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The Ladder

The Ladder

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There is another analogy for prayer.

Though of a different nature, it is more explicit and definitive of the nature and workings of prayer.

Tefilah, as stated, joins man to G‑d. It is the means to uncover and reveal the Divine in man and creation. It raises us from the chaos of worldliness, from an aimless and confusing wilderness, to a life of meaning and purpose.

Through prayer we move from where we are to where we ought to be.

It is the elevator by means of which we ascend and soar ever higher, from the darkness of matter to the very source of light. It is the link between lower and higher, between earth and heaven, body and soul.

Thus prayer is the ladder that appeared in Jacob's dream: "A ladder set in the earth, and its top reaches into the heaven; and behold, the messengers of G‑d ascend and descend on it." (Genesis 28:12) This ladder refers to the prayer of man on earth, which reaches into Heaven, i.e., unto G‑d.

By means of a ladder one climbs from the ground to the roof.

By means of prayer (the speech of the devoted heart), the soul climbs higher and higher: ascending step by step, from its present level to the very peak of all levels, drawn upwards by its passion for G‑d, until it becomes fully absorbed in the radiance of the Infinite, blessed be He.

NOTE: Footnotes were omitted from the web version, please refer to print version for extensive footnotes.
Published and copyright by Kehot Publication Society, all rights reserved.
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