The Soulam from Earth to Heaven


While Judaism is mainly concerned with the Talmud, every week synagogue goers are exposed to the Tanach, which is the Torah, the Ketubim and the Neviim, the powerful Word of God in its entirety. This past Shabbat, they were brought to a great section about the Way to God. It was the Parashat Vayetzei / פָּרָשַׁת וַיֵּצֵא which covers Genesis 28:10 to 32:3.

It is in Genesis 28 where we find the story of Jacob’s Ladder. This is when he was on his way north to Haran, to fetch his wife, and as the sun set, he fell asleep and had a dream and, as vs.11 says… and behold, a ladder was set on the earth with its top reaching to heaven; and behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. And at the top of the ladder, we also read that the Lord stood above it.

What is the significance of this dream? What could this Soulam be, this Ladder or Stairway, as the rabbis like to translate it. Is it heaven with God on the top, as if waiting to usher anyone who comes to Him? This Hebrew word Soulam, stairway  is found only here in the Scriptures. What or who could this Path or Way to God be, which reaches between earth and heaven?

While there are many different interpretations as to the significance of this ladder, the explanation is not given right away but there are many hints; one of them will be given in next week’s Parashat when Jacob meets the Individual whom he literally calls God, and says,  “I have seen God face to face, yet my life has been preserved.” Who could this be but the Messiah Himself.” And not long after this vision, Jacob will give a prophecy of Messiah’s tribal line, that is, from Judah. Then the prophets will take over and give enough information for the reader to find themselves at the feet of Yeshua.

But Yeshua Himself gives the explanation of the ladder, of the Way to God. It is found in John 1:51 where He cites part of this verse and changes the word ladder for the title Son of Man. He says, “Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”

It is then our prayer that as they will read this passage this very morning, the Spirit will lead the inquisitive mind to the Messiah of Israel, Yeshua, Who  is the Way, the Truth and the Life. He is eternal life for all. The Lord works through His Word to reach the heart of man.