By Rabbi Ariel bar Tzadok
This week's Torah portion is called Vayetzei [Genesis 28:10-32:3]
In this week's Torah portion we read about the building of the family of Jacob. Because of the recent episode where Jacob tricked his brother Esau out of his patriarchal blessing, Jacob is forced to leave his family and to seek a wife from his wife's brother Laban.
In travel, Jacob settles down for the night and has a fantastic dream. He not only sees God, who makes promises to Jacob, he also sees angels ascending and descending on what Jacob describes as a ladder going up to Heaven. Although dream language is archetypal in nature and is thus never literal, nevertheless Jacob saw a spiritual reality which is most revelatory. While many thinkers wish to interpret angels as being only symbolic representations, Jacob's dream reveals that indeed, these are actual entities, and apparently they have regular purpose for being here on Earth.
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