When you think about it, it’s really Pharaoh’s daughter who is the savior of an entire nation. Why? Because she witnessed oppression with her own eyes and acted on what she saw: people are people. As we once again approach Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, perhaps this is a reminder for all of us in all times.
There are things which only those closest to us can say. Our Torah portion this week reminds us that the greatest blessing is to have someone who cares about you point out your missteps so that you have the opportunity to improve.
When the person next to you on an airplane asks what you do for work, what do you say? Our Torah portion this week reminds us that the ultimate show of respect is first to respect yourself. That’s how we bring blessing into the world.
Sometimes those residual feelings we remember hold us back from healing, which makes it that much more difficult to move forward. In Parshat Miketz, Joseph reminds us that even when we live through the unimaginable, we have the ability to grow from it.
As adults, we can use rational thought and experience to refocus and remain calm. But in this week’s Torah portion, Jacob reminds us that there are some moments in life that don’t fit neatly into these rational coping blueprints.
I have a terrible habit of always imagining the worst possible scenario in any instance. But rational or not, just as Jacob does in Parshat Vayishlach, we can still learn from the lessons our emotions have to teach us.
Sometimes our dreams can wake us up to our truest feelings, feelings we might be fearful to address in the waking world. Perhaps there’s a change we’re scared of making, but our dreams, which are out of our control, can present things in a new light.