Welcome to the new season of the ‘Raising Holy Sparks’ podcast. This year, we will be focusing on Jewish concepts and will be experimenting with ways to take them out of the theoretical and turn them into the practical.
In this week’s Torah portion of Vayetze, Jacob is exhausted from being on the run from his brother Esau after getting his blessing through deceptive means.
He finds himself at a random location, later Jewish thinkers say that it is Jerusalem. The same commentators say that God made the sun set early so that Jacob would stop, rest, and spend the night there.
Jacob was so ill-prepared for his moment of pause that he ends up using rocks as pillows.
As a result of finally having a moment to recharge his batteries, he has a dream of angels going up and down. A metaphor for the highs and lows of life.
He realizes that although he may currently be in one of those “down moments”, there will eventually be another “up moment”.
From this place, he continues on his way and ends up finding Rachel, his soon to be bride.
She is in need of some water but the well is blocked by a boulder. Rejuvinated and recharged, Jacob helps roll the boulder off the well. And Rachel is smitten.
The Stanford Sleep Medicine Clinic has found that increased sleep can not only improve our ability to deal with emotions but it also helps improve athletic movement.
Stanford Basketball players then went from 6.5 to 8.5 hours of sleep, improved their free-throw and 3-point shooting by approx 13%.
Sometimes it feels like we can’t afford to go to sleep early. But, really, we can’t afford NOT to.
This week’s intentional action (kavanah) that I offer forward:
-Go to sleep earlier than usual
-Make sure it is nice/dark
-Phone on airplane mode
Thanks for listening and looking forward to being on this journey through the books of the Torah with you!