Parashat Vayetze, The Ladder that Reaches to Heaven

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In this week’s reading from Parashat Vayetze (Bereshit / Genesis 28:10-32:2) Yaakov (Jacob) flees from his brother Esav from Beersheba toward Haran and falls asleep.  The Lord speaks to Yaakov in a dream (וַיַּחֲלֹם) reaffirming the covenant He made with Yaakov’s fathers (Bereshit / Genesis 28:10-19).  Yaakov travels to Haran and meets Laban his mother’s brother (29:9-14) and also meets Rachel Laban’s daughter וְהִנֵּה רָחֵל בִּתּוֹ בָּאָה (29:6-8).  Yaakov makes a deal with Laban to work 7 years for Rachel his daughter to be his wife (29:18-21).  Laban tricks Yaakov and gives the older daughter Leah instead and Yaakov must work another 7 years for Rachel אֶעֱבָדְךָ שֶׁבַע שָׁנִים בְּרָחֵל בִּתְּךָ הַקְּטַנָּה (29:22-28).  Yaakov’s children are born by Leah, Rachel, Zilpah, and Bilhah, (29:31-30:27).  Yaakov and Laban agree on Yaakov’s wages (30:28-43) but Laban and his sons are upset that Yaakov has become so wealthy וַיִּפְרֹץ הָאִישׁ מְאֹד מְאֹד (31:1-3).  As a result, God speaks to Yaakov, and Yaakov takes his family and all he owns and returns to the land of Canaan (31:4-21) and Yaakov makes a covenant with Laban to not do each other harm (31:22-32:2).  A lot takes place in this week’s Parashah.  In the opening verses of the Parashah, the Lord speaks to Yaakov in a dream and Yaakov has a vision of angels ascending and descending upon a ladder and of the God of his father in the place called Luz (וַיֹּאמַר אֲנִי יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵי אַבְרָהָם אָבִיךָ וֵאלֹהֵי יִצְחָק).  According to the biblical text, this is the first time that God has spoken to and revealed Himself to Yaakov.  As God reveals Himself to Yaakov, He reiterates the covenant that He made with his father’s Avraham and Yitzchak (וְנִבְרְכוּ בְךָ כָּל-מִשְׁפְּחֹת הָאֲדָמָה וּבְזַרְעֶךָ).  As a result Yaakov renames the place he is laying to be וַיִּקְרָא אֶת-שֵׁם-הַמָּקוֹם הַהוּא בֵּית-אֵל “Beit-El” (Bethel) meaning “House of God” because God was in this place and He did not know it (אָכֵן יֵשׁ יְהֹוָה בַּמָּקוֹם הַזֶּה וְאָנֹכִי לֹא יָדָעְתִּי).  God promised Yaakov that He would be with him.  Today, in these same promises, the Lord God will remain with you too if you trust and obey in Him and His Son Yeshua the Messiah.  Read More here.

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Duane D. Miller received his Ph.D., M.S., and B.S. Degree in Chemical Engineering from The University of Akron Ohio. He is currently a Chemical Engineering Researcher. Duane’s research expertise has focused upon functional materials development for the control, conversion, and release of process gases in Energy production technologies. His R&D interests include computational chemistry, developing novel technologies for converting biomass to fuels and studying their fundamental interactions during the chemical conversion process. His past experience includes sorbent development for pre- and post-combustion CO2 and SO2 capture, selective absorption of H2S from methane streams, O2 capture for oxy-fuel combustion, photocatalytic reduction of alcohols, NOx reduction catalysis, the development of oxygen carriers to combust fossil fuels (CH4 and coal) for the chemical looping combustion processes, and the extraction of rare earth elements using patent pending sorbents. His research expertise has focused on operando-characterization using Infrared, Raman, and UV-Vis spectroscopy to observe the nature of the catalytic active sites and reaction intermediates under realistic reaction conditions, allowing direct correlation of molecular/electronic structures with catalyst performance during Gas-Solid / Liquid-Solid Adsorption and Photocatalytic Processes with real time online analysis of reaction products using ICP-MS and mass spectrometry. His current work involves a multi-disciplinary approach to developing, understanding, and improving the catalytic gasification of coal and methane, high temperature chemical looping combustion, and the catalytic decomposition and gasification of biomass and coal using novel microwave reactor.​ He has been studying the Hebrew Scriptures and the Torah for 20+ years and sharing what he has learned. The studies developed for MATSATI.COM are freely to be used by everyone, to God be the Glory!