By Rabbi Y. Dov Krakowski
In this week’s Sedra we read of Paroh’s dreams (seven fat cows/seven seven lean cows – seven thin stalks/seven fat stalks). Paroh is perturbed and searches for an explanation to his dreams, but to no avail. The Medrash states that there were hundreds upon hundreds of wise men that attempted to interpret Paroh’s dreams yet none came even close to an accurate explanation. When Yosef was brought before the Egyptian monarch, he was able to provide not just some generally valid explanation but a perfect interpretation.
The obvious question is: how could it be that no one came close to explaining the dream accurately?
Shlomo Hamelech in Mishlei tells us: Hashem created man to be straightforward and precise, but man sought to become complex.
Paroh’s Sar Hamashkim (Royal Butler) had suggested to Paroh that he should ask Yosef to interpret his dreams. He had explained to Paroh that Yosef could hear a dream and then interpret it. The Royal Butler’s statement seems a bit oddly stated: he should simply have said that Paroh should ask Yosef because the latter knew how to interpret dreams. Why did the Royal Butler phrase the statement as he did?
My Rosh Yeshiva HoRav Dovid Feinstein Shlita says in the name of his father (HoRav Michel Feinstein Zatzal) that the Sar Hamashkim meant exactly what he said. He was trying to convey to the king the idea that Yosef’s talent wasn’t some sort of freak phenomenon. The Royal Butler was saying that Yosef, rather than trying to impress with a fancy, complex interpretation, would explain the dream in its most natural and simple way.
Often in life we want to be unique. We don’t want to do things in a simple and natural way. We tend to think of being natural or simple as being primitive. In truth, however, generally simplicity is accuracy. The natural way is the truly sophisticated way.
A very warm Good Shabbos, Rabbi Y. Dov Krakowski