Parshat VaYeizei – ויצא

00004ladder-of-prayerxmixed materials on canvas 30″ x 40″ (76 x 102 cm)

Jacob’s Ladder

The fabulous ladder dream of Yakov (Jacob)
is a paradigm for the act of prayer.
At every rung we are accompanied
and tested by angels
whose wings carry our words
and aspirations
to the higher chambers.

Kabbalah Genetics

One of the strangest episodes in the Parsha
is Yakov’s “genetic manipulation”
of the phenotypes of his flocks to
counter the trickery and deceit of Lavan,
who represents the לובן העליון
the Supernal Whiteness
that transcends all “color” and classification
and because it is beyond classification,
it bridges opposites and can transform
everything into its very extreme,
for good and for evil.

Yakov here precedes by 3,500 years
the research of Gregor Mendel,
the father of modern genetics!
He is even helped by a prophetic dream:

וָאֵרֶא בַּחֲלוֹם וְהִנֵּה הָעַתֻּדִים הָעֹלִים עַל הַצֹּאן
עֲקֻדִּים נְקֻדִּים וּבְרֻדִּים

“I see in a dream and behold all the males
mounting the flocks were with markings
that were “ringed” or “spotted” or “striated”.
(Genesis 31:10)

According to the Kabbalah these “markings”
represent three stages in the contraction
of God’s infinity from Adam Kadmon to
the world of Atzilus or Emanation.

עֲקֻדִּים Ringed

00000cosmos06w1airbrushed acrylics on canvas 30″ x 30″ (76 x 76 cm)

In this stage all the spiritual energies
that would later evolve into discrete
sephirot or lights are
in one “glob” all bound together.

נְקֻדִּים Spotted

tzfas07wb2polymer emulsions on canvas 27 1/2″ x 19 1/2″ (70 x 50 cm)

From the primordial glob
emerge discrete sephirot or lights,
each as separate entities
and unwilling to connect with each other,
described as the World of Tohu
and ultimately become shattered
in what is called the
Shattering of the Vessels שבירת הכלים

בְרֻדִּים Striated

etz-hayimweb02 mixed media with painted rings & marbles on canvas (70 x 97 cm)

In this designation the sephirot
are connected with each other
by striations and links
to form a holy Parzuf or Face,
allowing for inclusion and interaction,
which is the classic Etz Hayim mode.

Only Yakov has the ability to bring down
the sublime energies hidden within
Lavan the Supernal Whiteness
and the Ringed level עֲקֻדִּים
because he is associated with
Tiferet תפארת the integration of
Hesed (Abraham) and Gevurah (Yitzhak)
which is quality of Truth אמת
תִּתֵּן אֱמֶת לְיַעֲקֹב (Micah 7:20)
“Render Truth to Yakov”

Of all the Hebrew letters only
the Letter VAV ו is called the
the Letter of Truth אות האמת
because of its ability to descend
and break through to the lower realities
as suggested in the video art below:

vav

It is thus significant that the name Yakov יעקב
is written with a VAV
in only one phrase in the Torah
וְזָכַרְתִּי אֶת בְּרִיתִי יַעֲקוֹב
Then I will remember my covenant with Yakov
(Leviticus 26:42)
Coming after the terrible curses which will
afflict us if we go contrary to God,
suggesting that the Truth of Yakov will prevail

About the Author
Dov Lederberg is engaged in the converging vectors of art and science, but receives added inspiration from Kabbalah teachings & meditation and tries to create visual forms (in paintings on canvas but also video art) conducive to mystical experience and self-transformation. 
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