web analytics
August 21, 2014 / 25 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



Home » Judaism » Parsha »

A Time To Dream

YU-110813

Vayishkav bamakom hahu” – “and he [Yaakov] lay down to sleep in that place.” Rashi, citing Chazal, explains: “in that place he lay down to sleep, but during the previous fourteen years that he studied in the yeshiva of Ever he did not lie down at night because he was pre-occupied with learning Torah.”

Rabbi Mayer Twersky, one of our esteemed roshei yeshiva, poses a simple yet vexing question. If for fourteen years Yaakov Avinu was able to muster the strength to learn so diligently that he never once slept in the comfort of a bed, what suddenly happened to change that practice? It seems overly simplistic to assume that he was suddenly overcome by complete fatigue.

Perhaps the answer is found in the next verse, “VaYachalom – and he dreamt.” Yaakov did not lie down to sleep and happen to dream; but rather he lay down to sleep in order to dream.

A dream is more than merely our subconscious thoughts while we slumber. A dream represents a vision for the future. Yaakov understood that there are moments in our lives, times when we stand at a crossroads or transition, when it is critical to dream. Yaakov was about to embark on a mission unlike anything he had previously experienced in the hallowed walls of the yeshiva of Ever. He was about to enter a foreign environment, the home of Lavan, a world devoid of holiness and spiritual aspirations. Therefore, Yaakov needed to find direction, and so, “Vayishkav bamakom hahu,” he lay down, and then he dreamt.

What, in fact, did he dream of? “And behold a ladder was set on the ground and its top reached towards the heavens” – he saw a vision which captures man’s internal compass, always looking towards the heavens for guidance, inspiration and spiritual aspirations. Yaakov saw the image of angels ascending and descending the ladder. This represented to him that Hashem is with a person at all times and in all situations. The secret to traversing the more challenging times in life, when we may feel that we are on the lower end of the ladder, is to keep our heads facing towards the heavens, with faith that this is part of a continuum that eventually brings us closer to Hashem.

Like our forefather Yaakov, we too need to dream, especially at times of transition and change. Whether we are embarking on a new career, getting married, graduating from one educational level to another, or considering retirement, it is critical to take stock and reflect before making that transition. Just as Yaakov set aside time to reflect upon his many years at yeshiva, so too we must internalize the lessons and guidance we receive from our teachers and mentors as we move from one environment and setting to another. The specifics inevitably vary from one person to the next, but what is certain is that a plan and tangible goals are necessary to maintain commitments in unfamiliar surroundings.

When we dream it is important to “dream big” and to set goals that are attainable, but at the same time perhaps beyond what we would naturally reach.

After the first three seasons in Citi Field and coming off a year in which the New York Mets hit a mere 50 home runs in 81 home games, the Mets general manager, Sandy Alderson, decided that something had to be done. However, he did not recruit another slugger to the team or have his team work on their power hitting during the offseason. He changed the dimensions of the field by lowering a number of outfield walls from 16 feet to 8 feet and bringing in others closer to home plate! This is an example of lowering the bar and expectations. As a lesson to future generations, Yaakov instructs us to raise the bar and to push ourselves in order to maximize our potential.

Yeshiva University is fortunate to have the rebbeim, mashgichim, and a nurturing environment that afford the opportunity to prepare the next generation of both klei kodesh and lay kodesh for the challenges and opportunities of the world beyond the hallowed walls of yeshiva. We offer courses in business ethics and the interface between halacha and medicine and law. Our graduates receive a strong foundation in classical Talmud Torah, coupled with its application in an ever-changing world. They learn how to balance the pursuit of a vocation while remaining steadfast in their commitment to Torah and mitzvot. Many of our roshei yeshiva are involved in the halachic applications of cutting-edge technology and medical advances. Our students travel the globe to build communities on service missions that offer assistance to those in need.

About the Author: Rabbi Yosef Kalinsky serves as the Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Torah Studies at Yeshiva University.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

3 Responses to “A Time To Dream”

  1. Article printed last week

  2. Michal Frankel says:

    Shepping

  3. Michal Frankel says:

    Shepping

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
US President Barack Obama speaking on the phone last month aboard Air Force One.
US Reveals Failed Summer Mission to Rescue Captured Journalist
Latest Judaism Stories
Azrielli Tower - Shema Yisrael

A bit of (non-Jewish) history can help us understand this week’s Torah portion: In the early 1500s, the Catholic church was being fundamentally challenged by movements which claimed it had monopolized religious power and used to enrich the church and its officials. The most radical of these movements were a particular sect of Anabaptists. Anabaptists […]

Leff-081514

“When a mother plays with her child there is an acute awareness of the child. But even when the mother works at a job or is distracted by some other activity, there is a natural, latent awareness of her child’s existence.

Business-Halacha-logo

“Guess what?” Benzion exclaimed when he returned home. “I just won an identical Mishnah Berurah in the avos u’banim raffle.”

The-Shmuz

While it’s clear to you and to me that a 14,000-pound creature can easily break away from the light ropes holding it, the reality is that it cannot.

An Outcast
‘He Shall Dwell Outside His Tent’
(Moed Katan 7b)

Question: The Gemara in Berachot states that the sages authored our prayers. Does that mean we didn’t pray beforehand?

Menachem
Via Email

Based on the opinion of the Ramban, the Territorial School believes that leaving any territory of the Land of Israel in the possession of non-Jews is a violation of a biblical mandate.

“But they told me to come in today,” she said. They gave me this date months ago. It’s not my fault if it’s the wrong day.”

Tosafos there takes issue with Rashi’s view that the letters that are formed in the knots of the tefillin are considered part of the name of Hashem.

Blind obedience is not a virtue in Judaism. God wants us to understand the laws He has commanded us

What does Hashem want of us? That we should protect each other and the awesome heritage He gave us.

Israel is the only place where we have the potential to fulfill our mandate as the chosen people.

The innkeeper smiled and replied, “Why do you think we are dancing? We are dancing because G-d destroyed the Bais HaMikdash!”

One of the manifestations of the immature person is a sense of entitlement.

More Articles from Rabbi Yosef Kalinsky
YU-110813

Like our forefather Yaakov, we too need to dream especially at times of transition and change. Whether we are embarking on a new career, getting married, graduating from one educational level to another, or considering retirement, it is critical to take stock and reflect before making that transition.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/a-time-to-dream/2013/11/08/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: