Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A Friend's Midrash On Jacob's Awakening

Bereishit/Genesis 28:16-17

וַיִּיקַץ יַעֲקֹבֿ מִשְּׁנָתֿוֹ וַיֹּאמֶר
אָכֵֿן יֵשׁ –ֲ –ֹ –ָ – בַּמָּקוֹם הַזֶּה
וְאָנֹכִֿי לֹא יָדָֿעְתִּי:
וַיִּירָא וַיֹּאמַר
מַה נּוֹרָא הַמָּקוֹם הַזֶּה
אֵין זֶה כִּי אִם בֵּיתֿ אֱ–ֹ –ִ ים
וְזֶה שַׁעַר הַשָּׁמָיִם:

“And then Jacob awoke from his sleep, and said,
'Truly, God is in this place,
and I did not know.'
And then he became awestruck, and said,
'How awe-inspiring is this place!
This is nothing other than a house of God,
and this is the gate of the heavens!'”


אל תקרא „משנתו“ אלא „ממשנתו“!

Do not read “from his sleep” —
instead, read “from his learning”!

Many times in learning we can get lulled into an intellectual relay-race, and lose sight of the divinity, meaning and values that are buried in and grow out of the texts of our tradition. There is a midrashic claim that Ya‘aqov spent many years in the "Yeshiva of Sheim and ‘Eiver" on his way from home to Hharan... but it took the kind of kick-in-the-pants that you can only get in a dream of ladders and angels, where God stands over you, to make him finally wake up and realize that truly, God is in this place.

For more contemporary midrashic action,
check out the team at Sefer Ha-Bloggadah.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Manna Eater said...

Cool! I have a reading of Jacob's dream that I should really write up sometime -- I think it would go nicely in a Zohar-ish style:

וַיַּחֲלֹם וְהִנֵּה סֻלָּם מֻצָּב אַרְצָה וְרֹאשׁוֹ מַגִּיעַ הַשָּׁמָיְמָה...

"He dreamed that he was a ladder planted in the ground with his head reaching up to heaven, and angels of God were moving up and down inside him"

11/14/2007 11:21 PM  
Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

cool. i actually heard a short lay-level lecture on the Zohar this week.

11/21/2007 6:54 PM  
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