Joseph’s imprisonment finally ends when Pharaoh dreams of seven fat cows that are swallowed up by seven lean cows, and of seven fat ears of grain swallowed by seven lean ears. Joseph interprets the dreams to mean that seven years of plenty will be followed by seven years of hunger, and advises Pharaoh to store grain during the plentiful years. Pharaoh appoints Joseph governor of Egypt. Joseph marries Asenath, daughter of Potiphar, and they have two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim.
Famine spreads throughout the region, and food can be obtained only in Egypt. Ten of Joseph’s brothers come to Egypt to purchase grain; the youngest, Benjamin, stays home, for Jacob fears for his safety. Joseph recognizes his brothers, but they do not recognize him; he accuses them of being spies, insists that they bring Benjamin to prove that they are whom they say they are, and imprisons Simeon as a hostage. Later, they discover that the money they paid for their provisions has been mysteriously returned to them.
Jacob agrees to send Benjamin only after Judah assumes personal and eternal responsibility for him. This time Joseph receives them kindly releases Simeon, and invites them to an eventful dinner at his home. But then he plants his silver goblet, purportedly imbued with magic powers, in Benjamin’s sack. When the brothers set out for home the next morning, they are pursued, searched, and arrested when the goblet is discovered. Joseph offers to set them free and retain only Benjamin as his slave.
This week the Torah takes us into the world of dreams. We see Joseph's childhood dreams coming to fruition after many years. We learn of Pharaoh's prophetic dreams, and how Joseph's skilled interpretations of them averted a worldwide famine.
There are many types of dreams. We all have dreams and sincere yearnings of how we would like to see our lives in the future. Others may try to tell us to forget about them and settle for something less. But G-d knows and understands our deepest yearnings, and leads us in the direction that we truly want to go.
So if we trust in God, and hold on to our dreams, many times He will make them come true!
"Two years to the day"(41:1)
Why was the word yamim - "to the day" added? The passuk could have simply stated, "And it was at the end of two years."
Chazal (our sages) say that Yosef (Joseph) was freed from prison on Rosh Hashanah. Concluding that he dreams of both the chief butler and chief baker, as well as Pharaoh's dreams two years later, all took place on Rosh Hashanah.
The Maharsha writes that a dream dreamt on Rosh Hashanah is truer than a dream dreamt at any other time of the year. Since on that day, a person's neshama (soul) goes up to shamayim (heaven) to be judged, seeing and hearing what is happening in the Upper Worlds.
If things that will happen in the future are revealed to ordinary people on Rosh Hashanah night, certainly a king as great as Pharaoh would see the decrees upon the world.
However, we can only learn this if pharaoh's dreams took place exactly two years after the dreams of the chamberlains. If the time that passed was not exactly two years to the day, we would not be able to derive from this that the dreams took place on Rosh Hashanah. In order to teach us that the dreams did, in fact, take place on Rosh Hashanah, the Torah (Bible) stresses "two years to the day."