Are we victims of circumstances, bound to earth by our personal destinies? Is there a way to reach heaven while keeping our feet firmly planted on the ground? Or are we doomed to the daily struggle for survival with no relief in sight? Are we forever trapped in a life of unbearable resignation and quiet desperation?
An ancient dream of a mysterious ladder to heaven – described in this week’s Torah reading – contains the secret of breaking out of our pedestrian lives to dream great dreams … and, above all, to see these dreams fulfilled.
You go to sleep. You begin to dream. A ladder appears …
Don’t worry, this ladder does not mean you have to change a light bulb or paint the ceiling – though your wife may disagree. This ladder means you are about to discover how you can climb from earth to heaven, and from heaven to earth.
And along the way you will discover that a rung can make a right, and that being a good Jew isn’t dependent on how much kishke you eat or how religious you consider yourself to be.
A good Jew is someone who is constantly, perpetually, continually climbing upward.
This is the ladder of the law.