From Joseph’s Dreams to the Dreamers of Today
The story of Joseph and his prophetic dreams is familiar to us all, even iconic. It is the beginning of the foundational story of the Jewish people – the 430-year sojourn in Egyptian slavery leading to the Exodus and the coming together as God’s people at Mt. Sinai. Without Joseph and his dreams, the children of Israel would never had ended up in Egypt in the first place.
But Joseph himself could not know what would come of his journey into Egypt, neither for himself nor for his descendants. Even if he had known, there was nothing he could have done about it, for the journey was not of his own volition.
Because of his dreams, he was brought into Egypt at the tender age of 17, and put to work as a servant. From this lowly position, and, also as a result of dreams, he eventually rose to a position of power and authority, making an invaluable contribution to his adopted homeland.
Today there are Dreamers among us whose journeys in some ways mirror that of Joseph. Brought to this country as children, not of their own will, they have made the United States their home. And like Joseph, they do not yet know the invaluable contributions they might be able to make to this country. If our country’s current leadership has its way, they may never be given a chance to find out. And we all will be the poorer for that loss.
Thirty-six times the Jewish community is reminded to be good to the strangers in our midst, for Jews know what it is to be strangers in a strange land. Joseph’s journey led the Jewish people to that experience of oppression, and inspired in the Jewish people an empathy and a sense of righteous justice for those who find themselves similarly strangers among us. Let us all employ that empathy now, as we stand together with the Dreamers of today.
You can help today by calling your Senators and Representative and telling them to pass a clean DREAM Act. Legislators are talking about using the DREAM Act as a vehicle to attach funding for more ICE agents, to build a wall on the Mexican border, and to build more detention facilities. These policies threaten the safety and well-being of the Dreamers’ parents. A clean Dream Act, without those provisions, would protect young immigrants without holding them hostage to their parents’ safety.
The bipartisan Dream Act would protect DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) -recipients by providing qualified undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. before the age of 18 a pathway to citizenship. To be eligible, individuals must graduate from high school or pass the GED and either attend college or enlist in the military.
Call your Senators and Representatives today and urge them to pass a clean Dream Act!
US Capitol Switchboard (202) 224-3121