I recently pulled out a book by Rabbi Lawrence Kushner. I read it quite a few months ago while doing research for a class and when the story of Jacob’s Ladder came along in the lectionary, I decided to get it out and explore it in more depth.
Rabbi Kushner takes the story of Jacob’s Ladder and interprets it through 7 different lens. One particular lens is quite intriguing to me.
Rabbi Kushner says this, “We cannot see our own faces without a mirror, and even then the image is reversed. And we cannot know the presence of God until God has departed.” (Kushner, 1991)
This line of thought interests me because I sometimes wonder if there is a need for divine scarcity within our human journeys to recognize the dependence we have upon God. As humans, we are quite self absorbed. We believe we are so self-sufficient and our egos tend to rule the day. Its funny to think about that…a bunch of ego’s running around each thinking about only their wants, their ways, their beliefs, their prejudices, but each also with a tiny seed of the divine within them; however, that seed gets smaller and smaller until it totally disappears and then we realize God has departed. Its at that moment that we fall and we yearn for that divine seed to come back for without it we are not as human as we were with it.