LADDER Genesis 28:12 By Rabbi Allen Maller
Our Rabbis always rejoiced in MANY
different lessons that could be drawn from God's words. Every verse
they taught has 70 different interpretations. Here are a few
dream is unusual because no interpretation of the dream is given in
the Bible. This teaches us that if we want to connect to heaven, the
Torah is our ladder and we have to ascend to heaven by our own
efforts i.e. study of the Torah text. This is why the angels first
ascend and then descend.
ladder represents the synagogue service. When our prayers are sung
our words ascend to heaven. When the Torah is read God's inspired
words descend to earth.
rabbis said the ladder represents Sinai. Moses, Aaron and 70 of the
elders of Israel ascend Sinai and experience God (Exodus 24:9-11).
Before that God descended on mount Sinai (Exodus 19:20) and was
revealed. Only at Sinai does God act first. Now we are like the
angels who have to ascend first.
interpretation. The Holy One of Israel showed Jacob the giving of
the Torah at Sinai and told him: If your descendants observe the
Torah they will ascend, otherwise they will decline.
ladder symbolizes Israel. When Jewish people are filled with Torah
and Mitsvot they rise. When they are filled with self righteousness
and selfishness they sink.
ladder symbolizes Torah study. When the children of Israel all
receive a Torah education advancing step by step and grade by grade
the Jewish people rises. When many of them drop out at higher levels
the Jewish people declines.
ladder represented Jacob according to Rabbi Yannai. Jacob had ups
and downs; strengths and failures. Now he learned that flawed as he
was he could still receive God’s blessing and be in God’s
presence even if he didn’t know it at that time.
ladder represents the future generations of Jacob’s children-the
Jewish people. They will reach great heights and descend to the
depths, live in times of prosperity as well as times of persecution,
and through all this they will maintain their continuity.
ladder represents the future generations of Israel, each generation
adding to the richness of the Jewish tradition. The descending
angels represent those who prune the tradition, for those who prune
for the sake of heaven also add.
saw a ladder not an escalator. You have to exert yourself in order to reach
heaven. Rising doesn’t come without effort. No strain, no gain.
saw a ladder not a whip. You can’t be forced to rise up to heaven.
saw a ladder not a leader. Teachers, sages and holy men can help,
but you have to do your own climbing. A
loving wife or husband is the best ladder.
13- A human must either climb up or
climb down. Talmud: Erubin 21a