THIRD TIME'S A CHARM.
The first time he talks about dreams it irritates the spit out of his kin folk. The second time doesn't do him much good either - the wine-steward promptly forgets him, and the other beneficiary of his dreamspeaking gets whacked. But the third time it gets him out of the slammer and into the board-room.
His fancy duds made his brothers jealous, and they dip his robe into the blood of a lamb, erasing the differentiation of colours, and erasing Yosef's presence.
[By taking away the pattern and hues of his coat they have both symbollically as well as effectively taken away the details of his life, and the variety of his freedom - replacing it with a drab sameness of enslavement, a dullness of 'being not'. It now lacks detail, differentiation, discernability. His identity is no longer his own, and as far as his relatives are concerned, he is no more. He is not. The blood of the sacrifice seals the deal and is the sanctification of the change in status.]
The tunic which Potifar's wife seized hold of is the evidence that gets him locked up.
[When Judah relinguished evidence he got something for it, though it proved him guilty. Yosef's tunic negates the praesumption of his innocence, but apparently proves naught. He is destined to spend years in jail, neither found innocent nor proven guilty - occupying a shadow world, an in-between-ness.]
But the third time, clothing is part of the pay-off.
Psook 41:42 "Vayasar paro et-tabato meal yado vayiten ota al-yad yosef vayalbesh oto bigdei-shesh vayasem r'vid hazahav al-tsavaro" (And Pharaoh took off his signet ring from his hand, and put it upon Yosef's hand, and clothed him in garments of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck).
Significantly, when Yosef's brothers come down to Egypt to purchase grain, they do not recognize him. The last time they had seen him was after they had torn off his fabulous coat and dumped him in the bore. Now he is dressed in linen, and looks like an Egyptian nobleman. The clothes have made the man unrecognizable.
So utterly out of the realm of possibility is this manifestation of Yosef that despite much time in his presence, ten mature men, who are undoubtedly with their eyes drinking in everything about them (and so, as Yosef said, spying), do not recognize the brother they misplaced years ago.
Yet it is not that they have forgotten about him. Their father Yakov has never let them forget, and they themselves do not permit themselves that luxury.
Psook 42:21 "Vayomru ish el-achiv aval ashemim anachnu al-achinu asher rainu tsarat nafsho b'hitchanno eleinu v'lo shamanu al-ken baa eleinu hatsara hazot" (And they said to each other 'indeed we are guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the torment of his soul when he pleaded with us, and we would not hear, that is why this distress is upon us.').
The Shaman's Cloak
The fine linen garments which Yosef now wears function in a way like a cloak of invisibility. The brothers speak among themselves without fear of anyone listening in, and Yosef can hear their thoughts without any of them knowing that their brother is present.
There is no guile - the brothers are honest among themselves, and can not even suspect that they will be understood. Least of all by the one who has been 'not' for many years.
The presence of the brothers will eventually bring the first dreams, the dreams that ired them, come to fruition. And just like many years before, they do not look beyond the clothing, seeing not Yosef, but an Egyptian official. Yosef, the dreamchaser, seems destined to always be partially invisible, hidden behind half-drowse and coloured garments.
Yosef, who married the daughter of a priest, will become a potent totemic quantity that the children of Israel will carry with them when finally they leave Egypt centuries hence. Still dealing dream, still hidden by cloth. His inheritor will also marry the daughter of a priest, and will also lead a people out of one land and into another, also by interpreting and by speaking of the unearthly. And he too will have a face that is not seen.
Abraham left the land of his fathers.
Yakov leaves the land.
Yosef will leave Egypt.