This week’s parsha recounts Yaakov’s dream about the ladder. The sulam, the ladder, is described in a seemingly fantastical way; “mutzav artzah,” fixed to the ground, “v’rosho magia hashamayma,” with its top reaching the heavens. The Nesivos Shalom comments that Yaakov’s dream is indicative of our future, and the ladder is teaching us how to succeed in exile. We need to be like the ladder, rooted in this world, which is the place where spiritual potential is actualized, but constantly striving to reach greater heights beyond the confines and limitations of our physicality. This well-known explanation has long resonated with me as it is so fundamental and far-reaching.
On most school mornings, the high school assembles for morning announcements and I try to offer a thought for the day if time allows (and sometimes even when it doesn’t). I have drawn extensively on “Growing Each Day,” “Rabbi Frand on the Parsha,” and aish.com for inspirational thoughts to share. My initial motivation was to inspire the girls to start the day in a meaningful way, but I find that I love it so much because it inspires me to think about where my day will go.
I recently came across this poem and felt that it expresses the theme of utilizing each day for growth.
Why Not You?
By Steve Maraboli
Today, many will awaken with a fresh sense of inspiration. Why not you?
Today, many will open their eyes to the beauty that surrounds them. Why not you?
Today, many will break through the barriers of the past by looking at the blessings of the present. Why not you?
Today, many will rise above their believed limitations and make contact with their powerful innate strength. Why not you?
Today, many will choose to live in such a manner that they will be a positive role model for their children. Why not you?
Today, many will choose to free themselves from the personal imprisonment of their bad habits. Why not you?
Today, many will find abundance in simplicity. Why not you? Today, many will be confronted by difficult moral choices and they will choose to do what is right instead of what is beneficial. Why not you?
Today, many will decide to no longer sit back with a victim mentality, but to take charge of their lives and make positive changes. Why not you?
Today, many will take the action necessary to make a difference. Why not you?
Today, many will make the commitment to be a better mother, father, son, daughter, student, teacher, worker, boss, brother, sister, & so much more. Why not you?
Today is a new day! Many will seize this day. Many will live it to the fullest. Why not you? Why not all of us?
Judaic Studies Principal, NEAT