In the opening episode of this week’s Torah portion, Miketz, Pharaoh has two dreams. One dream was seven lean cows eating seven fat cows, and the other dream was seven thin ears of grain eating seven full ears of grain. Why does Pharaoh have the dreams?
It is tempting to say that Pharaoh has the dreams because he is a good ruler. On the one hand, Pharaoh becomes a good ruler. On the other hand, the Torah doesn’t work like that.
The dreams are simple dreams. It seems obvious that the Pharaoh’s seers, who were trained in dream interpretation, should have been able to divine the message of the dreams. They could not. Pharaoh had the dreams to bring Joseph into the story.
The cupbearer remembered that Joseph interpreted his dream and the baker’s dream, and the interpretations bore out. He told Pharaoh about Joseph’s prowess in dream interpretation, and Pharaoh sent for Joseph.
Many times you are driving and you think of a song, and the song immediately shows up on radio station that you are listening to. Many times you are stumped by the Sunday Times crossword puzzle clue, and you put the crossword puzzle down, to watch television or read another article. Immediately, you see the answer to the crossword puzzle clue. We name that phenomenon “coincidence.”
The Torah doesn’t have coincidences. Everything in the Torah is put there for a good reason. Joseph’s dreams in last week’s Parashah are put in the Torah for a good reason. Pharaoh’s dreams are put in the Torah for a good reason. There is a saying, “God works in mysterious ways,” and in the Torah, God works.