Eco-Rabbi: Parshat Miketz – Making all of the Years Years of Plenty

wheatJoseph was sent down to Egypt by his brothers to remove him from the picture. Their father had favored Joseph and his brothers were not too happy about that. Upon arriving in Egypt Joseph found success wherever he went.

Originally he was sold as a slave but very quickly he found himself in charge of his master’s house. Due to unfortunate circumstances Joseph found himself in jail, but there too he was promoted to a position in charge.

This week’s segment begins with Pharoh having a dream about 7 stalks of healthy grain being consumed by 7 stalks of sickly looking grain and 7 healthy, fat, cows being consumed by 7 sickly looking cows. Pharoh is puzzled by his dream and asks all of his advisers what it means but no one can provide a satisfying answer. Finally the wine steward remembers his former cell-mate, Joseph, and how he had accurately provided a solution to his own dream.

Sharing this information Joseph found himself whisked out of jail to stand before the King.

Joseph explains that in Pharoh’s dream, the 7 healthy wheat stalks and 7 healthy cows represent 7 years of plenty that Egypt will have. The 7 sickly stalks and cows are 7 years of famine. Joseph continues to explain that if Pharoh would like to avoid the famine he should save during the years of plenty so that when the famine hits he will have enough food in storage to last them until it is over. Pharoh listens to Joseph’s good advice and Joseph goes on to become the second most powerful person in the country.

During the current economic crisis one could argue that we are living through the years of famine already. But that does not mean that it is too late to begin saving. Living an environmentally friendly life is about being aware of your effects on the environment and making sure that you are not to being wasteful. This goes for any kind of saving, whether it’s energy, water or money.

Audit yourself, your income and spending. See what you absolutely need, and what you can cut. Check your electric and water bills and see if you can monitor your use of these utilities as well. You’ll be surprised to quite how much a few cents here and a few gallons of water there can add up.

Take these difficult times and use them as a motivator to becoming a more conscious spender. The little bit you save each day can add up to quite a nest egg over the years. Both for your pocket and your imprint on the environment.

Image Credit: flyzipper

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