In all these cases Yosef realized that for the future development of Bnei Yisrael he needed to attain a position of influence in Egyptian society. To this end, he decided to present himself dressed in such a manner that Pharoh could envision him as a player in his court. However, Yosef realized he needed to let Pharoh know that his ultimate loyalty was to G-d and that nothing will make Yosef compromise his integrity. (This may very well have been a refreshing trait for Pharoh to have in an advisor, given that he was surrounded by sycophants and charlatans.) Lastly, Yosef took a gamble and offered policy advice to demonstrate his worth to Pharoh not only as a dream interpreter, but also as a prospective key member of his administration.
Yosef’s decisions were quite successful and he achieved his goals. Faced with a critical 24-hour period, Yosef identified and took full advantage of the opportunities. Leaders must follow Yosef’s example and constantly be sensitive to such opportunities, have the insight to plan accordingly, and find the courage to implement those plans.
Rabbi Dr. David Hertzberg is the principal of the Yeshivah of Flatbush Middle Division. Comments can be emailed to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Author: Rabbi Dr. David Hertzberg is the principal of the Yeshivah of Flatbush Middle Division and is an adjunct assistant professor of History at Touro College.
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