While the story of Ya’akov was a story of deceit, the story of Yoseph is a story of tests—wheels within wheels, and intrigue within intrigue. It can be easy to miss the most subtle test of all—that of Yoseph himself. Yoseph is the prototype assimilated Jew—the Jew who rises to the top by dint of clear thinking and hard work, but who has to jettison his connections to his past to do so. Can he reclaim his identity before it is to late?
What does the mitzvah of Hanukkah teach us about Jewish survival in a world of declining nation-states? And why does the Gemara never even mention the historical circumstances of Hanukka—the military victory and the re-establishment of a Jewish state? It turns out that these two questions are bound up together in some surprising ways.
The story of Yoseph is propelled along by the motive force of dreams. These dreams come in pairs, and each of them is a window into a possible future—perhaps a future that would never come to pass had the dream never been told. Where do dreams untold go? Perhaps we’ll never know. After all, we are the product of those that were told.