Shavua tov, dear friends. Our province is looking at days, weeks, months and years of recovery from the terrible flooding, mud slides, and loss of property, animals and of lives. Please take notes of ways you can give tzedakah towards relief efforts. I heard one of the Food Bank managers speak about how they have the capacity to turn every dollar given into three, with their capacity for bulk buying. So many people are helping in every way imaginable. Jewish Federation and our own Reform movement are providing avenues of support to those who need our help.

This week we are in parashat Vayeishev, where we read about Yosef being sold by his brothers, his arrival in Mitzrayim, in Egypt, and his imprisonment. A tale of woe, but Joseph’s capacity for interpretation of dreams – an ability perhaps inherited from his father? – will be key to his release, and to the eventual survival of his family.

Dreams are so important. We read over and over in Torah of their significance. But not only is Joseph a dreamer, he interprets the dreams of others – dangerously close to that forbidden activity of being a soothsayer. Our Talmudic rabbis who transformed Judaism, post destruction of the Temple, continued to value dreams. For example, we learn in Berachot 57b, that if we get up earlier than usual, and become aware of a turn of phrase of Torah, they suggest there is probably some kind of divine message at hand. We are to stop, and listen, and feel that connection as we are now awake. We are more than our sensory, physical existence – we have a larger connection through experiencing the Divine – through prayer, and sometimes through our dreams. Wishing you all long life and meaningful dreams.

With love,Rabbi Lynn