Miketz, the Torah portion that comes toward the middle of the dramatic Joseph cycle, along with the dark nights of Hanukkah, brings us into the world of dreams. Joseph is both a dreamer and an interpreter of dreams. Joseph’s interpretive skills begin with deep listening to the one recounting the dream, and that is our task as well. When we pay attention to our own dreams—the ones we dream at night and the ones we aspire to during the day—we can throw light on our subconscious, our deepest longings. When we listen closely to others, we can shed light on their dreams, just as the increasing light of the Hanukkah candles lights the darkest days of winter. Not all darkness should be feared—this time of year is an invitation to go inward, to find a Torah of luminous darkness.
Danielle Stillman is the rabbi and associate chaplain for Middlebury College Hillel.