This Week's Thought From The Koby Mandell Foundation
- Sherri Mandell
In the parsha this week, Yaakov dreams of a ladder, with angels ascending and descending. Yaakov encounters or lights upon (ve yifga) the place where he will dream, and G-d blesses him, telling him that his people will proliferate and the land will be his. The word yifga also means to beseech or pray, and Rashi says that that in this encounter Yaakov initiated the evening prayer. Rabbi Kook has an additional translation: yifga also means to be hurt, damaged . In this context, the evening prayer connects to the wounds of the darkness. All of us face darkness, whether it be the death of a child or a spouse, loneliness, illness, unemployment, disability or divorce.
But sometimes being wounded is the source of our most powerful prayer. Yaakov, alone and running away from Eisav, in the darkness dreams of angels. It is sometimes when we have fallen to the place where we are sleeping on stone, that we are able to see our angels-- because we need them so much.
Once a woman told me: "Sometimes you need an angel. And sometimes you have to become one." May we all be blessed to become angels, and not to need them.