In this week’s Parashah, we begin by recalling the story of Yaakov Avinu’s flight from his brother, Eisav. Soon after, Yaakov finds a place to sleep, and makes himself comfortable for the night. The Torah then relates the peculiar dream Yaakov dreamt that night, in which he sees angels climbing and descending a giant ladder rising to the Heavens. There are many ways to understand such an unusual and curious occurrence. One way, is to fit it into the context of the Torah so far. On Simchat Torah, we read about man’s creation in Parashat BeReishit. The following week we read Parashat Noach which describes man’s betrayal and abandonment of God. Then Parashiot Lech Lecha, VaYeira, Chayei Sara, and Toldot discuss Avraham Avinu, man’s repentance to God, and the covenant between God and man. The common factor in each of these Parashiot is their emphasis on man’s creation and his connection to God.
This week, in Parsahat VaYeitzei, the final and most important creation of all is recounted, namely, the creation of 12 tribes of the Bnei Yisrael. However, just before the Torah recalls the story of the beginning of our nation’s origin, the Torah must teach one final lesson about the way man is connected. The odd dream of Yaakov portrays to man that no matter how low we are spiritually, we can always just “climb the ladder” of spirituality towards Hashem. No one is ever too late, and everyone has the ability to change and repent. The Torah is also careful to use angels to teach that even if one has not reached there potential, or even began their climb back towards Hashem, they are still angels in the eyes of The Omnipresent One.
This remarkable connection between Hashem and man was needed before the Torah tells us of Yaakov’s wives and children, because this idea is crucial to our faith. Hashem sees us all as angels with great capability, and we all have the ability to reach our potential as god fearing Jews. Only after the lesson of this great revelation could Yaakov continue on his journey and begin the Jewish Nation.