As we concluded our series on Joseph the Dreamer at church this weekend, Joseph died at the age of 110. He left word with his family that his bones were to be carried out of Egypt. You will have to read on to follow their course. In Exodus 13 Moses takes them on as they make their way out of Egypt (over 400 years later) In fact as they went through the desert, Moses and his people carried two boxes, the box containing the ten commandments and the box with the bonesw of Joseph. Keep reading until you get to Joshua, Moses' successor who takes the bones to a place that Jacob purcharsed in Shechem as an inheritance for his sons. Wow! We know that Joseph led a thrilling life but the journey of Joe's bones was quite a ride too!
Often I hear us talk about not taking things from our past into our future. In this case, Joseph was teaching lessons in his death as he interpreted dreams in his life. Where we are is not where we will end up. Those bones represented responsibility for Moses and for all of Israel. The Jew could never settle in Egypt. In fact let the words of Rabbi Schlomo Riskin summarize this thought:
No matter how good or how bad life in a country of exile may be
for Jews, we must never think that the host country is our
ultimate resting place.
Israel is our only true home. The Jew must never be too
comfortable in the exile, nor may he despair from the
suffering in the exile. This is the message of Joseph's bones.
Joseph instinctively understood the lesson at the burning bush:
The children of Israel may be burned by the fires of persecution
and programs, of slavery and genocide, but they will never be
consumed or destroyed.
The bones will be returned to Israel, and the dry bones will
live again. We carry the bones of Joseph, seared in the autos
da fe, Inquisition and Holocaust, when we walk the streets of
Dizengoff and King George.
Yes, Joseph the child still lives, and our Father still lives.
Because our Father in Heaven still lives, our children on Earth
shall live eternally.
Joseph the dreamer is gone but (insert your name here) the dreamer is still on their journey! Keep dreaming and DREAM BIG!