Parshat Vayetze

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וַיִּיקַץ יַעֲקֹב, מִשְּׁנָתוֹ, וַיֹּאמֶר, אָכֵן יֵשׁ יְהוָה בַּמָּקוֹם הַזֶּה; וְאָנֹכִי, לֹא יָדָעְתִּי

And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said: ‘Surely the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not.’

We all have or had dreams, especially as children and teenagers. Yet sometimes, as we grow older, we tend to look at our former dreams with benevolent nostalgia while we are convinced that realism dictates that we put them aside.

Whenever we are tempted to surrender youthful dreams and only see them as impractical hopes, we should remember Rabbi Shlomo Riskin’s words:

The fact of the matter is that a person can dream when he’s asleep and can dream when he’s awake. But only the dreams that one dreams when he/she is awake can become transformed into the visions which change reality.

In this week’s parshah, when Yaakov wakes up from his dream, he realizes that God is everywhere around us, not just in our dreams and prayers – the most common interpretation of Yaakov’s dream is that it is an allegory of prayer.

May we be persuaded that we can move from dreams to visions and from visions to reality as long as we keep in mind that God is “everywhere around us”.

Last year’s parshah post: Emotion-Packed Parshah

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11 thoughts on “Parshat Vayetze

  1. May we be persuaded that we can move from dreams to visions and from visions to reality as long as we keep in mind that God is “everywhere around us”.
    Amen! At the risk of sounding like the ardent Zionist that I am 🙂 , I have to say that one of the most wonderful parts of having made aliyah and being privileged to live in Israel (and thereby realizing our dream) is the ever-present feeling that Hashem is with us and “everywhere around us”.

  2. Dreams seem to be as important as air and water. They are a life force that keeps us alive and close to Hashem.

    The book that I am studying is called Halachos of Brachos, by Rabbi Yisroel Pinchos Bodner.

    Also, I found it so interesting what you wrote to me about modern orthodoxy. My husband and I were having a discussion on modern orthodoxy last night. He suggested that this might be my way to go with practicing Judaism. We could keep kosher, celebrate Shabbat and I could still wear pants.

    Your two cents are very important to me.

    Thank you.

    Melissa

  3. What a lovely and thought-provoking post. Dreams mean so much to so many individuals. Their lives are often run on them.

    I like Rabbi Riskin.

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