Rabbi Dunner examines the opening section of Vayeitzei, which vividly describes Jacob’s famous dream as he leaves Canaan on his way to Haran. The imagery of a ladder rising up to the heavens, with angels ascending and descending, has fascinated commentators and philosophers in every era.
But what does the imagery mean? Why did God choose this method to convey His covenant to Jacob? How should one understand Jacob’s cryptic reaction?
The entire episode is loaded with mysteries and hidden meanings. Rabbi Dunner explores a range of commentaries to try and unravel the mysteries, although only the Netivot Shalom seems to offer a viable model that truly opens up this episode in a satisfying and meaningful way.
Image: Jacobs Ladder, C.1490 Oil On Panel