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The Crown of Halacha

Vayeitzei 5778 – Sulam Yaakov – Jacob’s Ladder

This entry is part 8 of 11 in the series Bereishis 5778

Vayeitzei 5778 – Sulam Yaakov – Jacob’s Ladder

“Yaakov departed from Beer-sheba and went towards Haran. He encountered the place and slept the night there because the sun had set…” (Bereishis 28:10-11)

When Darkness Suddenly Descends

Rashi notes that the pasuk does not say, “It was getting dark and therefore Yaakov sought shelter”. He understands the pasuk to mean that the sun suddenly set without warning, not at the usual time. This was a change in nature. Therefore, Yaakov was forced to suddenly seek shelter on Har Moriah. That night Yaakov dreams a dream that a ladder was set earthward and its top reached heavenward. Angels of Hashem were ascending and descending. This was a prophecy for Yaakov and ultimately for all mankind.
Who has not Heard of Yaakov’s Dream?

Hashem changed nature so that Yaakov would have his dream on Har Moriah in order that the prophecy would have more significance. Yaakov knew it was special because he fell asleep on the very spot where the Bais Hamikdash would be built.
In fact, this dream has captured the imagination of Jews and even non-Jews throughout the generations. Monuments have been built in symbolism of this dream, reams of literature have been published expounding this dream, and it has been the source for countless inspirational speeches. What is it about this dream and the events that led up to it that give it a common theme which immediately connects with all humanity?

All Humanity Draw Hope from Yaakov’s Dream

Rabbi Nachman of Breslev puts forth the answer in a way that we can all relate to. Although there are times during a person’s service of Hashem when everything is going well, suddenly “the sun sets” and plans go awry. Hashem changes things; life becomes a bit more difficult. At this point a person is forced to wait and see what happens, he must have patience. The ladder is symbolic of something which is common amongst us all; just like the angels were climbing and descending the ladder a person will experience ups and downs in life. R’ Nachman adds that if a person is persistent in his desire to come close to Hashem, his efforts will eventually be rewarded.

To See Daily Miracles Requires Patience

The only thing which is predictable is that Hashem’s ways are unpredictable. While all of us are busy pursuing our goals we must remember that Hashem might have other plans for us. The next time we step on a nail or the car breaks down keep in mind that it is for a good reason even if we do not understand why our path was blocked. In fact, Hashem will actually change nature in order that we are given exactly what we need to maximize our spiritual opportunities.

Series Navigation<< Toldos 5778 – The Woman of Valor Acts ImmediatelyVayishlach 5778 – Pachim Katanim >>
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