After two years’ time, Pharoah dreamed
In the Zohar (Genesis 193b):
Rabbi Elezar opened (Psalms 18:47),
“The Lord lives!
Blessed is my Rock!
Exalted be God, my salvation.”
The Lord lives! – this is one who has a pure heart and is cleansed of all earthly desires. She cleaves only to what is Eternal in this life.
Blessed is my Rock! – she recognizes that all good comes from God, and therefore is able to see the good in everything [since she understands the divine source of reality].
And thus, exalted be God, my salvation – she will achieve an even loftier kind of salvation, surpassing the limits of her comprehension.
Before a person has refined herself in these two ways, God is not able to provide her with salvation, for she has not yet made herself a vessel with the clarity to receive it.
After two years’ time, after Joseph had refined himself according to these two paths, only then did Pharoah dream, and Joseph immediately achieved salvation.
[Referring to Joseph, the Psalmist states (Psalms 105:19)], “Until his prediction came true, the decree of the Lord purged him.”
On that night, Joseph’s crying out to God became so great, “Return, O Lord! How Long?” and immediately he was saved.
About this it is written (Psalms 88:2), “O Lord, God of my salvation, when I cry out in the night before you,” This is God’s way: Before He saves, He draws out this cry of desperation in a person’s heart so that when she cries out, it will be her own.
Why does the Torah go out of its way to mention these two years? Turns out Joseph was doing the necessary (TWO-tiered) soul-searching in order to get saved. What does this work look like? The Ishbitzer on the Zohar (on Psalms) lays out two preconditions for salvation.
The first is letting go of the pull of physical reality. The world is bigger than what you see, so do not get bogged down in how things present themselves (to you). But it is not about denying this world. The Ishbitzer makes the subtle turn back towards the goodness inherent in everything. When I let go of my “desire” towards something – my complex and muddled self-absorption in a thing – then I can begin to see the real beauty in it, the good behind it all that is separate from me, and comes from a much deeper place.
And then Boom. Salvation. Enlightenment. Which is entirely God’s doing. But if I cannot let go of the world so I can fall madly in love with the world, then God won’t (can’t?) do anything for me.