(Haftara: Hoshea 12:13-14:10)
1. [28:12] “…a ladder was standing on the ground and its head reached Heaven…” One interpretation of this prophetic dream is that this represents a Jew’s ideal frame of mind– feet on the ground, but head in spirituality. Others say that the ideal is to always be spiritual and not relate much to this world. Which do you think is the Jew’s ideal state of mind?
2. [28:16] “…’Surely God is in this place, and I didn’t know'”. A Chassidic interpretation of this statement is that God is present in this world and Ya’akov only now realized that. Where is God present in this world?
3. [28:22] “…and everything that you give me, I will give a tenth to you.” Ya’akov said that he would give God a tenth of everything that he gets. How does a person give a gift to God?
4. [31:2] “And Ya’akov saw Lavan’s face, and it was not like it used to be.” Ya’akov returned to the land of Israel because God told him to do it. If so, why are we told that Lavan was jealous of Ya’akov? How does Lavan’s attitude affect the story?
5. [Hoshea 14:7] “…his beauty will be like the olive tree.” Israel, in its best state, is compared to a deeply-rooted tree. Special people are also sometimes compared to trees (Psalms 1:3). Why is a tree a good metaphor for a people or a person at his best?
[28:17] “…this is none other than the house of God and this is the gate of Heaven”.
Its message to Jacob is its message to all men in all ages—that the earth is full of the glory of God , that He is not off in His heavenly abode and heedless of what men do on earth. Every spot on earth may be for man ‘the gate of heaven’.
—-R. Yosef Tzvi Hertz, 1872-1946, England.
This study page is dedicated to the memory of Rivkah Rochel bat Ya’akov haLevi and Chaya Kornberg, and Yechiel Eliezer ben Yitzchok Meir and Rochel Laya Kornberg
And this study page is also dedicated to the memory of Gad Eliahu ben David and Kochava–Eli Zucker