Parshat Mikeitz: There are still some Pharaohs in our world today.
There are still some Pharaohs in our world today.
We learn this from the commencement of Parshat Mikeitz.
Pharaoh had dreams. The Torah tells us, ‘uPharoh choleim’ – ‘Pharaoh dreamt’, ‘vehinei omed al hayor’ – ‘and behold he was standing by the river’.
Notice the Torah does not say ‘vehinei amad’ – ‘he stood’ but rather ‘vehinei omed’ – ‘Pharaoh is standing’, in the present tense.
Rav Zalman Sorotzkin, in his Sefer Oznaim laTorah tells us, that from here we learn that the Pharaoh phenomenon was not a one-off historical event.
‘Pharoh omed’, there are Pharaohs still standing in the world today. Pharaoh styled leadership is still with us.
And what was the main feature of Pharaoh’s leadership?
He strove always to maintain his grip on power and to preserve his ideology, through purposefully sacrificing the lives of thousands of his own people.
When Joseph interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams to him, Joseph was saying to Pharaoh: A great leader is somebody who is there for the people and who only wants the best for their own people.
A great leader is somebody who preserves life, life for their own people, life for everyone.
And that’s exactly what Joseph helped Pharoah to achieve, after he was appointed to be his deputy in Egypt.
At the beginning of the book of Shemot, we see yet another Pharaoh who, similarly, forced his people to endure the ten plagues, through which thousands upon thousands of them died, only in order to maintain his power and to strengthen his own ideology.
Just look around and you will see indeed sadly and tragically, there are still some Pharaoh styled leaders in the world today and the lessons of Joseph are more relevant than ever before.