He arrived at the place and lodged there, because the sun had set . . . and he lay down in that place. He dreamed, and behold! a ladder set up on the ground, whose top reached to heaven; and behold, angels of G‑d were ascending and descending upon it. And behold, the L‑rd was standing over him, and He said, “I am the L‑rd, the G‑d of Abraham your father, and the G‑d of Isaac; the land upon which you are lying, to you I will give it and to your descendants. . . . Through you shall be blessed all the families of the earth, and through your offspring.” (Genesis 28:11–14)

The midrash describes how man, adam, was created from adamah, earth. Adam (man), adamah (earth), and adom (red) all come from the same Hebrew root word.

Notice how Jacob’s body is one with the red earth upon which he lies. His face, however, looks heavenward, mirroring the way mankind is created in the image of G‑d, blessed with the gift of imagination (adameh—“I will imagine”), and the capacity for prophetic vision.

The contrast between the earthy reds and spiritual blues reflects both the physical and spiritual blessings Jacob received in his dream. The white ladder with the movement of angels symbolizes Jacob’s ability to ascend, step by step, and attain a deep understanding of the divine.