Parasha Inspiration – Vayetze

וַיִּפְגַּ֨ע בַּמָּק֜וֹם וַיָּ֤לֶן שָׁם֙ כִּי־בָ֣א הַשֶּׁ֔מֶשׁ וַיִּקַּח֙ מֵֽאַבְנֵ֣י הַמָּק֔וֹם וַיָּ֖שֶׂם מְרַֽאֲשֹׁתָ֑יו וַיִּשְׁכַּ֖ב בַּמָּק֥וֹם הַהֽוּא: וַיַּֽחֲלֹ֗ם וְהִנֵּ֤ה סֻלָּם֙ מֻצָּ֣ב אַ֔רְצָה וְרֹאשׁ֖וֹ מַגִּ֣יעַ הַשָּׁמָ֑יְמָה וְהִנֵּה֙ מַלְאֲכֵ֣י אֱלֹהִ֔ים עֹלִ֥ים וְיֹֽרְדִ֖ים בּֽוֹ:

And he arrived at the place and lodged there because the sun had set, and he took some of the stones of the place and placed [them] at his head, and he lay down in that place. And he dreamed, and behold! a ladder set up on the ground and its top reached to heaven; and behold, angels of God were ascending and descending upon it.

Genesis 28:13-14

This week’s parsha contains another pivotal moment in history, Jacob’s dream. Jacob leaves Be’ersheva, and proceeds toward Haran. While on the journey, he arrives at “The Place.”המקום HaMakom. This term, HaMakom, the place, is one of the titles for Hashem. However, the term is also used to designate a specific place, that is, the place of the binding of Isaac.

The place of the binding of Isaac is mount Moriah, what we know today as Har Habayit, or the Temple Mount. According to tradition, this is also the place of the Orchard, Gan Ayden, the garden of Eden. It is the place that is the intersection of the heavens and the earth. It is the place of man’s greatest connection to Hashem. It is also the place of the dream of Jacob’s ladder.

There is no location on the entire Earth that has the significance and connection of The Place. Consequently, Jacob, upon arriving at the place, has one of the most significant dreams in all of Torah. He dreams of the connection of the heavens and the earth and the structure of the heavens. The Place is the location of the soon to be rebuilt Temple. May it be rebuilt. Soon, and in our days. Shabbat shalom.

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Rabbi Steven Bernstein

Steve was born on Lag B’Omer in Ann Arbor, MI but was raised in Gainesville, FL. The son of two University of Florida professors, he excelled in the sciences in school. In addition to his normal academic studies, he pursued his Jewish education studying with many Rabbis and professors of Judaic Studies from the University including visiting Rabbis such as Abraham Joshua Heschel and Shlomo Carlebach.