Joseph was a dreamer. He saw what is life was going to be as a shepherd among his brothers and decided that there was more for him in the world. He dreamed big and paid the price for it.
Jacob, Joseph’s father, rebukes him for being so arrogant, but also keeps the dreams in the back of his mind. According to Rashi, Jacob waits to see what happens. He is not ready to write off Joseph just yet.
How do we treat the students who have big dreams and ideas? Whether they want to achieve something but don’t have the grades, or are not realistic about the mood on campus, we have an opportunity to help, not rebuke.
We can show our students the value of managing expectations, working hard to get to where they want to be, and ultimately be there with them when their dreams are realized or shattered. Who knows, they might just have the next big idea!
Rabbi Ilan Schwartz is the Rabbi/Senior Jewish Educator at Ohio State University Hillel.