- I just read your piece on Pharaoh's dreams. I would like
more elaboration on the whole topic of
- dreams, and their origins, with sources to back up your opinion.
- The dream state in man is a very large area to undertake. I will
respond as best as I am able.
- Dreams are manufactured by the person dreaming.
- Unless we are told otherwise, (as in the Chumash that it was by way
of G-d), the dream attempts to resolve conflicts from the previous
day(s). As well, it acts to ensure continuous sleep which the body
- To elaborate on what I mean by conflicts, the gemora in Berachos
states, (9th perek) if one does not dream for 7 days, he is considered
a wicked person. The meaning is that if one is living out all his
fantasies while awake, there is no conflict for the dream to resolve.
Hence, one who does not dream, is fulfilling his instinctual drive
while awake, and is in violation of halacha, and is termed a wicked
person. It is only the person who is correctly suppressing his
instincts (his yetzer hara) who will dream. Since he is frustrating
his desires while awake as he should, dreams function for him as a
form of release. This release functions to alleviate desires while
keeping the person asleep so he may gain rest. Many times, if one is
thirsty, he will dream of drinking, so as not to awake. If however the
thirst is too strong, he will wake up, because the dream cannot mimic
- Interestingly, those deprived of sleep for long amounts of time are
found to hallucinate. As the person weakens from sleep deprivation,
his fantasies and his unconscious rise to the surface (become more
conscious), and produce daydreams and hallucinations. When one is
weak, and cannot control his thoughts, his emotional state gains the
upper hand. We see this as well in the state of drunkenness.
- The gemora very honestly discusses, (Ber. 57a) and praises one who
has dreams of sexual intercourse with his mother or sister. The reason
for this praise is that the dream represents something positive about
the personality of the dreamer. Dreaming about intercourse with such
individuals at first, might seem offensive, however, if chazal took it
up in a gemora, they are telling us that there is something to be
learned from this, and that we should approach it objectively like any
other gemora. What the exact teaching is from this statement, is
something else to be discussed. But, we see clearly that chazal held
of the opinion that dreams are indicative of something in our
personalities. The gemora also states, "a dream not interpreted
is like a letter not opened". Meaning, there is information in
dreams, which if we look at clearly and honestly, we may learn
information about ourselves.
- Prophetic dreams however are of another category, as was the case
with Pharaoh. But even in his dreams, we can detect some of his nature