfillment.

He adds one caveat. The dream must be interpreted that day. It cannot be allowed to linger as a mist in the mind. It must be seized, jumped upon, brought to the light of day and out of the shadows of the night. Only then do we have a hope of the dreams becoming real. Only by acting on those dreams can we hope to see them fulfilled.

No one understood or realized how Joseph’s power worked. No one understood that Joseph was creating reality as he desired from the stuff of dreams. No one realized that if they were determined enough they could make their dreams come true. Now we know.

May we have worthy dreams, and when we wake up in the morning, let’s verbalize them and make them happen.

Shabbat Shalom,



To Thedor Herzl. He was not the first to have the dream. The dream was beating in the heart of the Jewish nation for two thousand years. He interpreted the dream. He wrote about the dream. He brought the dream to our brothers throughout the Diaspora and helped make it real.

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