Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Art Jacek Yerka
''In three days Pharoah will remove your head'' [Vayeishev 40:19]

The dreams of the chief baker and the chief wine butler, noted the Dubno Maggid, were very similar. Why, then, did Yosef interpret the dream of the chief wine butler favorably - that Pharoah would soon reinstate him to his post - but that of the chief baker unfavorably - that he was about to meet his end?

The answer, explained the Maggid, can be understood with a parable: An artist painted a magnificent portrait of a man balancing a basket full of bread on his head. Two men came to admire the painting. While they stood there, a bird landed atop it and began to peck away at the bread, which it thought was genuine.

''Such a marvellous artist!'' said one man to the other. ''This bird actually believes that the bread is real!''

''No'' responded the other, ''he is not much of an artist at all. For while the bread may be quite realistic, the man carrying it is not, for if it was, the bird would be afraid to approach the painting.''

We are now able to understand concluded the Dubno Maggid, why Yosef interpreted the dream of the chief baker unfavorably. When the chief baker related his dream to Yosef, he said ''And the birds were eating them from the basket above my head.'' Yosef understood that if the birds were unafraid to approach him, it was an indication that he was soon to be executed by Pharoah and was already considered a ''dead man''. For had he been ''alive''', the birds would have refrained from eating the food on his head!

Source: Rabbi Yisrael Bronstein

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