- Posted by Elaine Zecher
- On November 16, 2018
- 0 Comments
Welcome to Shabbat Awakenings, a weekly reflection as we make our way toward Shabbat.
Perhaps it is the ladder, set on the earth ascending, heavenward. Or it might be the angels who move up and down the ladder. The dream is vivid and full of imagery and it all belongs to Jacob.
He escaped his brother’s fury after manipulating the blessing of his father to be bestowed on him when it should have gone to Esau. Jacob fled and then stopped to rest his head on a stone for a pillow. It sent him into a deep sleep. Along with the ladder and angels, God appeared to reassure Jacob.
Remember, I am with you. (Gen. 28:15)
Up to this point in his life, Jacob hadn’t considered the benefit of God’s Presence. But, now it mattered. God didn’t just say, I am with you; God prefaced these reassuring words with Remember.
To remember means to notice constantly. It commands mindful awareness. In these new circumstances, as Jacob journeys to a new place, he will have God with him, but only if he remembers this is the case.
When he woke up from his dream, he felt a mixture of awe and fear, Vayeera. The Hebrew word contains both emotions. Feeling that way startled him. It stirred within him the realization that God was, indeed, with him. Jacob exclaimed:
God is in this place and I did not know it. How awesome is this place. (Gen. 16-17)
The place is actually in his own mind. God has actually been there all along.
In moments when we may be frightened or when we are placed in unfamiliar circumstances, we may feel alone, afraid, and uncertain. Like Jacob, our dreams and imaginations can be vivid, but then we remember. We are not alone. We remain a part of a larger spiritual universe, comforted and consoled by the sacred with us.
Fear and awe awaken our senses to the realization that there is that which is beyond ourselves, a force in the universe of which we are a part. And maybe that helps us just a bit to be able to continue on our journey in life.
May the Presence of the Divine be with you on this Shabbat.
Qabbalat Shabbat begins at 6:00 p.m. If you are not able to join us, live stream HERE. Torah Study begins at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow with a short service followed by a lively discussion.
I look forward to your thoughts and reflections, please send them to me directly HERE.