The haftarah1 for Mikeitz is not read every year because it is often superseded by the haftarah of Chanukah. It is a short haftarah with little commentary. But at the same time, it is one of the most famous stories in the Tanach.

The connection to our parshah is that the haftarah begins with King Solomon waking up from a dream, realizing that it was a true prophecy from G‑d. Similarly, in the parshah, King Pharaoh had dreams and woke up knowing that they were of great importance.

Joseph was summoned to interpret the dreams, which he did with G‑dly wisdom that was bestowed upon him. Similarly, in the haftarah, Solomon’s G‑dly wisdom is displayed as he adjudicated a case before the Sanhedrin. Everyone was amazed by his G‑dly wisdom, as in the parshah, Pharaoh was amazed by Yosef’s G‑dly wisdom.

The haftarah ends with “And King Solomon was king over all Israel.”2 Similarly in the parshah, Yosef ruled over all of Egypt.

If we look deeper into the haftarah, we can find a timeless message for us all.

The haftarah begins with Solomon waking up from a dream. But no mention is made of the details of the dream. If you go back a few verses in the chapter, there is the most beautiful dream—a conversation between G‑d and a 12-year-old king who just ascended the throne. G‑d tells him that he will grant him a wish, and Solomon asked for wisdom. G‑d is pleased with his request, and grants him wealth and fame as well. When he wakes up, he hears birds chirping and understands what they are saying. He realized that the dream had come true.

Why doesn’t the haftarah include the dream? After all, in the parshah, Pharaoh’s dreams are included?

In the parshah, Pharaoh’s dreams are necessary to understand the wisdom displayed when Joseph interprets them. However, Solomon’s wisdom displayed in the haftarah was not in explaining the dream. It is enough just to tell us that he had a dream. Moreover, his dream was a personal one, while Pharaoh’s were of national consequence.

The haftarah continues with two women3 who came before Solomon. One said that she gave birth to a boy; a few days later, the other woman also gave birth to a boy. They were home alone when the other woman, while sleeping, lay on her baby, suffocating him. She then switched the babies. When the first mother woke up to nurse her baby, she found that he was dead. At closer inspection, she realized that it wasn’t her son and understood what had happened.

The other woman cried out: “My son is the live one, and your son is dead!”4 They went to argue before the king.

Solomon already knew through prophecy who the real mother was, but he wanted to show with logical proof that she was the mother. He came up with a risky but creative solution.

He explained: “This one says, ‘My son is the live one, and the dead one is your son,’ and this one says, ‘Not so; your son is the dead one and my son is the live one.’ ”5

Then he said: “Bring me a sword,”6 and they brought a sword. He said: “Divide the live boy in two; give one half to one and the other half to the other.”7

(You could imagine the scene: Everyone standing around while a 12-year-old king suggests the most heinous of judgments. They were losing confidence, fearing that allowing him to be king wasn’t such a good idea.)

But then, the live boy’s mother, having compassion on her baby, said: “My lord, give the baby to her, just don’t put him to death.”8 The other one said: “Let him be neither mine nor yours; divide him.”

The king spoke up and said: “Give [the first woman] the living child, and don’t put him to death.”9 A voice came from heaven10 and confirmed: “She is the mother.”11

What is the lesson to be taken from this story?

The two mothers symbolize two influences: that of the Torah and that of society. They are battling over every Jewish child. Modern society’s child was “smothered and died” because every way of thinking ultimately dies as a new way of thinking dawns, with the exception of the Torah way, which remains the same. Since it is from G‑d, it is always true and not subject to change.

The question is: Who will get the child? The judges are the parents. Many make a grave mistake, thinking, “I will educate him in both, some for G‑d, and some for the world.”

This is cutting the child in half—not physically, but spiritually, mentally, morally and emotionally.12

Giving your children a Jewish education and upbringing is by far the best thing that you can do for them. (I am not arguing against secular education. Rather, I am advocating how it is presented in Jewish schools, where it follows the Torah way of thinking.)

May you have nachas from your children and bring them up in the Torah way. In this merit, we will surely merit the coming of Moshiach. May he come soon.