Torah Portion: Veyetzei Genesis 28:10-32:3
HafTorah: Hosea 12:13-14:10
Tonight I want us to look at the questions sent out earlier this week. Before we get to them I would like to look at Genesis 28:11 and especially at a couple of words of this passage in Hebrew. In English we read he came to a certain place. The word in Hebrew for “came to” is better read as encountered or touched. And the phrase in this verse, “certain place” can also be read as a reference to G-d who is “The place.” Given this we could read it as, “He encountered G-d.” This helps us understand the angels better as well. It gives us insight into the first of my two questions. I n John 1:51 we read of an encounter between Yeshua and Nathaniel and in Genesis 28:12 we read of the ladder set up with angels ascending and descending. What is the connection? What did Yeshua mean by His response to Nathaniel? Now to another word help. In Genesis 28:12 we read about the angels going up and down on it. Usually read as meaning “the ladder.” The word is translated as, “it” and is the Hebrew word that could be “he” or “him.” So, the angels could be seen as ascending and descending on him – “Jacob.” This could be how Yeshua saw it when He speaks to Nathaniel. Just as the angels ascended and descended on Jacob so they would Him. So now, the question becomes what did Yeshua mean about angels going up and coming down on Him? Where do we see angels connected with Yeshua? Luke 1:11 – foretelling His birth, Matthew 1:20 Joseph and Mary, Luke 2:13 – Shepherd’s, Matthew 2:13, 2:19 – Herod and Egypt, Mark 1:13 – the wilderness, Matthew 28:2 Resurrection, Acts 1:10 – ascent to heaven and Matthew 25:31 His future return.
Angels are the messengers and agents of G-d. As Yeshua carried out G-d’s will here on earth the angels of G-d were doing His bidding. So as the disciples were with Him everyday they would have been witnesses to angels ascending and descending on Yeshua. As the ladder was a point of contact between heaven and earth so Yeshua is that as well and in fact as he lives in us we are able to ascend into heaven and to G-d. Only through Him are we able to reach the Father. Yeshua is our ladder. So, when we read about Jacob’s ladder go deeper and see the connection to Yeshua.
Now to the second question: In Genesis 31:45-52 we read about the marker set up between Laban and Jacob. This marker was to be a boundary between the two saying they would not cross over the boundary to harm each other in the future. In this story we could see Jacob as a symbol for holiness or servant of G-d and Laban as a picture of a worldly person. He cheated and deceived Jacob on several occasions. What can we learn from this and how can we apply it to our lives? Again, to help us let us look at another Hebrew word. The word used for the pile of stones in this boundary is “gal.” This can also mean, “reveal.” So we could see this from Jacob’s perspective as the only reason to cross the border between the holy and the profane should be to reveal holiness in a world or realm which only knows the ordinary, non-holy and secular. How does this apply to us? The New Testament says we are in the world, but not of the world. When we cross over this boundary between holy and profane, be it in our work or other times in our lives, we must never get caught up in the “unholy.” We should cross over only to bring light and connect those in darkness to a Holy and Infinite G-d. As we grow in our knowledge of G-d and how He wants us to live we are able to recognize this boundary stone and how to stay on the right side of it. So, we find our way through this world without becoming a part of it. We bring light and holiness into the darkness and not the other way around. We develop our spiritual senses to know when to go forward and when to retreat into the safety of G-d. When we do go into “Laban’s territory” we are able to reveal the glory and goodness of G-d in everything.