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July 17, 2024

Glossary – VaYetze (And Jacob Went Out) Parsha – Weekly Torah Portion

Jacob’s Ladder

Jacob’s ladder is the middle line by which one should walk; it is the golden path. This is the line in which one connects all of one’s elements, the good and the bad.

In fact, nothing is bad. If a person knows how to use the bad correctly, one turns it into good and helpful. This is why Jacob’s ladder is our desires, which are initially the evil inclination, as it is written, “I have created the evil inclination.” However, if we connect them to “I have created for it the Torah as a spice,” their combination creates the middle line.

On the one hand, we constantly correct worse and worse desires, since “one who is greater than his friend, his desire is greater than him.” [3] The more we advance, the more we discover how evil we are. A greater force comes to us, the force of the light that we discover, which we must expose and with which we correct ourselves. When the two connect in the degrees, we grow “richer,” both from the desire and from the light that corrects the desire.

Thus, the sum total of one’s soul grows (in the connection between them), and in it, the Creator increasingly appears. This is how we achieve attainment in the middle line, until we actually reach Beit El


Love means that instead of my own desire to enjoy, I take foreign desires and satisfy them. Love means using all my capabilities only to satisfy others. Love is self-annulment; I have no desire of my own, or anything that I want to do with myself, but only for others.

When we connect with each other in this manner of love, we acquire all the souls, all the other desires, which then become our own. When we satisfy them, we obtain infinity (Ein Sof).

Seven Years

Seven years means seven degrees: six degrees of Zeir Anpin, called “the Holy One, blessed be He,” and the seventh is Malchut. Together they are seven degrees that must achieve unity. Seven is always a complete number. There is also the number ten, which is Gadlut (adulthood), but usually, the structure consists of seven.


In our world, reward means that I satisfy myself. In spirituality, reward means that I have an opportunity to satisfy others.

From The Zohar: His Thought Was of Rachel

“If He set His heart upon man, He will gather his spirit and his breath unto Himself.” The will and the thought draw the extension and do the deed with everything that is needed. This is why in prayer, a desire and a thought to aim in are required. Similarly, in all the works of the Creator, the thought and the contemplation does the deed and draw extensions to all that is needed.”

Zohar for All, VaYetze (And Jacob Went Out), item 189

We cannot avoid thoughts, falls, disappointments, and mistakes altogether. It is introspection, similar to what we do at the beginning of each year. We need to always do it, and it is good that now we are going through such a process throughout the world. Humanity is finally beginning to understand how wrong its way has been. It is possible that from this state we will all rise to Beit El.

[3]Masechet Sukkah, 52a.

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