Parshat Vayeitzei

This week’s Parsha is Vayeitzei 📖

A Midrash on this week’s parasha teaches that when Yaakov saw a ladder climbing into the heavens, and angels ascending and descending, Hashem was in fact showing Yaakov many details and hidden mysteries.

Yaakov saw the ministering angel of Bavel. The angel climbed the ladder, rung by rung. On reaching the 70th rung, the angel was thrown off. Yaakov was then shown the ministering angel of Persia, again, going up the ladder, only to be thrown off. The angel of the Greeks too ascended the ladder only to fall. Each ministering angel that tried to climb failed and fell. What is going on here?

The midrash continues that Hashem asked Yaakov why he too was not ascending the ladder? The midrash explains Yaakov became fearful and responded that just as Hashem ensured the angels fell, he was worried he too would fall. Hashem explained to Yaakov that he was different. Hashem promised Yaakov should he ascend the ladder he will not throw him off.

How could it be that Yaakov didn’t trust Him? What was Yaakov scared of?

It was not that Yaakov did not trust Hashem. Rather, he was afraid of failure! However failure can too be a road to success. When you fail, you figure out what you did wrong and can try again and succeed! But because Yaakov didn’t get on the ladder, says the midrash, the consequence was that his children would go into galut and suffer under the Babylonians, Persians, Greeks and Romans.

However we have our own ladders to climb. We need to have faith in ourselves and Hashem that we won’t fall and that if we do, he will be there to catch us and enable us to rise higher on the next attempt. People want to attain perfection in their life overnight, to achieve highly in their job, with their community and in their spirituality. But it doesn’t happen overnight and it takes work. Sometimes it even takes failure. Hashem was telling Yaakov step up, and we have to as well!

We don’t need to fear failure so long as we try. So we should all live up to our potential and take the first step. Just start your journey up the ladder and together with Hashem, you’ll learn to climb!

✨ *Shabbat Shalom* ✨