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Maharsha: Vayeitzei: The Foundation Stone

“And this stone, which I have placed as a monument, shall be a House of the Lord.” (Genesis 28:22) There was a stone there from the days of the earliest prophets, and its name was “Shetii’a.” It was taught that it is called “Shetia’a,” for the entire world drinks its sustenance. (Yoma 53b)  The verse above is the most powerful hint in the Torah to this idea. (Maharsha, Chiddushei Aggadot)

Jacob understood the latent power of the stone he raised as a monument, and understood that the House of the Lord could only exist and provide the spiritual sustenance it would, if it had this stone as its Foundation Stone.

We must pay attention to the latent power of every word of the Torah and prayer, and every Mitzvah that we do, in order to build on each, so that we can rise up Jacob’s ladder to the heavens.

We should not learn and then think that it is over. We should never approach a Mitzvah as something we must do and it is finished. Shabbat does not have to end. When we appreciate the power of sustenance in each, we can use our learning, prayer and Mitzvot as building blocks that will help us grow.

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