Yosef is known as a dream specialist, having and interpreting dreams precisely. Yaakov and the brothers waited for Yosef’s dreams to be realized. At the end of the Parsha the chief steward and the chief baker have dreams, which Yosef attempts to interpret, yet he prefaces his words by saying “Do not interpretations belong to G‑d?”(Bereishis 40:8)
In the next week’s parsha, we have Pharaoh’s cryptic dreams, which his officers are unable to decipher. Yosef is called in and interprets the dreams clearly, but not before stating “…it is G-d who will respond with Pharaoh’s welfare. “
What is the key to Yosef’s continued success? Was it just a natural talent?
With Chanukah around the corner, we think about the Maccabees and the great miracle in which they were involved: A handful of Jews who were victorious against thousands of enemies. This happened, not because of their superior armaments, as we say in Al Hanisim: Giborim b’yad halashim: The strong into the hands of the weak. Obviously, it was their emunah, and understanding that this was the right thing to do, that gave them the unnatural added advantage—help from Hashem to do even the unnatural.
I once saw in a sefer that all the Chashmonaim died out as a punishment for taking the Kingship of Israel, which was supposed to be in the hands of the tribe of Yehuda. As members of the tribe of Levy, the Chashmonaim were only permitted to take the Kahunah. But why such a severe punishment? The answer that I saw was that by them taking the kingship, it was as if they were saying that their success was not by the grace of G-d, rather it was due to their personal excellence in the field of government and leadership.
Yosef on the other hand, continuously acknowledges that he is only a pawn, at the service of Hashem. He does not lose himself in his successes. Rather, he continuously realized that all his achievements were only from Hashem and that his own qualities had nothing to do with it.
As we dream our dreams and pray to Hashem for our success, we should not think that our successes are due to our personal superior powers, but rather all is a gift from Hashem.