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Rabbeinu Bachya: Vayeitzei: The Foundation Stone

The Chapters of Rabbi Eliezer (Chapter 35) teaches that when Jacob returned to gather up the stones that had formed his “pillow,” he found that they had all merged into a single stone. Upon seeing this, he poured oil on that stone, the oil being provided by Heaven. (Hint to Chanukah)

When God observed Yaakov doing what he did, He dipped the right leg of that stone into the seep recesses of the earth – Tihom – linking it to the very core of the earth. He made a wedge of this stone, much as a person who places a wedge in an arch.

This is why the foundation of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem was known as Even Hashitti’a, the stone that supports the entire universe.

It is part of the navel of the earth.

From that place the earth ‘opened up” and the Sanctuary was erected on that site.

This is precisely what Yaakov had in mind when he predicted, “this stone will become the House of the Lord.” (Rabbeinu Bachya; Genesis 28:18, translated by Eliyahu Munk.)

Recite the following prayer when lighting the Chanukah candles: “Just as God provided the oil with which Yaakov anointed the Foundation Stone, and the oil with which the Chashmonaim lit the Menorah, so too, may I merit to appreciate that this oil is a gift of God that will allow me to connect with the spiritual sustenance of the Foundation Stone.”

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