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Heaven and Earth

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

Which spiritual stance is most appropriate for us? Should we fly high or should we be filled with humility? We met in New York with the Skverer Rebbe, Rav David Twersky. During our conversation with him, we heard the following idea regarding Yaakov Avinu’s dream in this week’s parasha:

“We need to maintain a delicate balance in life. We read that there is ‘a ladder set up on the ground and its top reaches to heaven’. When a person is too proud, when he thinks his head reaches up to heaven, he needs to be reminded that ‘a ladder is set up on the ground,’ that his end is to be buried in the earth, that he is limited. On the other hand, when a person is sad and depressed, when he is down in the dumps, he needs to be reminded that he was created in the image of G-d, that he is unique and a superb human being. We need to say to him, ‘Just lift up your head and you can reach all the way up to heaven.’ A person needs to know when to adopt these two spiritual stances, each at its appropriate time.”


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