Above all, to dream

ציור: יואל וקסברגר, מלכות וקסברגר
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Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

The most practical thing that we can do is to dream. Above all, to dream. In this week's Torah portion, Yaakov Avinu leaves home for the first time and encounters the wider world. He runs away from Esau his evil brother, finds a wife, and works for his duplicitous Uncle Laban for many years. But just before he leaves his homeland, he has the famous "Jacob's ladder" dream.

In this dream he perceives a special connection between heaven and earth. The bottom of the ladder rests on the earth but it's top reaches into heaven. He hears magnificent promises regarding his future as well as the future of the entire nation of Israel. And after he awakens from his dream, we read: "Now Jacob lifted his feet and he went" (Genesis 29:1) and Rashi explains: "As soon as he was given good tidings, his heart lifted his feet, and he became fleet-footed, as explained in Genesis Rabbah (70:8)."

What a beautiful expression: The heart lifts the feet. Because when someine has a dream, the soul affects the body which receives special strength to continue on down the road. Yaakov Avinu reminds us how important it is to live in accordance with a plan, a vision, and a mission. When we have a higher purpose, we are blessed with enormous powers to act and the heart lifts the feet.

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