Yesterday’s Torah Parasha was called VAYEITZEI. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to write about the Parasha last week but I am catching up now. Simply because I would like to share some insights.
Vayeitzei begins with Yaakov leaving Beersheva (a town in the Negev) and going to Haran (Syria today). In the previous Torah Parasha TOLDOT, Yaakov had dressed up as his brother Esav and thus received the blessing of the firstborn from his father Yitzchak. Of course, Esav was really mad when he heard about it and Yaakov was afraid of his brother’s revenge.
The mother of the twins, Rivka (Rebecca) told Yaakov to get the blessing from his father. She knew what kind of a person Esav was and that he would never be as righteous as Yaakov. Many people say that Yaakov cheated and stole the blessing of the firstborn from Esav. Thus Yaakov must be the bad guy. Nevertheless, while Yaakov was studying Torah, Esav was busying himself with hunting, stealing and killing Nimrod.
Parashat Vayeitzei teaches us that Yaakov was on his way to Haran. In the evening he started looking for a place to sleep and in Genesis (Bereshit) 28:11, it says that he encountered a “place” (Hebrew: MAKOM). It was there where he had the famous dream about the ladder.
Until today we use the Hebrew word MAKOM for a place. When we want to tell somebody where we are. Moreover, MAKOM is also one of the Names of G – d.
Where did Yaakov actually sleep and dream? Most rabbinic commentaries state that it was on the Temple Mount where Avraham was supposed to sacrifice Yitzchak, where Adam and Eve (Chava) lived after they were kicked out of Paradise (Gan Eden) and where the two Jewish Temples stood. Meshiach will build the Third Temple in the messianic era.
There are plenty of commentaries trying to understand Yaakov’s Ladder and why the angels where going up and down. According to one opinion, the ladder represents our own life. There are always ups and downs. Sometimes we are happy and successful and a few days later we are just the opposite. Nothing in life is permanent and we all depend on G – d’s will.