Vayeitzei (Genesis 28:10−32:3)
This Week’s Torah Portion: Vayeitzei – וַיֵּצֵא (Genesis 28:10−32:3)
The story of Jacob’s Ladder is one of the most luminous spiritual moments in all of the Torah. Our wayward ancestor Jacob, having set forth on a journey he is totally unprepared to complete, lays his head down in the darkness of a desert night and dreams of a ladder that connects heaven to earth with God standing beside it, blessing Jacob on his journey. When Jacob awakens from his dream he says: “God was in this place and I, I did not know.”
What is the meaning of Jacob’s dream? Well, here is an interesting bit of gematria, mystical mathematics, based on the numerical value of the letters of each word of Torah. The Hebrew word for a ladder is sulam. The numerical value of the letters in that word (samech, lamed, mem) is 130. The value of the letters in the word Sinai (samech, yud, nun, yud) is also 130.
Jacob’s Ladder is a lesson on the presence of God in all of our lives. We expect to see God in the once upon a lifetime, Mount Sinai, miraculous moments of our lives. What Jacob discovers is that God is with us always and everywhere, in times of thanksgiving and in times of need.
“Where is God? Wherever we let God in.”