In this week’s upcoming Parshas Vayaytzah, we are taught of the dream of Yaakov, the dream of a ladder that had its feet on the ground and its head reached into heavens. There are many different messages being told by this ladder.
One of them is that our job is to bridge between physical and spiritual (the ladder had its feet on the ground and stretched to heaven because of that). In fact, the word Soolam/ladder and Mamon/money have the same Gematriah [numerical value in Hebrew] – our job is to use money and physical gifts as a ladder to higher places, to connecting to Hashem. If we do that right, angels go up and down, we affect what the angels do. You see, based on reward and punishment in the world, the blessings or curses come to the world. And since the angels are those who carry out the meting out of blessings or curses, our actions are the “ladder” that causes them to come down or go away from our world.
In my life’s journeys I’ve met many kinds of people. So there are those who keep their ladder laying flat on the ground, both feet and head right in the mud. They never strive for spirituality, never get away from their earthy desires to do something bigger than self-gratification and never opening their view to see the spiritual. Not good. That was not the dream of Yaakov, not the mission of man, to stay with our heads stuck in mud.
However, I also met what I call the helium balloon people, those people who get so enamored in spirituality that they don’t keep themselves grounded. They don’t engage in being responsible. And that is a danger, for helium balloons wafting into stratosphere pop. That also was not the dream of Yaakov, not the mission of man, to completely disconnect from what we have to do down here on earth. We have to pay our rents, pull our own weights, clothe our kids, be able to engage in life responsibly.
Grounded, two feet on the ground, but aiming with that grounding to be able to bridge the vast distance to Heavens. That is the dream, that is the goal.