Brachot 57

While learning today’s daf (Brachot 57) I had a bit of a revelation which I think is deserving of sharing. We learnt in Brachot 55b/56a that כל החלומות הולכים אחר הפה – the meaning of dreams accords with the interpretation given to them. A corollary of this, as confirmed by the story of Bar Hedya (see Brachot 56a), is that the same dream can mean different things to different people if interpreted differently for each of them. However, we then find that the majority of Brachot 56b and almost all of Brachot 57a-b is filled with descriptions of many different dreams – some containing quite unsettling imagery – each followed by a singular and in almost every instance positive interpretations. So my question is how can the Gemara inform us that dreams can mean different things, and then tell us the singular meaning of a range of dreams including those that contain unsettling imagery? My suggestion is as follows: Since people sometimes have dreams that can confuse and trouble them, our Sages of the Gemara took on the role of dream interpreter, precisely because they knew that כל החלומות הולכים אחר הפה – the meaning of dreams accords with the interpretation given to them, and precisely because they knew that if people sought an interpretation for some of the dreams recorded on these pages, both the interpretations of those dreams and any possible outcome of those interpretations would be frightening. If my explanation makes sense then the lesson that we can draw from these pages of Gemara is both simple and profound: if we can do anything to reduce the worry or stress that we or others experience, and if we can do anything to help people see a positive in something that – on first glance – seems negative, then we should do all we can to do so.