Jacob the Builder
I spent a great deal of time thinking about Jacob this year, especially about his death as I knew that my mother a”h was approaching her end. (“A Different Sort of Fear of Life,” “Not Waiting for the Monument,” “The Fragrance of Permanence,” “Stopping the Leaks,” “Strength from Brokenness,” “Power of Softness,” “The Character in the Storm,” and “Laban’s Gasconade.”) I saw Jacob as one who considered life the connection to that which is eternal, specifically, the power to retrace our steps all the way back to Eden, and repair the damage caused by Adam. I was nervous about my expected visitor on the Third night of Succot; would he consider my life well lived?
I looked up to the sky and wondered how much of my life was connected above rather than anchored to the limitations of this world. I was suddenly aware of another presence in my sukkah; it was Jacob.
“I love the blogs and wish you had written more. Why did you stop writing for so long?”
“I was deeply affected by my mother’s death and have been having difficulty writing.”
“That would certainly imply that you are more connected to this limited life than to living a life that will lead you back to Eden. I am sure that you recall that before I left this world I charged my children with a vision of their ultimate future. The only way to live a life that is constantly connected to the eternal, to fighting your way back to Eden and repairing this damaged world, is to constantly look toward the Ultimate Future! This is the meaning of someone looking toward Redemption. Tzipita l’yeshu’a means that you will be asked in Heaven whether you lived a life that was focused on building a world prepared for Redemption.”
Jacob left. It was a short visit. But his message of Building a world that is prepared for Redemption filled my sukkah.
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