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