15 Menachem Av 5772
Tomorrow is President Barack Obama's birthday. It's interesting that the only time a birthday is mentioned in our Holy Torah is when in the 40th and 41st chapters of Genesis we are told that it was Pharaoh's birthday and he had a dream about seven fat cows and seven skinny cows; seven healthy ears of corn and seven sick ears of corn.
(By the way, the picture to the right shows this year's corn crop in the US, which is reported to be in the grips of a devastating drought affecting fully half of the country.)
But, I digress. Where were we? Oh yes. Pharaoh's birthday party. Surely you know the story. Pharaoh is disturbed by his dreams and wants an interpretation, but no one among his advisors knows the answers. Suddenly, the cupbearer recalls Joseph in his prison cell and how two years previously Joseph had correctly interpreted his and the baker's dreams.
"...So Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they rushed him from the dungeon, and he shaved and changed his clothes, and he came to Pharaoh." (Breishit 41.14)
Mr. President, you should know - here on the day before your birthday (you who have so much in common with the Pharaohs of Egypt) that many, many Jews - among them some great and learned men - view Jonathan Pollard as a "Joseph" figure. Your country is already on the path to famine - to the vision of skinny cows and sick corn. What can it hurt to bring Joseph out of the prison now?
There's a report in today's news that for your birthday present, you'd like to win Florida's vote tomorrow. Florida has a lot of Jews, Mr. President. What could it hurt to let "Joseph" out of the prison now - today?