Shabbat Shalom with a Heart Health Dose of Torah–Vayeitzei

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.’“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.’

“I have a dream that one day even [a nation] sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

“I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.”

Jacob dreamed of the free exchange between heaven and earth. He dreamed that angels ascended and descended the ladder that bound heaven to earth. He saw no boundaries, no fences, no gatekeepers, and no quotas. He saw God at the top, welcoming those ascending and blessing those returning to earth. The awesomeness of the free flow and exchange of blessings had such an impact on Jacob that as he woke from this dream, he knew that he had seen God.“Al chaen yesh Adonai b’makom hazeh, v’anochi lo yadati.” “Wow!” He exclaimed, “God is in this place, and I … I had no idea.”

We walk sightless among miracles.Heaven and earth touch so closely that they appear to be kissing (Talmud Bava Batra), and yet in the face of the miraculous, we get stuck expecting the mundane. Think of all the things that we take for granted. It may sound silly to mention the air that we breathe … or the fact that our bodies breathe, our hearts beat, and our minds (even without computer chips) store such incredible amounts of information.Heaven and Earth touch when we understand that there is a connection between everything that we see and everything that is beyond our sight … but is every bit as real as all that we see. We are so quick to reject all that we cannot immediately see and hold that we miss the magic of living. What makes us think that we hold eternity in our hands, and can fully define it within our human limitations? As you are shaking your head now, thinking that this is nonsense, I am ever more convinced that the problem and trauma under which the world suffers stems 100 percent from our lack of vision and from the insecurity that keeps us from believing in something bigger than ourselves. The “need” to rationalize and define everything (including the myopic descriptions of “God” which so many “religionoids” espouse) serves only to keep us blind, no different than our pre-epiphanic Jacob. He rejected any relationship with God until this week’s dream, as he experienced the ladder linking Heaven and Earth. Even after, he sarcastically bargains with God. “If you feed me, and see me through, then I will believe in you.”

How many miracles in life must we experience before we believe not only that there is something beyond us, but that that “SOMETHING” is beyond our ability to define, own, control, manipulate, or hold over others? How many times must we experience power beyond ourselves before we can let go of our egos and our fear and realize that heaven and earth touch where we partner with (not surrender to or run from) the source of our very creation? Shabbat Shalom.