Dreams that Become Actions

Yael Eckstein  |  December 14, 2020

Rabbi Eckstein with an Iranian family that just made Aliyah.

Each of us had a dream the same night, and each dream had a meaning of its own.” — Genesis 41:11

Each week in synagogue, Jews read through the Torah from Genesis to Deuteronomy. The Torah portion for this week is Mikeitz, which means “at the end,” from Genesis 41:1–44:17.

The Talmud, Judaism’s oral tradition, teaches that if a person goes seven days without having a dream, then he is not a righteous person. However, the rabbis explained that the Talmud was not talking about the dreams that we have at night, over which we have no control. Rather, they were talking about dreams that we have while we are awake. We should never go a week or more without a dream in our heart.

This week’s Torah portion continues with the theme of dreams in the story of Joseph’s life. In Genesis 37, we read about the dreams that Joseph had when he was young. In Genesis 40, we learn that Joseph interpreted dreams for two of Pharaoh’s servants. In this week’s reading, we read that Pharaoh had recurring dreams and Joseph interpreted them as well. All the dreams related in these Scriptures were more than just random thoughts. They were transformed into actions that then became reality.

Dreams that Become Actions

While we don’t control the dreams that we have at night and we don’t always understand their meaning, we can control the dreams that we have during the day. It is so important to have good dreams. Our dreams become ideas that then become actions, which can ultimately change our reality and the world.

Nearly forty years ago, my father, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, had a dream of bringing Jews and Christians together. He dreamed of helping millions of people living in poverty. He dreamed of bringing hundreds of thousands of Jews home to Israel. People told him that his dreams were crazy and that they would never come to be. But here we are decades later, and every one of those dreams has come to pass. All because one person dared to dream.

These days, too many people have stopped dreaming. It’s easy to get discouraged and stop believing that anything is possible. Too often, we give up on the dreams that God put in our heart and make do with the status quo. But God wants us to dream! He wants us to imagine and pray for a better tomorrow. When we dream, we express our faith in God that He can make our dreams become reality. When

Your Turn:

What dream has God placed on your heart? What can you do to take that dream one step closer to reality? Share in the comments below.

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