Jacob dreams of a ladder reaching up to the heavens with angels going up and down and receives dramatic assurances from G-d. Upon awakening, he proclaims, “Surely, Hashem is present in this place and I did not know!”(Genesis 28:16)

The Hebrew here seems redundant: V’anochi (and I) lo ya’dati (I did not know). And I – I did not know?!

The Kotzker, and other great rebbes, understood that we can only perceive the presence of Hashem when our over-inflated egos don’t get in the way!

“Surely, Hashem is present in this place because my I, I did not know” Or – I didn’t become overly absorbed with myself.

This is how the Kotzker spun Moses statement in Deuteronomy 5:5, “And I stood between you and Hashem at that time.” We have to know who we are – but have to make sure that we don’t let ourselves get in the way. The one who is self-absorbed and whose ego takes center stage crowds out Hashem.

Sharing is caring!

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Leave a Reply

Don’t Stop Here

More To Explore

Inner light

“Each of us must know that a candle burns within us. A unique candle with its own distinct light. Each of us must understand that

Opening our hand

The merit of Tzedaka is so great that I am happy to give to 100 beggars even if only one might actually be needy. Some

Growing from failure

“The righteous will fall seven times and get up…” (Proverbs 24:16) We’re not learning here that a righteous person is one who will repeatedly get