Dreams, Now and Then



Rav Avigdor Miller on Dreams

Q:
What significance do dreams play in our lives?

A:
It depends when – today or years ago or in the days of the Tanach.

Today it means almost nothing. אין מראין לו לאדם אלא מהרהורי לבו – Today dreams only show you what you were thinking about by day (Brachos 55b) And therefore many times it’s quite embarrassing to have dreams.

Sometimes, sometimes, Hakodosh Boruch Hu sends a dream as a warning – sometimes. Sometimes He sends a dream as a warning and therefore the Gemara says that it’s a good idea to go to a chochom and ask him to interpret your dream.

So let’s say the chochom will say, “What was your dream?” and you’ll say, “I’m so sorry I have to tell you that, but I dreamed that my son was drowning.”

“Oh,” he’ll say, “That’s a wonderful dream. It means your son will be so full of learning in the Yam HaTalmud, he’ll be immersed in gemara all his life; he’ll be drowning in gemara all his life.” So ויהי כאשר פתר לנו כן היה – like he interprets the dream, so it will turn out. So you can go to a chochom and he’s poiser chalom. But in general, most dreams are meaningless.

But in the times of old, in times of the gemara, dreams meant something because they still had ruach hakodesh and therefore dreams were very serious then. And in the times of Tanach, even more so! And therefore dreams have a place in our history.

The truth is, in the times of the gemara, not only dreams meant something. If you would ask a little boy, “Tell me what passuk did you learn today in the cheder?” and the boy tells you a passuk that they learned that day, so that passuk was something of a nevuah for you. That’s how it was in the days of the gemara. In those great days, Hakodosh Boruch Hu still allowed us to have certain visitations of information.

But today, it’s usually meaningless; things have changed because we’re not great enough. Once upon a time, they were malachim. Then the malachim stopped! But there were still sheidim. Then the sheidim stopped; and today we are left “down to earth” with nothing – because we are nothing.

TAPE # 999

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