אתה תהיה על ביתי ועל פיך ישק כל עמי רק הכסא אגדל ממך.
You shall be in charge of my palace and by your command shall all my people be sustained; only by the throne shall I outrank you. (41:40)
Choosing a qualified president is not a simple task. Will the potential candidate be able to handle the responsibility? Will he get carried away with the new power he has? Are his background and past experiences in line with his upcoming duties? The selection must be done with tremendous deliberation and forethought.
What did Pharaoh – the king of the wealthiest economy and strongest nation – see in a Jewish young adult who had just spent the last 12 years behind bars that made him qualify to be second in command over the land of Egypt?
A true leader is well aware of his talents and qualities. He recognizes that he is capable where others are not. Rather than boast and use his abilities for personal gain, he seeks ways to put them to use so that he could profit others. Pharaoh recognized he was dealing with a talented man who was imbued with a Godly spirit but most importantly someone who saw himself as a vehicle for others. Despite a genius capability for interpreting dreams, Yoseph stated ‘biladai’ – the wisdom to interpret dreams is not mine, but God’s. (Sichas Mussar)
When man displaces his own honor and uses his talents to act as God’s agent he allows heavenly blessings to flow through him to his recipients. When man takes credit the direct flow from God is impeded. It is not a coincidence that Moshe Rabbenu was the greatest leader in Jewish history and yet he was also the most humble.
When Rabbi Akiva Eiger of Posen and Rabbi Yaakov Lorberbaum of Lisa, two great scholars of their generation, arrived in Warsaw, all of the Jews came out to greet them. As the crowd surged forward, to show further respect, the group unhitched the horses and began pulling the coach into town. Inside the coach, the two Torah giants sat in opposite corners, each engrossed in his thoughts. Rabbi Eiger pondered: Wasn’t the great Rav Yaakov of Lisa in the coach? Surely this magnificent welcome must be for him! Rabbi Eiger yearned to take part in this mitzvah of honoring the Torah. He slipped quietly out of his side door and joined those pulling the wagon. In the other corner, Rav Yaakov was lost in similar thoughts. It was clear to him that all this honor was intended for Rabbi Akiva Eiger. He, too, wished to join in this demonstration of respect. Rav Yaakov slipped out of his door and also joined the throngs drawing the coach.
And so the multitudes continued their tumultuous reception for the Rabbis, unaware that they were pulling a coach empty of its passengers, but filled to the brim with humility!