The economic news seems to be getting worse. From Wall Street to Main Street, car makers to bankers, a recession of Biblical proportions threatens, with no end in sight.

Seasoned economists will readily admit – finally – to being absolutely stunned at the scope and the speed with which this contagion seems to have spread.

What had initially seemed a simple case of an overindulgent real-estate bubble has now spread to almost every facet of our global economy. From America to Europe, Japan, China and Russia, no one is immune to this crisis. A global age has in turn led to a global crisis, a crisis that will require a global response as well.

Joseph understands that a solution is also embedded within the dreamThis is not the first time the world has dealt with a crisis of this proportion. A similar global "recession" of sorts, is spoken about in the Torah, one that resulted in the emergence of a new world order that would forever change the course of history.

It began with a dream, an extremely vivid dream that Pharaoh experiences. In this dream, Pharaoh finds himself on the banks of the Nile River, when, behold, venturing forth from the river are seven well-endowed cows, that promptly begin to graze at the edge of the river. Disrupting this serene setting are seven emaciated cows that also venture forth from the same river, and devour the seven fat cows, at which point Pharaoh awakens with a start.

Joseph is called upon by Pharaoh to decipher the meaning of this dream. This he does brilliantly, warning Pharaoh of an impending disaster—a global seven year famine. Yet Joseph understands that a solution is also embedded within the dream: the need to prepare for this famine, by stockpiling foodstuffs during the years of plenty, ensuring that there will be enough to eat during the leaner years as well.

What is most striking about this narrative is the emphasis on Pharaoh standing on the banks of the Nile during this dream. Understanding the significance of this is perhaps the key to unlocking the inner meaning behind this entire episode.

The Nile to ancient Egypt was a deity, worthy of adoration and adulation as much as any of their pantheon, if not more so. Egypt is an arid land with no annual rainfall to speak of, and it was the Nile and its network of canals and irrigation ditches that the Egyptians relied upon to farm their land. Even today, many in Egypt will refer to the predictable flooding of the river as the "gift of the Nile."

It was to Pharaoh's sense of denial that the dream spoke. The very river that stoked the sense of invincibility in the Pharaohs and their subjects would be of no use when the years of famine arrived. It was only the divinely inspired foresight of Joseph, recognizing the lack of randomness in G‑d's plan, that enabled them to not only survive the lean years, but to prosper mightily as well.

It was to Pharaoh's sense of denial that the dream spokeAnd it was only fitting that it would be the river, the very epitome of Egyptian might and commercial power, of which Pharaoh said, "Mine is the river and I have made myself,"1 that would be rendered useless during the first of the ten plagues.

Unfreezing the credit markets and fixing the economy will require a lot more than any of us are capable of, and much, much, more than any of the so-called experts are ready to admit.

But recognizing the hand of G‑d directly engaged in the business cycle and the wheel of fortune will enable us to sooner enjoy the years of plenty. Our sustenance is thankfully entrusted into G‑d's hands. It is essentially an unfreezing of spiritual credit that will result in a parallel easing of our monetary credit as well, which will in turn enable us utilize what we have to further enhance our divine mission.