Miketz: Chapter 4

"And they brought him hastily out of the dungeon"


This passage discourses on the allegorical meaning of Pharaoh's elevation of Joseph. Rabbi Aba maintains that the verse reveals the benefits of standing in awe of God and of studying Torah at night. The text then moves to a discussion of Ecclesiastes (Kohelet). It points out that while we cannot control what comes into our eyes and ears, we can control what comes out of our mouths. Therefore, speak not evil. A discussion follows on the nature of time, the timing of good deeds, the valuable lessons to be learned from our mistakes, and the dilemma of those caught in an evil time.


Words are vessels that draw particular blends of energy into our lives. Human speech possesses power that can directly influence the world around us. Hence, we should take great care in choosing what we say. Although we are initially given an unlimited amount of time to live in this world and accomplish our spiritual purpose, every negative word decreases the length of our stay. Positive words do not add time to our lives, but they also do not detract from it. This passage helps us use our speech for spiritual purposes, so that our words inspire Light in others instead of adding darkness to the world.